How to boost your credit score by paying Netflix or your council tax bill

REGULAR payments for council tax, Netflix and savings can now be used to boost your credit score.

Experian has launched a new Boost service that uses open banking to take into account certain payments to increase your score.

Payments into investments and savings accounts, such as an Isa or monthly saver, will also count towards your score.

Normally, only repayments you make to pay off debt, such as to a credit card, car loan or mortgage, count towards your credit score.

Lenders look at your credit score when you apply for credit. Only the best scores are offered the top deals, so it's important to keep yours in good shape.

Experian rates customers on a scale of 0-999. Anything between 721 and 880 is considered fair, between 881 and 960 is good and anything above 961 is excellent.

How to improve your credit score

WE explain how to improve your credit score.

  • Don't make too many credit applications – Making lots of requests in a short period of time can be seen as a sign of financial distress – and each application will be recorded on your file. Use a "soft-search" eligibility calculator to show how likely you are to be accepted.
  • Always pay your bills – Late payments are also recorded in your file so make sure you pay your monthly bills on time including utility and credit cards.
  • Pay down your debt – Try and cut down your existing debt before applying for new credit as lenders may be reluctant to lend to you if you already have a large amount of debt.
  • Use a credit-builder credit card – These cards tend to have high interest rates compared to normal cards but if you can show you're a responsible spender with them, it can improve your chances in the eyes of lenders.

Credit scores can only be boosted by a maximum of 60 points though, but it could be the difference between getting accepted or rejected for credit.

Experian also promises that it won't reduce your score if the information isn't helpful.

The service is free but you'll need to link your Experian account – which is also free – with the bank account where your regular payments are set up.

It needs to be a current account that allows open banking and it won't work with a linked savings account.

It's worth noting that not all lenders use Experian. There are two other leading credit reference agencies that may be used to decided whether to give you credit.

Different agencies use different scoring systems. Equifax rates you from 0-700 and TransUnion from 0-710.

Neither Equifax or TransUnion take into account council tax bills or payments for subscription services so your scores with these agencies will be unaffected.

Experian reckons the feature will help 17million Brits get accepted for credit.

Clive Lawson, managing director for consumer services at Experian, said: "By giving consumers more ways to improve their credit score, they are empowered to present the best possible version of themselves when applying for credit."

He added it will help to ensure lenders can provide more people with access to affordable credit and the mainstream financial system.

Tenants can also use their rent payments to improve their credit score across all three referencing agencies using Credit Ladder.

The service is a step in the right direction but MPs are still calling for rent payments to be automatically used as part of credit scores to help struggling 'Generation Rent' get a house.

Your credit score is pretty important if you're hoping to buy a house – here's how forgetting to pay your bills could wipe 130 points off your credit rating.

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