The 3 Best Tradeline Companies
Are you looking for the best tradeline company to help raise your credit score?
Tradelines are the accounts that appear on your credit report. Good credit habits mean good tradelines, which keep your credit score high.
When your tradlines contain negative information, however, your credit score will suffer as a result. Under the right circumstances, purchasing tradelines from one of the best tradeline companies can be a way to raise your credit score for a short period of time.
What Is a Tradeline?
A "tradeline" is simply how the credit industry refers to the list of accounts on your credit report. Every time you open a new credit card, take out a mortgage, or finance a car with an auto loan, this adds a new tradeline to your report.
People with good credit have tradelines that reflect their good credit habits. Their tradelines show that they pay their bills on time and use credit wisely.
On the other hand, someone with bad credit will invariably have negative tradelines on their credit report. For example, their tradelines might show several 30-day late payments or a credit card in default.
When you have bad credit, you can repair it by working to improve the quality of your tradelines. This means consistently making your monthly payments on time, paying down debts, and maybe even opening a secured credit card to increase your credit limit and improve your payment history.
But what if you need a better score right away? If you don't have time to wait, you might want to buy a tradeline.
When you buy a tradeline, what you're actually buying is the right to have your name added as an authorized user to another individual's account for a short period of time. In essence, you're temporarily purchasing someone else's good credit in the hope of boosting your credit score.
The 3 Best Tradeline Companies
If you want to buy a tradeline, it's important to work with a reputable company. The following tradeline companies have overall good reviews and feedback from consumers.
Founded in 2017, Tradeline Supply Company is a relative newcomer to the tradeline industry. According to the company's website, it was among the first tradeline company to offer a fully automated, online system for buying tradelines.
On its site, Tradeline Supply Company says that its easy online ordering system allows it to keep prices low. Because seasoned tradelines can be expensive, affordable pricing may be one reason to check them out.
Tradeline Supply Company does not currently have a rating with the Better Business Bureau. However, the company averages 4.3 stars out of its 46 Google reviews, with the majority of customers praising Tradeline Supply Company as trustworthy and easy to work with.
Based in Denver, Colorado, BoostCredit101 has a B rating on Angie's List and an average 5-star rating out of 46 Google reviews.
The company also has an informative blog that answers many frequently asked questions about buying tradelines to improve your credit score.
CreditPro has been in business since 2007, making it the oldest company on our list, and they have a C+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
On its website, CreditPro states that they have worked with thousands of credit reports over the years.
While CreditPro doesn't guarantee your score will go up, they do guarantee that their credit lines are "seasoned credit lines with a minimum of 3 years, have perfect payment history, and less than 10% of the available credit being utilized."
Are Tradelines Legal to Use?
Tradelines are a legal and legitimate way to raise your credit score. There are no federal or state laws that prohibit the purchase of tradelines.
Before you buy, however, you should be aware of the potential drawbacks of purchasing a tradeline.
First, creditors know quite well that many people "piggyback" on other people's credit in an effort to raise their score. In some cases, lenders may turn you down for a loan if a tradeline lists you as an authorized user but doesn't provide information about the nature of your relationship with the account holder.
Second, not all tradeline companies are reputable. Unfortunately, the credit repair industry is rife with scam sites and dishonest companies that charge hefty fees for services they can't or won't deliver.
This is why it's important to do your research before buying tradelines so you can rest easy knowing you're making a good investment.
5 Benefits of Buying a Tradeline
Buying a tradeline offers a number of benefits. Here are five pros of purchasing a tradeline.
1. Improve your odds of getting approved for a loan
If you want to buy a home or a new car, the first thing potential creditors will do is pull your credit report. When your score is low, you might find it impossible to get approved for a loan.
By purchasing tradelines, you can raise your score enough to qualify for a loan. This can make it possible for you to buy your first home or get the upgraded car you need.
