TYLER — Experian, one of the three major credit reporting bureaus, introduced the new tool, Experian Boost, on Tuesday. According to the agency, the tool is the first of its kind. But at initial glance, experts say while it appears to have its pros, the tool also has some potential red flags you should be aware of.
“if somebody doesn’t have credit cards or doesn’t have any credit built, but they have utility bills, gas bill, cable bill, of course it’s going to be beneficial to them,” says Bradley Young with Landmark Credit Repair in Tyler.
But before that, consumers would have to give Experian permission to access your online bank accounts. In turn, the agency would be able to identify utility and telecom bills consumers pay monthly and instantly add it to your credit history.
“As soon as the information starts going back and forward to their banks and Experian, then their score is going to automatically go up,” says Young.
He says for someone with credit issues or no credit at all, the new tool could sound like an obvious deal.
“Consumers have been crying for this for a while, so I think they’re trying to appease to that, but also it opens up the door for them to get a lot more data and that’s their job to sell your information.”
Young says there are a few things consumers should consider before using the tool.
“It depends on about how much they’re going to be able to see, what kind of access they’re going to have,” says Young. “They sell your information all the time. they’re a credit reporting agency. Their job is to sell your data.”
Experian expects that two-thirds of consumers will see a credit boost by using the tool. But if a lender relies on a Transunion or Equifax credit report or a combination of the three for its application process, the tool won’t be a big help in your approval chances.
“You may have a high Experian score, but your other two scores may be low. So, until the other two credit reporting agencies get on board, it’s not going to be fully beneficial to people.”
Then, there’s the threat of hackers. Both Experian and Equifax databases were breached in some capacity this past year.
“Hopefully, they’re very secure in how they’re holding the data and how they’re locking it down, but that’s to be told.”
Experian plans to launch the tool in January, and in the following months, it says it’ll expand the type of accounts it can add from your bank account history.