Recovering from bad credit is not an easy feat to overcome. After all, your bad credit history didn’t happen overnight. Instead, it was probably a result of poor financial planning, decision-making, and budgeting. However, that doesn’t mean you should stop there and give up. You can still rebuild your credit, especially now that you’ve learned your lessons.
Perhaps, the lack of financial education brought you to this predicament. But now that you’ve learned the consequences of being unwise about your finances, it’s time to recover and get better. One way to recover from bad credit history is through tradeline companies – why and how and more details later on in this article.
Of course, tradelines are just one of the many options out there to recover from bad credit. But in this article, let’s dive deeper and discover the ins and outs of tradelines as a way to rebuild credit.
How To Choose the Best Tradeline Companies
If you want to try the services of tradeline companies, here are some core features that can help you choose the best company:
1. Quality of Tradelines
When selecting a tradeline company, you have to check if they work with a lot of banks. Some banks don’t report authorized users to the credit bureaus. So if the tradeline company works with few or no banking institutions, don’t choose it because there is a high chance that some of these banks won’t report authorized users.
2. Length of Time Using the Tradeline
Most tradeline companies only let clients use the tradeline for 30 days or one billing cycle. It’s best if you can find a tradeline that’s more than one billing cycle. Using the tradeline for one billing cycle won’t make much of a dent in your credit report. You should use the tradeline for at least two billing cycles to have a positive effect on your credit report.
3. Posting Speed
If a tradeline company says that they can post your tradelines in 60 days, don’t choose them. They’re not worth your money. As much as possible, select tradelines that can post within one to two weeks. Posting speed of 30 days and above means that the tradeline company’s system is inefficient.
When purchasing a tradeline, the company must require you to submit documentation and identification. They should ask for your social security number and copies of government-issued IDs. Why is this relevant? It’s because some tradeline companies may not be complying with federal laws. If the application process was too quick with few requirements needed, don’t choose this company. Always be skeptical in every transaction. You do not not want to be involved in illegal or dodgy activities.
Our Top 3 Tradeline Companies to Date
Now that you know how to choose a tradeline, here’s 3 of our recommended tradeline companies.
What we liked about Tradeline Supply is that their systems are fully automated. Not only that, it is 100% online which is perfect especially during this time of COVID-19. Besides that, Tradeline Supply offers financial education to its clients as part of their service. We think that adding financial education is fitting considering that most clients who use tradelines have poor financial habits.
In terms of pricing, we found that Tradeline Supply offers the lowest price. They also guarantee that they report to at least two credit bureaus. However, a drawback that we discovered with Tradeline Supply is that there’s no guarantee how their tradelines will affect your credit score. Despite this, we still think that Tradeline Supply is good overall.
In terms of data security, BoostCredit101 is the champion. The first thing we noticed right off the bat is their service encryption and data deletion policy. They also have a thorough verification process to spot fraud and illegal acts. If you go back to the core features, you can consider this as part of security.
However, we think that BoostCredit101 posting speed is a bit disappointing. They say the average posting time is two weeks but the guaranteed posting time is 60 days. If we consider cost, buying a tradeline for two months can be costly. And as what we’ve discussed, posting speed is a core feature to consider. But here’s the catch. BoostCredit101 offers a full refund if the tradeline doesn’t report to the credit bureau.
Well, perhaps that’s the reason why BoostCredit101 is on our list. The assurance warranty they provide somehow offsets the cons.
The Credit Pros
In terms of length in business, The Credit Pros has been around since 2007. A good quality we spotted right away is that they let you stay on the tradeline for 60 to 90 days. That’s a great offer since tradelines often have a material effect on credit reports if you stay for more than one billing cycle.
But, The Credit Pros seems to claim that it gives the lowest tradelines. Apparently, you can’t see which tradelines are wholesale. If the cost of the tradeline is your concern, The Credit Pros is not recommended for you. However, even if they lack transparency, they have 2,000 cards available with some aging up to 30 years old. So in terms of credit building, The Credit Pros is the go to company.
What Is a Tradeline?
A tradeline is a record of your borrowing activities appearing in your credit report. Each entry in your credit report has a tradeline. For example, you have a credit card issued by Bank X. Thus, your tradeline from Bank X will list down all the transactions you’ve made with the credit card. Such transactions will include your borrowings, payments, promptness of payments, and many more.
In other words, tradelines provide the objective basis of your credit score. Your spending habits and timing of payments significantly affect your tradeline and credit score. If you have delayed payments or excessive debt, credit bureaus will see these as red flags and will cause them to give you a lower credit score.
How Does a Tradeline Work?
Tradelines can be classified into two types: revolving and installment. A revolving tradeline includes your credit cards or open accounts. It’s referred to as “revolving” since the cycle of borrowing and payment never ends. Now and then, you’ll be using your credit cards for your purchases, and you’ll pay for it every billing cycle.
An installment tradeline, on the contrary, includes your loans and mortgages. Unlike a revolving tradeline, installment tradelines end with the full settlement of the loan. When you have credit cards and outstanding loans, credit bureaus will analyze your financial habits by studying these tradelines to formulate an assessment of your creditworthiness.
