Credit reports and scores

What Is eCredable And How Does It Work?

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Having a higher credit score can unlock a wealth of opportunities, from top-tier credit cards to lower interest rates on loans and more. The best way to maintain a good credit score is to consistently pay bills on time, but some tools can boost your credit score instantly.

One of these tools is eCredable Lift®, which allows you to link utility accounts to your credit report from TransUnion (one of the major credit reporting bureaus). These bills typically aren’t included on your credit report, so paying them on time doesn’t help you build credit. With eCredable you can improve your credit score or fill out your credit history.

But the service has some drawbacks and limitations, and it won’t magically fix all of your credit problems. If you’re looking to give your credit score a lift, here’s what you need to know about how eCredable Lift works and whether it’s worth it for you.

Once you sign up for eCredable Lift, you can add payment data from utility accounts to your TransUnion credit report. This can help anyone with limited credit history to build their credit score or provide a boost to those who are in the process of rebuilding their credit.

For an annual fee of $24.95, you can link a maximum of eight different utility accounts to eCredable Lift and report up to 24 months of payment data per account. Examples of eligible utility accounts include:

  • Electric
  • Gas
  • Internet
  • Cable
  • Satellite TV
  • Phone
  • Water and sewer
  • Garbage and waste disposal services

eCredable works with thousands of different utility companies, but there’s a chance that yours might not be one of them. Before you enroll in eCredable Lift, search its online database to ensure the accounts you want to add to your TransUnion report are available.

eCredable also offers eCredable LiftLocker™ for $9.95 a month. LiftLocker gives you access to all the benefits of Lift as well as credit monitoring (for TransUnion), identity theft alerts, budgeting tools and other services.

Experian Boost is a free tool similar to eCredable Lift. It allows users to link certain accounts to their Experian credit report.

There are a couple of notable differences between Experian Boost and eCredable Lift. For one, they each affect a different credit report. Experian Boost can help fill out your Experian credit report and eCredable Lift works with TransUnion.

Another difference is cost, with eCredable Lift charging $24.95 a year versus the free service offered by Experian. Also, Experian Boost only reports positive payment history, so it will never hurt your credit. However, eCredable Lift reports positive and negative payment history. So you’ll want to be more selective with which accounts you add to your TransUnion credit report because it could hurt your credit score if you aren’t keeping up with your payments.

What about UltraFICO?

UltraFICO is a tool that lets you add bank account information to your Experian credit report. This comes in handy if you have a lower credit score but a healthy amount of savings.

To use UltraFICO, you first apply for a credit product with a lender. If your application is denied (or you simply want a better offer), you can ask the lender to generate an UltraFICO score to use in their decision. However, this only works if the lender participates in the UltraFICO program, which is still relatively small.

If services such as eCredable or Experian Boost don’t appeal to you, there are other ways to build up your credit score.

Pay bills on time and work on reducing your debt

Consistently paying your bills on time and working to eliminate outstanding debt may not be quick fixes for your credit, but they remain the best long-term strategies for building a healthy credit score.

Payment history accounts for 35% of your FICO Score (35%) and the amount you owe makes up 30% of your score. Paying your bills on time and in full each month also helps you avoid late fees and reduces (or eliminates completely) any interest charges.

Monitor your credit report

The most popular credit scores are based on the information contained in credit reports compiled by the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. It’s important to pay attention to what’s on your credit report so you can dispute errors that could lower your score.

You can access your credit reports for free, but manually reviewing each report is a tedious task that’s easy to forget or put off. Credit monitoring services can alert you when a change appears on your reports so you know when you need to pay attention. Your bank or credit card may give you access to a free credit monitoring service that covers one report, but if you want to keep track of the activity on your reports from all three major bureaus, you may want to opt for a paid service.

A paid credit monitoring service might also come with additional benefits. For example, IdentityForce® UltraSecure and UltraSecure+Credit and Experian IdentityWorks℠ both offer identity theft insurance in addition to being able to monitor your Experian, TransUnion and Equifax reports.

Experian IdentityWorks℠

  • Cost

    Free for 30 days, then $9.99 to $19.99 per month

  • Credit bureaus monitored

    Experian for Plus plan or Experian, Equifax and TransUnion for Premium plan

  • Credit scoring model used

  • Dark web scan

  • Identity insurance

    Yes, up to $500,000 for Plus plan and up to $1 million for Premium plan*

*Identity Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. (AIG). The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms, conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms, conditions, and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.

IdentityForce® UltraSecure and UltraSecure+Credit

  • Cost

    UltraSecure+Credit Individual starts at $139.90/yr and UltraSecure+Credit Family at $209/yr. Click “Learn More” for details.

  • Credit bureaus monitored

    Experian, Equifax and TransUnion

  • Credit scoring model used

  • Dark web scan

  • Identity insurance

    Yes, $1 million for all plans

Terms apply. To learn more about IdentityForce®, visit their website or call 855-979-1118. 

Secured credit cards

Secured credit cards are designed to help people with limited or poor credit access a card that can help raise their scores. Unlike traditional, unsecured credit cards, secured cards require you to first put down a deposit of cash to open an account (that’s what “secures” the card). As you make on-time payments to the card, your credit score increases just like it would with an unsecured card.

Some secured credit cards even offer rewards, such as the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa® Secured Card, which earns cash back on eligible purchases.

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa® Secured Card

Learn More

Information about the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa® Secured Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter in two categories you choose, 2% cash back on eligible purchases in your choice of one everyday category (like gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants) and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

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If your credit report is thin or your credit score needs a boost, a service like eCredable Lift could help. With eCredable you can link certain accounts to your credit report that normally aren’t included, such as accounts for utilities, cable or phone services.

However, eCredable only updates your TransUnion report and if the lender you’re applying to doesn’t use the TransUnion report, it may not be helpful. Also, eCredable could reduce your credit score if you link accounts with late or delinquent payments.

Catch up on CNBC Select’s in-depth coverage of credit cardsbanking and money, and follow us on TikTokFacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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