What Bills Qualify For Experian Boost?

By Ana Gonzalez-Ribeiro, MBA, AFC®
Published on: 12/01/2022

If you’re trying to raise your credit score, you know it takes time and focused decisions in regards to your personal finances. So consider using bill payments you already make to build credit. Although you may not be able to report every bill payment, with services like Experian Boost®[1], on-time payments towards qualifying bills, like utility bills, phone bills and bills for streaming services can count towards the Experian data in your credit file. Even rent payments can qualify.

In this guide, we explain what Experian Boost® is, what types of bills count for Experian Boost®, how it helps you build credit, and the pros and cons of the service.

What is Experian Boost®?

Experian Boost® is a free service that’s used to add qualifying accounts, such as your utility and cell phone accounts, to your Experian credit report. Both a credit-building and credit repair tool, Experian Boost® works by only reporting positive payment history on these accounts, not late payments. So it not only helps to beef up a thin credit file, but it also works to impact your credit score with positive payment information. It considers up to two years of payment history for qualifying bills.[2]

what is Experian Boost

Adding new credit information to your credit report for on-time payments you’ve made may result in an immediate score increase. Keep in mind that, to use Experian Boost®, you need to connect it to a bank account and approve every qualifying personal account you want to connect so that you get your on-time utility payments, phone payments and more reported to your credit file.[1]

Though Experian Boost® is calculated using the FICO® 8 credit scoring model, it can impact multiple credit scoring models. As long as your lender uses the most common versions of the FICO® and VantageScore® models, they’ll see the impacted credit score when they request your credit report from Experian.[3]

Experian Boost® qualifications

Experian Boost® has some qualifications for users. To use Experian Boost®, you need:[1]

  • An Experian membership (free to sign up)
  • A bank account and/or credit card accounts in your name, that you use for your telecom and utility bills, streaming service payments and/or rent payments, so that your payments can be verified
  • To have made at least three payments towards qualifying bills in the last six months, including one payment in the last three months

What bills are included in Experian Boost®?

Though many bills can be added to Experian Boost, and you can choose which of your qualifying accounts you want to add to your Experian credit file, not all bills qualify. According to Experian Boost®, the following list includes bills that can currently qualify to be added to your credit report:[1]

  • Mobile and landline phone
  • Internet
  • Cable and satellite
  • Gas and electricity
  • Residential rent with online payments
  • Video streaming services (Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu and HBO)
  • Water
  • Power and solar
  • Trash

Rent payments made with cash, money orders, personal checks or mobile apps like PayPal are not eligible for Experian Boost®.[1]

what bills may be included in Experian Boost

Who should consider Experian Boost®?

Anyone who is struggling with their credit, or who wants to build credit, may benefit from Experian Boost®, so long as they meet the minimum requirements to use it.

According to Experian’s research reported in 2021, consumers saw an average FICO® score increase of 12 points when they used Experian Boost® to add their accounts to their credit report. The results were even more dramatic for users with bad credit or limited credit history: Users with credit scores below 579 saw an average score increase of 22 points, and 85% of consumers with thin credit files — fewer than five credit accounts — experienced a rise in their FICO® scores.[4]

Keep in mind that everyone’s credit history is unique, so some users may not experience a credit score increase. Experian states that it doesn’t guarantee a score increase or improved approval odds, because results may vary based on your individual credit report.[1]

How does Experian Boost® improve your credit score?

Your payment history is the most important factor in your credit, making up 35% of your FICO® score. Experian Boost® only reports positive payment history for qualifying accounts it adds to your credit report, giving you credit for on-time payments and solid payment history with providers that wouldn’t otherwise be shared with lenders.[5]

Does Experian Boost® help if you have no credit history?

