before and after tradelines for credit

19 Apr 2021

88 points: Largest non-governmental study finds average credit score increase from tradelines


As stated on this page and in the tradeline study itself, you should not rely on this information alone, but use it only for information purposes, because:

  • The study may use different scores than you’re using.
  • The study may use different scores than your lender is using.
  • The study results show averages and your credit situation may be on the high or low end of the data.
  • The study referenced below is in draft format, pending final review from other relevant experts.

Nevertheless, we do encourage you to review the study on tradelines and credit scores, as it is extremely educational. Also, we hope you share it as others may benefit from this information as well:

Link for sharing: 

Tradelines, generally.

Tradeline companies offer a product called “piggybacking credit” where a person can pay to be added as an authorized user to a pre-existing credit account, which can have the effect of increasing credit scores.

This process and product are known as tradelines for sale.

Authorized user tradelines have been around for many decades, and they are commonly used to provide clients with thin or nonexistent credit a credit score “boost”. The purpose of this boost is to assist the individual with achieving their financial goals.  

12 years ago, the Federal Reserve Board conducted a study that found that “…piggybacking credit can materially improve credit scores, particularly for individuals with thin or short credit histories.”

Despite the facts known about tradelines, whether and to what extent credit scores increase from tradelines remains a hotly debated topic. 

While authorized user tradelines are a generally accepted method of improving one’s credit score, the question remains: how much do they actually help? 

Tradelines and credit scores: 88 points, on average.

Superior Tradelines recently conducted a study that included over 800 participants, analyzing the change in the credit score that was experienced through the addition of the tradeline. 

The study reviewed the credit scores for all participants before and after the tradeline was added to verify the score change. 

All credit reports were then analyzed for additional information that could have impacted the participant’s credit score.

Findings: How much do tradelines help?

It was found that on average, the addition of authorized user tradelines resulted in an 88-point increase in the credit score.

This is a large enough increase that most individuals in the credit score study experienced a change in the FICO score bracket that is used by lenders to determine their creditworthiness, thus, improving their odds of being approved for their financial goals.

This finding is shown below.

before and after tradelines for credit

It was also found that individuals with non-existent credit files experienced a much larger increase than individuals who had a pre-existing credit file.

This finding indicates that authorized user tradelines are more beneficial for individuals with nothing (or very few things) on their credit reports.

Finally, it was found that the addition of multiple tradelines typically results in a larger increase in the credit score than the addition of a single tradeline.

It’s important to point out that there is a ceiling to the benefit that tradelines provide though, so the benefit of adding a third or fourth tradeline can be negligible for many individuals.

tradelines for credit score change

The usefulness of the study.

If you’re thinking about adding authorized user tradelines to your credit file, this study is a good tool that could help determine whether tradelines are the right option for you. 

However, whether tradelines will work for you and whether the information in this study applies to your particular situation remains unknown without a specific, detailed analysis of your particular credit situation (this analysis service is provided by some tradeline companies)

This study, therefore, should be used for information purposes only.

The study:

You can find the full draft of the study embedded below.

Note, it’s 24 pages which you can navigate with the forward and back buttons in the bottom left-hand corner of the embedded PDF, below.

full tradelines study

Special thanks!

We want to recognize the author of this study, Megan Cooper Shackelford who, alone, over many months, collected all of the data, coordinated every consultation, researched all relevant material, wrote every word, performed every analysis, created every graph, and compiled everything in an easy to understand way from which everyone can benefit.

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