2. Score a lower interest rate
When you're taking out a large loan, such as a mortgage, you want your interest rate to be as low as possible. If your credit score is poor, however, you can expect to pay a much higher rate.
Adding a tradeline to your credit report can help boost your credit score enough to qualify for a more favorable interest rate. This can save you thousands of dollars or more over the life of your loan.
3. Enhance your job prospects
Believe it or not, many potential employers screen candidates by looking at their credit score. This is particularly true in jobs where an employee is entrusted with money or management responsibilities.
To put it another way, companies want to know that you're reliable and trustworthy. If your credit score is low, a tradeline might raise it enough to land you that new job you've been after.
4. Rent an apartment
Landlords often review a potential tenant's credit score to determine if they're a low or high rental risk. In this way, a bad credit score can make it tough to get approved for a new lease agreement.
You might be able to improve your chances by adding a tradeline to your credit report. For example, a tradeline with a long positive payment history might be all it takes to convince a landlord that you pay your bills on time.
5. Qualify for more favorable car insurance rates
Did you know your credit score has an impact on your car insurance rates? According to the Insurance Information Institute, data shows that people with poor credit scores tend to file more claims.
Car insurers know this, and they charge higher rates as a result. If you've been saddled with high car insurance premiums, buying a tradeline might raise your score enough to help you qualify for more favorable rates.
How Long Do Tradelines Stay on Your Credit Report?
How long a tradeline stays on your credit report will vary depending on the type of tradeline and the company you use. On average, however, you can expect the tradeline to stay on your report for around two reporting cycles, which can be anywhere between two and six months.
However, because accounts can remain on your credit report even after they're closed, there's a chance the tradeline could still show up on your report for years after your tradeline rental agreement has ended.
Remember that buying tradelines should be a temporary fix for your credit score — not a long-term solution.
The idea behind buying a tradeline is to boost your score enough to achieve a goal, such as qualifying for a mortgage or getting a car loan. To raise your score permanently, you'll need to practice good credit habits.
Cost of Buying Tradelines
The cost of buying a tradeline varies, with prices running anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to $5,000 or more.
Generally, you can expect to pay more for a tradeline that has a long payment history, low balance, and high credit limit. These are called "seasoned tradelines," which means they are well-established accounts that have been in good standing for many years.
Tradeline companies offer personalized customer support that connects you with a knowledgeable representative. These reps will ask you questions about your goals and then recommend tradelines that fit your budget and your needs.
What Characteristics Make a Good Tradeline Company?
You have a lot of choices when it comes to tradeline companies, but how do you know you're buying from the right one? Here are four characteristics to look for.
1. Knowledgeable staff
While tradeline companies won't guarantee certain credit scores, they should take time to understand what you're looking for and how they can help you. This sets them apart from the scammers and disreputable companies that take advantage of people who need to boost their credit score.
Also look for companies who have a dedicated customer support staff. They should list a support number or email address so you can get in touch with a real person when you have questions about your account.
2. Experience in the industry
When you shop around for a tradeline company, look for a company that has experience. In most cases, this means the company has been in business for a long time.
You should also look for statistics that show how many customers the tradeline company has served. Many tradeline companies list this information right on their sites, so you can get a sense of their knowledge and experience in the industry.
3. Physical address
Be wary of tradeline companies that fail to provide any contact information on their websites, or list only a post office box as their address. This could be an indication that the tradeline company is disreputable or has something to hide.
The best tradeline companies are up front about their experience, processes, and company information. You shouldn't have to dig for information.
Some tradeline companies list their available accounts and prices right on their websites, making it easy to see exactly what they offer. You can see their number of seasoned tradelines for sale to get an idea of their tradeline supply.
When a company is willing to put its products right out front for the public to see, you can usually be confident that it's in full compliance with the law. Reputable tradeline companies are open and honest about their policies and results.
How to Buy a Tradeline
If you're new to buying tradelines, the process might seem intimidating. However, buying a tradeline is a pretty straightforward process — especially now that most tradeline companies do business online.