While Experian Boost® can be helpful for consumers with limited credit history, you do have to have some credit history to use it. Consumers need to meet the minimum FICO® requirements in order to use Experian Boost®. In addition to the requirements for qualifying bills listed above, you’ll need:[1]

  • At least one account on your credit report that has been active for at least six months
  • At least one account on your credit report that has been reported to a credit bureau within the last six months
  • To not be listed as “deceased” on your credit report (it may be the result of a credit bureau mixing you up with another person)

Benefits of Experian Boost®

You can take advantage of several potential benefits to using Experian Boost®:

pros and cons of Experian Boost

  • Free to use: It’s a free service — you need an Experian account, and it’s free to sign up.
  • Reports your utilities and telecom accounts to your credit report: Your credit score can get a boost from positive payment history that otherwise wouldn’t be reported. Why not let the bills you’re already paying do more for you?
  • Only includes positive payment history: Though it can’t guarantee an exact score increase, using Experian Boost® won’t hurt you, because it only adds qualifying accounts with positive payment history — the ones that have the potential to help your credit score — to your credit report.[1]

Disadvantages of Experian Boost®

Though the negative consequences of using Experian Boost® are minimal, it does have some limitations:[3]

  • Lenders may review a different credit score: If the lender you want to borrow from is using an older credit scoring model, or pulls your credit report from one of the other major credit bureaus, they won’t necessarily see your improved score from Experian Boost®. Experian Boost® only impacts your Experian credit score and Experian credit report.
  • Does not affect your credit files with TransUnion and Equifax: Because Experian Boost® only affects your Experian credit file, you won’t see score increases on your TransUnion or Equifax credit scores.

How to sign up for Experian Boost®

If you want to sign up for Experian Boost®, follow these steps:

  1. Meet the minimum FICO® requirements. You have to have at least one account on your credit report that has been active for at least six months and at least one account on your credit report that has been reported to a credit bureau within the last six months.
  2. Create an Experian account. You can sign up for free through the Experian website.
  3. Connect your bank account and credit card accounts. The accounts should be in your name, and the ones you use to pay your bills. Experian will look through the past two years of your recent payment history.
  4. Check and verify which accounts you want to add. Once Experian finds qualifying bills, you’ll be asked to verify your monthly payments and confirm that you want them added to your credit file.
  5. Wait for your credit scores to be calculated. The initial credit score increase is usually instant.[1]

Experian Boost® can be helpful for people who have little credit, poor credit or anyone interested in credit repair who has been making on-time payments on qualifying bills for some time.

If you have no credit history and don’t qualify for Experian Boost®, or want to look into other options, don’t worry — Self offers many tools you can use to build credit.

Disclaimer: FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Issac Corporation in the United States and other countries.


  1. Experian. https://www.experian.com/consumer-products/score-boost.html. Accessed September 24, 2022.
  2. Experian. “What is Experian Boost?” https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/what-is-experian-boost/. Accessed January 18, 2023.
  3. “Does Experian Boost Work?” https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/does-experian-boost-work/. Accessed September 24, 2022.
  4. Experian. “Experian Boost Helped Raise American Credit Scores by Over 50 Million Points,” https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/experian-boost-study/. Accessed October 7, 2022.
  5. myFICO. “What is Payment History?” https://www.myfico.com/credit-education/credit-scores/payment-history. Accessed October 7, 2022.

About the author

Ana Gonzalez-Ribeiro, MBA, AFC® is an Accredited Financial Counselor® and a Bilingual Personal Finance Writer and Educator dedicated to helping populations that need financial literacy and counseling. Her informative articles have been published in various news outlets and websites including Huffington Post, Fidelity, Fox Business News, MSN and Yahoo Finance. She also founded the personal financial and motivational site www.AcetheJourney.com and translated into Spanish the book, Financial Advice for Blue Collar America by Kathryn B. Hauer, CFP. Ana teaches Spanish or English personal finance courses on behalf of the W!SE (Working In Support of Education) program has taught workshops for nonprofits in NYC.

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Our goal at Self is to provide readers with current and unbiased information on credit, financial health, and related topics. This content is based on research and other related articles from trusted sources. All content at Self is written by experienced contributors in the finance industry and reviewed by an accredited person(s).

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Written on December 1, 2022
Self is a venture-backed startup that helps people build credit and savings.

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