How Do You Rebuild Credit With a Tradeline?
Rebuilding your credit through tradelines can be done in two ways. First, you need to have good spending and payment habits on your credit. Second, you can buy a tradeline instead. In the first option, it will be a 100 percent effort on your part. It’ll involve wise spending, stricter budgeting, and expense control. However, it’ll take time before it makes a positive dent in your credit report.
The second option, on the other hand, is a faster way to rebuild your credit. Yes, that’s possible. You can improve your credit score if you associate yourself with outstanding tradelines. If you choose this track, you can buy tradelines from some of the best tradeline companies out there, 3 of which were given earlier in this article.
When you buy a tradeline, you become an authorized user of somebody else’s account. In essence, you accept the right to be associated with the tradeline. And when you buy the tradeline, you’re also enjoying the positive credit history of this account. Moreover, here’s an interesting fact. The tradeline doesn’t report when you’ve become an authorized user. So, you’ll be enjoying years of good credit history while you’re an authorized user. Indeed, you can recover your credit faster and easier.
To know more about how tradelines can help your credit, check out this article that explains this concept in great detail.
Are Tradelines Legal?
The concept of selling tradelines came from credit piggybacking. There’s nothing illegal about credit piggybacking in the first place. Some parents make their children authorized users of their credit cards to have good credit histories at a young age. This practice is advantageous for children since it’ll be easier for them to access credit when they reach employment.
Moreover, the concept of credit piggybacking also paved the way for tradeline selling. Basically, good standing tradelines allow strangers to become authorized users of their accounts for a certain fee. And in most cases, superior tradelines cost more because of their excellent credit history over the years.
Now, is this legal? Well, we can say yes since no law or statute is saying the contrary. To give you a little bit of history, the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO)—the developer of the commonly used credit scores today—raised this issue to the United States Congress back in 2008. Read this article to know the background story of why FICO raised this issue to legislation.
However, FICO was unsuccessful in proving the illegality of tradelines. They argued that it is technically legal, but it is unethical considering that tradelines influence FICO scoring. To be fair, we can say that FICO has a point. Tradelines cause distortions in FICO scores since authorized users enjoy good credit history coming from other people.
Thus, as of this writing, there is still no law that prevents you from using tradelines. Though there are ethical issues, as FICO stated, our only concern is our compliance with the laws. It’s up to you to decide about the ethics. Moreover, there’s a bill in the US Congress that aims to amend the Fair Credit Reporting act.
The bill aims to help victims of predatory lending and unfair consumer reporting practices restore their credit scores. Based on the findings, the bill mentions trade lines and how it affects consumer reporting practices. Should this bill reach the White House, it can drastically change the use of tradelines as a credit-rebuilding tool.
What Is a Purpose of a Tradeline?
A tradeline helps lenders and creditors assess your creditworthiness. When they check your tradelines, they’re particular about your payments. Are you paying your debts on time? How is your credit utilization rate? Tradelines supplement the credit score in terms of information about your credit history. Your FICO score is just a number that sums up your creditworthiness.
Some lenders want to know more about your financial practices, and they do this by checking your tradelines. That’s why purchasing tradelines improve your credit score because accounts with good credit history influence the scoring. For some, they consider this as a fast remedy for a recent financial downfall.
What Happens If You’re Removed as an Authorized User?
When the account’s primary user removes you as an authorized user, the tradelines you purchased will disappear from your credit report. Now, will this affect your credit score adversely? It depends. Think of it as an offsetting effect. If you have an outstanding tradeline in your credit report, it offsets the adverse effects of other tradelines with bad credit history.
Removing the good tradelines will indeed affect your credit score. That’s why you should utilize the benefit of good tradelines while rebuilding your credit score. Take note. A good tradeline doesn’t erase your past financial history. So it’s best if you use the advantage of good tradelines while you recover. Up until then, you should keep these tradelines in your credit report.
How Much Do Tradelines Cost?
First and foremost, tradelines aren’t free. When you buy a tradeline, you’re using someone else’s credit history, which entails years of good credit habits and practices. You can think of it as a drug. Pharmaceutical companies spend millions of dollars for research and development to create new antibiotics and drugs for modern-day sickness. And in every pill or capsule you buy, each represents years of study and experimentation.
Similarly, good tradelines aren’t built overnight. The primary account holder exercised healthy credit practices to achieve a good credit history. So it is only fitting that you pay the price in using their tradelines. Today, tradelines cost around $600 to $1,500 depending on several factors like credit limit and the account’s age. The older the account, the more pricey it gets.
One way to rebuild credit is by purchasing a tradeline. While there are ethical issues about it, using tradelines can also yield positive benefits to people who intend to rebuild their credit standing. Tradelines are just one of the remedies out there. However, this remedy proves to be faster and easier. And because of that, it’ll come at a price depending on the type of tradeline you want to purchase. Now, would you try tradelines to rebuild your credit? Let us know in the comments section below.