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The eCredable blog

eCredable Lift Review: The Pros & Cons of Lift

 We all know how important our credit reports and credit scores are.  They are key to being able to qualify for virtually all financial products – like credit cards, personal loans, student loans, auto loans, and home loans – as well as being approved by a landlord for a new apartment, or a potential employer for a new job.  Your credit reports contain a lot of information – how you pay your financial obligations if you’ve ever had any type of account sent to collections (like a medical bill), or public records like tax liens that may have been filed against you.  The whole process can be a bit mysterious, but there are a handful of basics you really need to understand to help you manage this part of your financial life.

There may be a lot of information out there that companies know about you, but when it comes to credit reports, there are some serious laws that come into play.  The three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – abide by these laws to the best of their abilities.  But they’re only as good as the information that is supplied to them.  Most businesses that extend you credit spend a lot of time and money to ensure they report quality information to the credit bureaus.  But not all of them take this as seriously as you would like them to.

If you have an auto loan from a local "buy here pay here" dealer that offered you financing and they choose not to report to any of the national credit bureaus, then you’re not getting the benefit of this account helping you build credit.  Be aware that reporting to credit bureaus is completely optional. But if you don’t pay the loan on time, they might repossess your car and send your account to a collection agency that will report your account to the credit bureaus and really harm your credit scores.

The very fact that reporting to credit bureaus is optional makes it impossible to know if all of your accounts are being reported on your behalf.  Most financial accounts are, but there are many other accounts that are not reported.  Most utility companies do not report to credit bureaus because they don’t want to deal with the expense and legal obligations associated with credit reporting.  Since they are providing you a service that you must pay for in order to continue receiving the service, it’s easy for them to just stop providing the service to you.  If you don’t pay your internet bill, the internet service provider is going to turn your service off! 

eCredable introduced Lift® in the fall of 2019 as a way to provide consumers with the ability to include their utility accounts in their TransUnion credit report.  Most utility companies do not report your positive payment history to the credit bureaus, which means you don’t get any credit for paying these accounts on time.  Negative information is reported if you stop paying on your account, and the utility company sends your account to a collection agency.  The utility company reports your account “in collection” at the credit bureaus which really harms your credit score.

Adding utility accounts can be really helpful for many consumers.  Here’s how eCredable Lift works:

  1. You enroll in eCredable Lift at www.eCredable.com
  2. You are required to provide your login credentials (user name and password) to your online utility accounts so eCredable Lift can log into your account.
  3. eCredable Lift downloads up to 24 months of payment history from eligible utility accounts (like cell phone, internet, and electricity companies) securely.
  4. You have the option to choose which accounts you want to be included in your TransUnion credit report.  Since Lift reports both positive and negative payment history, you might not want to include accounts that have late payments and are likely to harm your credit score.
  5. eCredable Lift reports your information to TransUnion at least twice a week. You can use any number of free credit monitoring services to check the impact on your credit report and credit score both before you add new accounts, and after the accounts have been added to your credit report.  
  6. Every month eCredable Lift securely logs into your utility accounts looking for new payment information to update your credit report at TransUnion.

Let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages of this new approach to including more information in your TransUnion credit report.

Advantages

  • eCredable Lift allows you to have some control over which accounts you want to be included in your TransUnion credit report. Most utility companies do not report your monthly payments to the major credit bureaus.  This means you’re not getting any credit for paying your utility bills like cell phone, internet, and electricity. 
  • Adding more positive information to your TransUnion credit report can have a very positive impact if your credit report has very few accounts.  Maybe you just started using credit and you have only one credit card.  It will be hard to build a strong credit history (and credit score) with only one account, so adding more accounts is going to be helpful.
  • eCredable claims the average credit score improvement is 30 points.  That could make a big difference for some people, especially if you cross over one of the major score thresholds from “poor” to “fair”, and from “fair” to “good”.  It would be very unlikely to cross over from “good” to “excellent”.
  • eCredable Lift only includes your full payment history including both positive and negative information.  This makes the information more valuable to lenders who only want to use information from credit reports that are accurate and complete.  
  • eCredable Lift doesn’t care how you pay your utility bills.  You can pay by check, online billpay, credit card, debit card, or whatever payment types the utility accepts.  If you’ve been racking up reward points for using your favorite credit card to pay utility bills – keep doing so!
  • eCredable Lift can help people that do not have a credit file build their initial credit file.  This is really important for young people just getting started and legal immigrants trying to build a U.S. credit history.

Disadvantages

  • eCredable Lift costs $19.95 per year.  Most people want services like this for free, but when you consider the value you receive it’s practically free anyway.
  • You must have online accounts set up for all the utility accounts you want to have added to your TransUnion credit report, and you have to give eCredable access to your accounts.  Sharing log-in credentials to any online accounts might bother some people, but eCredable only accesses your account to download information.  We have no ability to modify or change your online account in any way.
  • eCredable Lift only reports to TransUnion.  If you want to update your Experian credit report, check out Experian Boost.  If you want to update your Equifax credit report, you’ll have to wait until this capability becomes available.
     

 

 

 



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