In most cases, buying a tradeline is as easy as finding a tradeline company for your needs, then reviewing its list of available tradelines. When you find the tradeline that best suits your goals, you simply add it to your cart and go through the checkout process online.
5 Steps for Adding Tradelines to Your Credit
The process for adding tradelines to your credit report might vary depending on which tradeline company you use. However, the general step-by-step procedure is basically the same.
#1. Choose the tradeline
Look for tradelines that fit your needs. Generally, you can expect to pay more for an older tradeline, as this means the account is older.
You can choose as many tradelines as you want, but be mindful that quantity isn't necessarily better than quality. It might be worth paying a bit more for fewer tradelines instead of buying up a bunch of lower quality accounts.
#2. Read and sign the contract
When you purchase a tradeline, you actually rent it for a period of time. This means you're added to the account as an authorized user for a short amount of time, such as two reporting cycles.
When you buy the tradeline, the tradeline company will prepare a rental or lease agreement that sets forth your rights. Read it carefully before signing, and make sure to contact the tradeline company if you have any questions.
#3. Complete the payment process
Tradeline companies have sophisticated customer payment processes that let you complete a secure purchase online.
In some cases, you might be able to make your payment over the phone. However, most tradeline companies give you the option to pay online.
#4. Upload any required documents
You might need to provide the tradeline company with copies of certain documents. For example, the tradeline company might require a copy of your driver's license and social security card.
In many cases, you can upload your documents to the tradeline company's system from your computer. Make sure the tradeline company's site is secure before you upload any personal documents to its website or customer portal.
#5. Check your credit report
Once you've purchased the tradeline, the only thing you need to do is wait for it to appear on your credit report. You can monitor your score for free using the Discover Scorecard.
Tradeline companies will usually provide you with updates as your credit score improves. However, you should still check your report to make sure the tradelines show up as promised.
How are Credit Limits and Utilization Ratios Affected by Tradelines?
Tradelines can influence both your credit limit and your credit utilization rate, but they do so in different ways.
Some people buy tradelines in an effort to qualify for a higher credit limit. However, this isn't always a good strategy.
The reason is that banks generally focus on your income when deciding whether to increase your credit limit. While a tradeline can temporarily boost your credit score, the bank is probably more interested in your income — which is something a tradeline can't help.
If you're considering buying tradelines to improve your credit utilization ratio, however, you'll probably see better results.
Keep in mind, though, that tradelines are designed as a short-term boost for your score. For example, if you need to improve your credit utilization to qualify for a mortgage, buying a tradeline could be an effective strategy for bumping up your score while you apply for home loans.
Authorized Users: Is Piggybacking Credit Still Effective?
Getting added as an authorized user on someone else's account — also known as credit piggybacking — can be an effective way to boost your credit score. It's also typically much faster than trying to repair your credit on your own.
However, there's a difference between becoming an authorized user through someone you know versus buying a tradeline.
When you piggyback on an account that belongs to a relative or close friend, you get the benefit of having the tradeline for as long as you want it — or as long as the account holder agrees to have you listed as an authorized user. Depending on the arrangement, you may also be able to use the account for your own purposes, such as charging purchases on a credit card.
By contrast, buying a tradeline is just renting a stranger's good credit for a short period of time. It's a temporary arrangement, and you don't have access to the account itself.
Either way, you want to make sure the account holder has good credit. Ideally, they should have good credit utilization, which means the average of all their tradelines is lower than 30 percent.
This is why buying tradelines can be a smart strategy for boosting your credit score. When you work with one of them, you rely on their vetting process to make sure the account holder has good credit for you to borrow.
Buying Tradelines: Common Mistakes People Make
Buying tradelines can be an effective way to raise your credit score, but it's important to avoid common pitfalls. Here are five mistakes to avoid.
