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10 Jun 2019

A Guide to Buying Tradelines: Can They Really Boost Your Credit Score?

Average credit scores are rising, with 22% of Americans having Super Prime scores. Still, over 40% have poor or bad credit. There’s a lot of room for improvement, regardless of income brackets.

Credit still a very important part of life as an adult. The problem is, most of us start out with bad spending habits, namely with credit. As soon as you’re 18, your first credit card sets the stage with regards to access to money.

If you fall into the trap of debt, your score can take a nosedive. Once you dip into the danger zone, it’s hard to get back out. Bad credit takes longer to repair than ruining a good credit score.

That is if you don’t buy tradelines. What are tradelines for credit, you may ask? This guide will tell you everything you know about building your credit score fast.

Tradelines for Credit Boost

Realizing how much work and extra income you need to make to pull a bad score up is discouraging. If you’re juggling multiple cards, getting by with minimum payments, paying off $1,000s in debt is tough. On the flipside, if you don’t even have a credit history, but want to build fast, you really have a long wait.

There are credit cards for people with no credit, but those take time to build credit with. You’re stuck with low credit limits and it takes years to reach excellent credit. That’s where tradelines come in.

Tradelines allow you to buy a credit history, technically. You can do this for free if you know someone with excellent credit. Get them to add you as an authorized user and you’ll gain credit from their good habits.

If you can do this for multiple credit cards, your score will increase 2-3x as fast as your average secured card. This opens up your opportunities with loans and better credit cards. The only catch is that you need someone who you’re close enough to trust you as an authorized user.

Buying Tradelines

Adding authorized users to credit cards to boost scores isn’t a secret. About one-third of credit card users did it in 2010. That number is likely much higher now.

The difference between then and now is that the vast majority of people were doing it through family and friends. The concept of buying tradelines is a more recent phenomenon. Now, there’s an entire industry built around this strategy.

Companies out there are offering their service to boost low and bad credit scores for a fee. All you provide them is your full name and social security number and they connect you with a person selling authorized user slots. If you already have excellent credit, you can make really good money selling to tradeline companies.

Once they’ve added you to their credit card account, you will reap the benefits of their credit limit, usage, and history. All of these things build your credit faster than a secured card. Plus, there are even more perks that we will go into detail next.

This strategy is 100% legal and effective, barring a few preconditions. The price of admission for most companies is often more than opening a secured line of credit. The question then becomes whether or not the difference in these two is worth the cost.

Legal Concerns

Let’s address the law before we even get into this practice. There is zero risk involving the law when it comes to tradelines. There is no law preventing you from paying someone you don’t know to add you to their credit account.

The credit card companies would prefer that people don’t do this, as they see it as cheating. You’re telling a story that your current financial situation may not reflect. Lenders also hate this because they prefer to minimize their risk as much as possible.

A guy coming in with Good credit, but a history of unstable income is a risk that lenders can’t really avoid. This is an example of how a high credit score gains you access to tools you normally wouldn’t have. Most people aren’t trying to game the system, of course.

Not knowing how bad credit limits your ability to move through life is of little blame to the average citizen. Financial literacy is a premium in society, which needs to get prioritized in schools. Buying tradelines can enable a local business owner the access to scale onto a global marketplace, with the right moves.

Boost Your Credit Reports

Tradeline accounts get added to your credit report, almost as if it were your own. It doesn’t absolve anything about your own report, though. That means if you have a lot of credit card debt, a lot of missed payments, or other bad marks, the new account won’t help much.

Your first step before considering buying a tradeline account is cleaning up your own. Dispute any negative credit reports from accounts that are either past their seven years or could get negotiated down. If you can bump your on-time payment history up and reduce debt, you’ll be set for a tradeline account.

A seasoned account with a nice credit limit could increase your score by up to 100 points. It won’t show up right away, though, as accounts get updated every 45 days to the credit bureaus. Depending on the timing, you might have to wait three months to see those results.

Personal Loans and Credit Lines

Even with a healthy income, having bad or no credit means you won’t qualify for most loans. Only predatory lenders want to loan to you without checking credit. That’s where interest rates of 35% and higher are commonplace.

By using tradelines, however, you could qualify for a loan that you got denied before previously. After adding an account with a great credit history and decent credit limit, some banks will immediately move you onto the next step. Usually, when it comes to getting a personal loan, you have to get by a financial filter.

