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Tradeline quality is better than tradeline quantity.

The number of tradelines added to an individual’s credit reports can significantly impact the credit score change. More tradelines often result in a larger credit file, lower utilization, and an increase in the average age of accounts.

Analysis 4 analyzed the score change individuals who purchased one, two, and three tradelines to isolate this factor.

The addition of more than three tradelines is complex. Further, it is rarely beneficial to an individual to add more than three lines to their credit file. Because of this, participants were never added to more than three authorized user tradelines at one time.

Analysis findings.

  • One tradeline had an average increase in 86 points to Experian, 66 points to Equifax, and 73 points to TransUnion.
  • Two tradelines had an average increase of 170 points to Experian, 110 points to Equifax, and 126 points to TransUnion.
  • Three tradelines had an increase of 170 points for Experian, 160 points for Equifax, and 186 points for TransUnion. 

As you can see from the first graph, the addition of multiple tradelines can have beneficial effects. The average score increase for the addition of one tradeline was 75 points. Two tradelines resulted in an increase of 135 points, and three tradelines resulted in an increase of 172 points.

However, it is not a linear progression. There are diminishing returns on the credit score due to the addition of multiple tradelines. Many people believe that more tradelines will always result in a higher score. However, it is essential to note that the quality, not the number of tradelines, is critical.

When adding tradelines for credit improvement, context matters.

The impact of the tradeline will depend substantially on the information that is already on the credit reports. 

The second analysis we ran shows that individuals assigned one tradeline has the highest average starting credit score. Those who were given two tradelines have the second-highest starting score, followed by those who were assigned three tradelines. The higher the starting credit score, the more difficult it is to improve the credit score drastically.

The participants who ordered three tradelines started with a lower average credit score. Thus, they would have more room for improvement to hit the same score as those given one tradeline. This is one reason that the clients who ordered three tradelines saw a larger increase than those who ordered two.

Interestingly, the ending credit score for all individuals was within 10 points for Equifax, within 32 points for Experian, and within 23 points for TransUnion, despite how many tradelines were ordered. This implies a theoretical cap on the benefit that the tradelines can provide to a credit score.

Because of this, an individual’s specific situation should be considered when determining how many tradelines to add to their credit report.

before and after credit scores by bureau

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