Credit Repair vs. Adding Tradelines: What’s the Difference?

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If your credit score is lower than you would like, you’re probably looking for ways to raise it. Since your credit score has significant influence on your borrowing power, it’s worth the effort you put into improving it. Whether you report is marred by collections accounts or you’ve had a history of late payments, there are a variety of things you can do to rectify the problem. Two major ways to raise your score include undergoing credit repair and adding one or more tradelines. Here’s what you should know about the differences between these two popular approaches.

Credit Repair

Credit repair is a process that’s highly debated in its ethicality. Unfortunately, there are many shady companies that offer questionable credit repair services. In some cases, companies blatantly misrepresent what they can do for customers. However, if you find a reputable company to take care of your credit repair needs, it’s not a bad way to go.

Credit repair is highly focused on removing negative items from your credit report. Keep in mind that this process usually takes a significant amount of time. A third party can’t simply step in and remove negative details posted to your report by credit reporting agencies. They can, however, dispute inaccurate or misrepresented details on your behalf. The process can be timely and expensive, but it may yield an improved score after much effort.

As part of the credit repair process, the company you hire may conduct investigate one or more items on your report for inaccuracies. Charges vary from company to company, but you could end up owing hundreds of dollars if you go this route.

If you want to save money, you can dispute any questionable items on your report yourself. You’re entitled to one free credit report every year from each of the major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax). With a little investigation on your part, you can locate any inaccurate items on your own report and open a dispute yourself. The Federal Trade Commission doesn’t allow credit repair companies to do anything that you can’t do yourself. Keep that in mind when deciding whether or not credit repair is worth it.

Adding Tradelines

While credit repair focuses on getting negative items off your report, tradelines take a different approach. The goal of tradelines is to help improve your report by adding positive information to it.

There are three main approaches you can take to add tradelines to your credit report:
  1. Apply for and open a new account on your own
  2. Utilize Experian Boost
  3. Become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card

Applying for and opening a new credit account is certainly a viable way to boost your score, but there is a big caveat. If you already have poor credit, you may not qualify for a credit card. If you barely qualify, you’ll probably get saddled with high interest rates and won’t want to use the card to continue establishing credit.

Using Experian Boost is another option for building your credit. The service is free, but is new enough that the effectiveness is not yet known. As part of the service, you can add your utility accounts to your credit report, provided you pay your utilities directly from your bank account.

The third solution is utilizing tradelines to build your credit. When you become an authorized user on someone else’s tradeline, their payment history and credit line show up on your report as your own. As an authorized user, you don’t carry the liability of the debt, but you get the benefits of the payment history. Coast Tradelines is a company that partners with thousands of reliable brokers to help individuals like you achieve better credit scores. We can add you as an authorized user to seasoned tradelines, which are lines of credit that have been open for at least two years and are in good standing.

Take the Next Step to Improve Your Credit

There is no single best approach for people who are trying to improve their credit scores. You should carefully weigh each of your options to decide which solution is best for you. If you’d like to learn more about becoming an authorized user on a tradeline, contact Coast Tradelines today. We can answer all your questions and help you determine if a tradeline is the best next step to improve your score.