All bad credit applicants are basically automatically denied. These rules are a little less stringent on things like mortgages and auto loans. Plus, even when you do qualify for those, your interest rates are roughly double or triple of a person with good credit.

This can mean thousands of dollars in interest over the course of a loan.

Privacy and Trust

We know some of you may already be apprehensive at the thought of paying a third party company for this. Yes, there are a lot of scams running around credit cards and loans out there. It’s also difficult to hand out a social security number online to anything other than the government or a bank.

We emphasize using caution, but there are plenty of reputable companies out there who have passed the security test. Stick around and we’ll review a couple of these services that are safe and worth checking out.

Realistic Expectations

Tradelines aren’t a magic bullet for credit score problems. Everyone’s account is different and each has its own set of weaknesses. There are a number of strategies out there that are proven to boost your FICO score.

It’s a good idea to try all of these methods out first. Jumping right into tradelines leaves too many variables on the table. There’s a chance that paying $100s in fees for these services will net you less of a bump than getting a secured card.

You should have at least one secured card already before trying to buy a tradeline. Some length of credit history is better than nothing. Lenders get suspicious when they see a bunch of credit lines that don’t match up with your income.

There’s also the personal responsibility aspect of buying tradelines, too. Getting those boosts in your creditworthiness feel good. Don’t let this feeling turn into a false sense of security, loosening your spending habits.

The feeling of getting your first unsecured credit card is a rush. Try to avoid rushing into buying things you can’t afford. If you already made these mistakes early on as a teenager, it’s not the end of the world.

That’s what makes tradelines so great. It gives people who have made bad decisions a second chance. It also offers a way out for millennials who are stuck in life due to a low credit score.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is your debt to income ratio?
  • What is your main use for credit?
  • How long do you have to build it?

If you’re focused on long-term gains, then tradelines can help. If you’re trying to get a quick bump for a personal loan, tradelines can help. If you’re trying to gain accesses to credit cards to increase spending, rethink your options.

Tradelines can get you into trouble if you play fast and hard. Your success will also depend on which service you decide to use. For more on the differences in tradeline sellers, we’ll compare a few of the most popular companies.

Splendid Credit

We start with one of the most reputable and recommended companies. Splendid Credit currently has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. BoostMyScore is the only other one that carries the highest rating for a tradeline service.

Splendid Credit boasts an average of $500 per month profit for their sellers. Buyers can expect to find plenty of accounts with $3,000+ credit limits. That means a higher likelihood of a credit jump in your first two months.

Top Tradelines

You’ll find a lot more mentions of Top Tradelines than other services. They probably spend the most on marketing and advertising. This wouldn’t normally count as a red flag, but in this industry, it does.

Top Tradelines is rated-F at the BBB. You’ll find a lot of complaints and cries of foul play online. Taking a closer look at their business model, they put you through a multi-step process of expert advice.

First, they analyze your credit report, then they funnel you into a tradeline, with claims of higher credit score in 1-2 months on par with a $500 credit line. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is in the financial sector.

Tradeline Supply Company

This last company is a bit of a gray area. They’re not specifically a tradeline services company. They avoid doing what Top Tradelines does, which is acting as an authority on credit repair. Instead, they present you the tools to get positive credit reports on two of the three bureaus in seven days.

Their tradelines also target those who don’t have a lot of money to invest. The Tradeline Supply Company seems like the safest option for those wanting fast results. Although those results may not amount to much, this is part of their “no guarantee” policy.

The saying “You get what you pay for.” applies to Tradeline Supply Company.

Should You Buy Tradelines?

If our reviews on companies to buy tradelines have piqued your curiosity, you’re not alone. As overall credit score increase in the country, more people are looking to find that edge for competing for loans. This is why buying tradelines are often sold as a “hack” for credit scores.

The average person is going to experience gradual changes to their scores over the years, not months. Creditors are looking out for these tradeline-related bumps, but they can’t discern authorized user accounts. Credit decisions must get made based on your entire credit report.

Credit scores aren’t an exact science, but there are ways you can position yourself to get the best results. Use the experience and inside information that is available online. You can find plenty of valuable resources right here at Bonsai Finance.

We’ll steer you clear of financial scams, fake news, and bad investments. At Bonsai Finance, we help you grow your finances naturally and effectively.

Here are some other articles you may enjoy:
9 Things You Should Know Before Taking Out Credit Card Insurance
Can I apply for credit cards for poor credit?
The Best Starter Credit Cards for Building Credit
What Is a Good Credit Limit to Have on Your First Credit Card?