#1. Not understanding what buying a tradeline means
A critical mistake people make is thinking that buying a tradeline means ownership rather than renting. When you buy a tradeline, you rent someone else's good credit for a set period of time.
#2. Working with a disreputable company
In many cases, people who need credit repair are in a vulnerable financial position. Unfortunately, there are unsavory companies in the credit repair industry willing to prey on this vulnerability.
Buying a tradeline can be a good strategy for boosting your credit score, but it's important to take your time and find a reputable company before you buy.
#3. Not reading and understanding their credit report
Research shows that 4 out of 10 Americans don't know their credit score and have no idea how their score is calculated. You can buy dozens of tradelines, but they probably won't do you much good if you never bother to look at your credit report.
#4. Going for quantity over quality
Good tradelines can be pricey, which can prompt many people to go with a cheaper choice. However, a less expensive tradeline might not do all that much to boost your score, making it a waste of money.
Instead, it's usually better to invest in fewer tradelines that are priced higher due to their long history. In most cases, these accounts will do more to shift your score.
#5. Substituting tradelines for credit repair
Tradeline companies will tell you outright that buying tradelines is not a substitute for repairing your credit. Rather, tradelines are an effective way to temporarily boost your score.
To raise your score and make it stick, you need to practice good credit strategies over the long-term. This takes hard work and a real commitment to changing your money management habits.
Buying a tradeline isn't the only way to improve your credit. If you don't have money to spend on a tradeline or you're looking for a long-term solution to improving your credit score, there are several alternatives to purchasing a tradeline.
Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt
The average American has $6,354 in credit card debt. If you carry a lot of debt, paying off your credit cards can drastically improve your credit score.
In addition to saving you money in interest, reducing your credit card debt will improve your credit utilization, which is how much credit you have compared to how much you're using. Ideally, your credit utilization should be below 30 percent.
Paying off your credit card debt is one of the main steps toward lowering your credit utilization. Keeping your utilization rate below 30 percent can make a big difference in your credit score.
Dispute Errors on Your Credit Report
According to a report by the Federal Trade Commission, 1 in 5 Americans has at least one error on their credit report. If you don't review your credit report on a regular basis, you could be missing mistakes that are bringing down your score.
Under federal law, you're entitled to receive one credit report every 12 months. You can get your free report by visiting annualcreditreport.com.
Once you have your report, you should look over it carefully to make sure the information listed is accurate. If you spot an error, you should dispute it with the credit bureaus.
Open a Secured Credit Card
A really low credit score can make it impossible to buy a car, rent an apartment, or even get interviewed for jobs. If your score is extremely low or you're completely new to the world of credit, you can build credit with a secured credit card.
With a secured credit card, you make a small deposit up front. The card issuer hangs onto this money as a sort of security deposit in case you default.
In most cases, your security deposit is the same as your card limit. Once you have your card, you can charge purchases to it and then pay them off.
As you make your payments on time, the card issuer reports your positive payment history to the credit bureaus. Many card issuers give you an option to upgrade to a regular credit card after a certain period of time.
Take Out a Credit Builder Loan
Another non-tradeline option for repairing your credit is a credit builder loan. With a credit builder loan, you essentially borrow money from yourself.
These loans work in a bit of a reverse way compared to a regular loan. When you take out a credit builder loan, you don't receive the loan right away.
Instead, you pay money into a savings account each month. At the end of the loan term, you receive the balance in the account plus any interest you accumulated.
As a short-term strategy, buying tradelines can give your credit score the boost it needs to help you qualify for a mortgage, car loan, or other type of credit. As with all credit products and services, however, doing your homework and finding the best tradeline companies is the key to having a positive experience and getting the results you want.
About the Author
Mike is a recognized credit expert and founder of Credit Takeoff. His credit advice has been featured in CNBC, Investopedia, CreditCards.com, Bankrate, Huffpost, The Simple Dollar, Reader's Digest, LendingTree, and Quickbooks. Read more.