tradeline list

18 May 2014

The problem with “tradeline lists”

Tradeline lists are misleading.

They have an implied expectation of costs, results and a company’s legitimacy. Multiple times, each day, we receive emails stating something to the effect of “please send me a tradeline list” or “provide me a list of tradelines”. Here are the problems with tradeline lists and some things you should take into consideration before you seek or receive one.

Here’s a flashback from one of our forum posts:


One of our sales guys compares this question to medicine. He says, asking for a list of tradelines is like asking for a list of medicine to pick through. Both are horrible ideas. Also, providing a list of tradelines is pure sales nonsense. Everyone wants a list, because it makes them feel in control. Therefore, so companies play to consumer’s fantasies of control by offering “lists.” For example:

If you had a list of cars from a car dealer, would that be helpful? No, because you’re looking for a particular vehicle that meets your needs, price range, etc. If they had a complete list of cars you didn’t need, couldn’t afford or wouldn’t meet your transportation goals, what’s the point in the list?

Don’t ask for a list, make the company provide a specific tradeline package designed for you and your goals!

Put your goals above marketing gimmicks. Make the company tell you what they think you need… don’t do the company’s job for them.

Now, if you happen to be a company and you’re looking for our list for your client, that’s a different story. We do provide a list, of sorts. It’s a live and ever-changing drop down of tradelines available for purchase. It is not a complete list, because some cards are reserved for certain companies or third-party affiliates. But, it is a significant “list” either way. In order to access that list, you must be a registered and approved affiliate.


We don’t keep a list of tradelines published on the “front end” of our website for a few reasons:

  1. Our tradeline inventory changes by hour: We have individual clients and affiliates (third party credit repair companies) that buy our tradelines for their clients. So, it would be impossible to keep a list updated outside of our CRM (customer resource manager).
  2.  A majority of the time, clients may misunderstand the credit analysis and tradeline recommendation process and pick at random from a list of tradelines. If you pick, for example, based on price, you might pick insufficient tradelines to achieve your goals. Alternatively, cash packed clients might want to buy the “biggest and best” tradelines and actually flag their file for adding lines outside a reasonable range for their file. The other option is that they might pick tradelines based on the time it reports rather than considering the cost or the effect it will have on the credit scores. In other words, we’ve found that it provides no actual benefit to clients to slap a huge list of tradelines in their face… in fact, it is more likely to hurt them. I would recommend caution working with a company that sends you a list of tradelines and says “pick from this”, because it tends to indicate that they have no real interest in your credit situation, but only an interest in selling slots on authorized user tradelines.
  3. We do keep a list of tradelines on the back end of our site. However, this is only available to affiliates. Even then, they can’t just pick at random. We help them pick, but it just makes the process easier for them based on the fact that they are ordering multiple tradelines at a time.

We recommend connecting with a Tradeline Expert in our portal. They will be able to answer all of your questions and, trust me, this will be much more beneficial to you than a list of tradelines.

When tradeline lists are useless.

  • Picking from a tradeline list based on price.

If you pick from a tradeline list based on price alone, you could be setting yourself up for failure. No two tradelines are alike. No two credit reports are alike. You must be appropriately matched in order to receive any useful result from the addition of tradelines. Let’s say you have “enough” money to buy a $4,000.00 limit tradeline with two (2) years of history. Well, what if you needed a $10,000.00 with six (6) years of history. You got a good deal on the 4k, but your scores didn’t go up. It doesn’t matter if you spent $600.00 or $2.00 on the tradeline; you wasted your money. Picking from a list of tradelines can cause you to fall into this trap.

  • Picking from a list based on age.

The same concept applies to pick from a list of tradelines based on the age of the account. If you can afford only an account with relatively limited seasoning, it doesn’t matter if you got a good deal or not. If the seasoned tradeline is insufficient to achieve your credit goal, it makes no sense to buy it. Again, picking from a list will trick you into believing you are in control over something over which you have no control.

  • Picking from a list based on the limit.

Similar to picking a tradeline from a list based on age or price, if you pick a line of credit with the incorrect (whether it be too large or too little) limit, you can actually damage your credit score. This is much worse than simply receiving little or no benefit… you can actually make your credit score go down. The basic idea is that if you are bracketed in a certain scorecard, and you bump yourself out of it, your entire credit score will change and refactor your current negative and positive accounts.

When tradeline lists are useful.

There are situations where tradeline lists are useful. Here are a few examples:

  • You’re a mortgage broker or underwriter.

Mortgage brokers and underwriters look at thousands of credit reports a year. They know them inside and out and have continuing education requirements to keep up-to-date with relevant trends. We provide lists to affiliated mortgage brokers and underwriters as we know they won’t make poor decisions with the information.

  • You’re a credit repair company.

Similar to mortgage brokers and underwriters, credit repair companies (well, legitimate credit repair companies, I should say) are experienced and are very aware of the beneficial use of authorized user tradelines. They are capable of determining the appropriate line of credit to add to their client’s file. In that regard, we allow affiliate credit repair companies to review our list of tradelines.

Here’s the bottom line.

None of this is to suggest the average person is incapable of utilizing a tradeline list appropriately. It’s just very unlikely. You have a life, kids, maybe school, a job (or two), yard work, etc. There’s just no chance the average person has the time and energy to figure out this unbelievably complicated system. In that regard, we view it as a disservice to offer them a tradeline list to pick from.

6 thoughts on “The problem with “tradeline lists””

    1. Doonie, we’d be more than happy to consider you for our affiliate program. If approved, you’d have access to the tradeline inventory, but not in the form of a “list”. Our inventory changes by the minute, so by the time I attach a list to an email… it’d be incorrect and useless. When you’re an affiliate with Superior Tradelines, you have access to an affiliate portal through which you have access to real time data on tradeline availability.

      Please give us a call, or fill out the affiliate pre-qualification form here: (click on the “Re-sell” tab).



  1. FICO considers the limits to assign you your score card or bucket? I find that pretty hard to believe. ..unless you are referring to utilization.

    1. Lisa, what’s hard to believe about that? If you were a bank, would you lend $40,000.00 to a 18 year old (let’s call him “Mike”) with a minimum wage job? Do you think it would be more common to give a $300.00 starter card to a 45 year old single attorney (Let’s call her “Stacey”), who’s practiced for 20 years, two paid off houses and other assets? FICO (and other score modelers) attempt to represent someone’s risk and creditworthiness in a simple three digit number. It’s much more complicated than a check list of good and bad. Actually, on that point, let me ask you: Let’s say Mike and Stacey have exactly the same tradeline information in their report. Did you know their scores would be different? On the one hand, Stacey’s age alone is going to give her a score bump compared to Mike. It’s likely her residential history and job history is more stable. Moving on past those externalities, Stacey is going to have access to larger limit tradelines by virtue of her substantially larger income. When those new tradelines report to her credit report, FICO says “Stacey is worth $40,000.00… Mike is worth $300.00”. Well, technically the bank is saying that… FICO is just going to represent that in their output.

      It’s not hard to believe at all, it’s just a little counter-intuitive at first.

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