do not buy tradelines

27 Jan 2017

Do not buy tradelines, unless you understand this:

Tradelines are unique.

People – and their credit reports – are also unique.

So, results will range widely when you add different tradelines to different people’s credit reports. In fact, the combinations are infinite and, therefore, infinitely complicated (especially when people ask for results without first evaluating their credit report, in detail).

However, over the past 7 years, we’ve noticed a trend that allows us to answer these types of broad questions with some surprising specificity; we simply break all scenarios down into a few categories.

All scenarios fall into this spectrum:

  • Only negative information on a credit report.
  • No information at all on a credit report.
  • Both positive and negative information on a credit report.
  • Only positive information on a credit report.

UPDATE: Check out our new tradeline simulator and our massive tradeline study, which you can use to get answers for your specific scenario.

A credit report with only negative information.

Just stop… it’s not going to work!

Do not buy tradelines in this scenario! 

People in this scenario have quoted us, saying “But, you said your scores will always increase if you add tradelines. So, why won’t it work with me?”

Authorized User Tradelines usually improve the credit score, but that does not always mean that the score will increase by 100 points. However, here’s a better way to look at it.

  • Would you pay $600.00 for a one-point increase in your credit score?
  • How about 5 points?
  • 10 points?

Of course not!

Well, what about 100 points? You’d probably say yes… but, not so fast.

What if your score increased 100 points… from 400 to 500? Well, you’re no better off than when you started, because no one is lending to you with a 500 credit score.

You do not need tradelines; you need credit repair.

A credit report with no information, at all:

With one (or two) caveat(s), this is the best scenario.

When you add tradelines to a blank credit report, credit scores shoot through the roof. However, there are two drawbacks.

  • First, it may not work at all if you have an unopened blank credit file.
  • Second, while your scores will increase dramatically, it is unlikely that all types of loan products will be available to someone with only authorized user tradelines on their file (credit cards, sure… manually underwritten mortgages or loans, probably not).

A credit report with both positive and negative information:

Imperfect credit reports represent a vast majority of consumers.

So, imperfection (a credit report with good and bad items) is okay to deal with, but there’s a lot to consider.

This is the tricky area, where strategic tradeline selection is important.

  • Average Age of Account
  • Debt-To-Credit ratios
  • Severity and recency of the negative items, etc

…are all things that must be carefully considered.

It is possible to benefit from tradelines, even if you have some negatives, but this requires a skilled company to help you out (and a company that’s going to tell you the truth).

As a quick example (otherwise, this paragraph will be 10 pages), an actively reporting collection account severely limits the impact of positive tradelines.

A credit report with only positive information:

You think you’re in the clear, right?

Again… not so fast!

It’s going to work well, but it’s also important to pick the right tradeline(s).

From one perspective, you could graduate your limits too rapidly and it will look out of place and may get flagged. Or, even if the tradeline doesn’t get flagged, you could possibly push yourself into a different “scorecard” where all of your accounts are factored differently and your score could even go down by adding positive tradelines.

Again, this requires strategic selection after careful consideration.


If you’ve read this far, it means you’re passionate about improving your credit and you tend to educate yourself.

These are very good things, but… they also waste a lot of time.

We could answer your questions, evaluate your particular credit situation, and recommend your goals in a 10-minute consultation.

We’re looking forward to evaluating your situation and helping if we can.

2 thoughts on “Do not buy tradelines, unless you understand this:”

  1. My credit score is roughly in the high 500s and I have late payments that I’m trying to fix on my credit report. No collections, and a few hard inquiries that are dropping off this year. I want to buy a home in the summer of 2020 and I am asking what type and amount of tradelines would I need to purchase next year?

    1. First, awesome job on being proactive. From now to the summer of 2020 is an eternity in terms of what you can do to improve your credit. Tradelines only take about 30 days, so it’s way too early for those. However, if you’re in the 500s, I suspect we need to take a deeper look at the issues. You should get an account here: so that we can go over everything securely. We will help you devise a plan for free.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *