Reports to major credit bureaus.

StellarFi, an Experian Boost alternative

Choosing the right credit building tool can make or break your financial health. Here’s everything you need to know when choosing between StellarFi and Experian Boost®.
StellarFi, an Experian Boost alternative

Big Savings. Bigger impact.

Compare Extra and StellarFi credit building services to discover how you can save up to $140 and boost your score by 50 points in the first year.
StellarFi, an Experian Boost alternative
StellarFi, an Experian Boost alternative
StellarFi, an Experian Boost alternative

Credit score impact

Impacts all FICO and VantageScore models.
Only impacts FICO8 for Experian®.

Type of Credit Account

Reported as a line of credit.
Reported as alternative data that only shows up on FICO8 models.


StellarFi allows you to build credit using necessities you already pay for, like your utility bills.
Kikoff users must make a purchase with their Kikoff Credit Account to begin building credit.

Eligible Bills

Almost all recurring payments can be used to build credit.
Uses limited bills and payment histories.

Credit reporting

StellarFi reports to major credit bureaus: Experian®, Equifax®.

Boost reports to only Experian®.


StellarFi starts at $4.99/month.
Experian® is free to use.

Qualifying bills and payments

StellarFi works with almost any recurring bill that can be paid using a credit or debit card.
Bills must have at least 3 payments made in the last 6 months to work with Boost.

Bill pay

StellarFi makes it easy to manage bills in one convenient dashboard.
Boost is not intended as a bill management tool.

Reporting speed

StellarFi reports to major credit bureaus at the most frequent cadence allowed by each individual bureau.

Experian updates its own credit files immediately.

Referral program

StellarFi’s referral program pays out credits that members can apply toward their bills.
Experian Boost does not have a referral program.

Why is credit important?

Your credit score can be the determining factor in whether you’re able to rent a home, get approved for a mortgage, or get a good interest rate on a car loan. Having good credit can save you money in the long run, through access to better interest rates and more favorable borrowing terms. Here are some scenarios in which your credit score makes a difference:

  • Without a strong credit score, you may have difficulty getting approved for a mortgage.
  • Consumers with higher credit scores pay lower interest rates on loans and credit cards.
  • Landlords typically check your credit to determine whether or not to rent a home or business space to you.
  • People with poor or invisible credit pay higher deposits on utilities.
  • Some employers even check applicants’ credit before proceeding with the hiring process.

What is StellarFi and how can it improve my credit?

StellarFi is a simple but revolutionary way to build credit. With StellarFi, you can build credit without the downsides of other credit-building products and services. Get started with:

  • No minimum score to qualify 
  • No interest charges
  • No deposit required
  • No surprise fees
  • No new debt 

How StellarFi works

StellarFi is easy to use. You just need a bank account and some monthly household bill payments — like your go-to streaming service, utility bill, and rent — to get started.

These are the steps to start building credit with StellarFi:

  1. Sign up as a StellarFi member.
  2. Connect your bank account.
  3. Link any monthly bills you’d like to use to build your credit by replacing your current payment method with your StellarFi Virtual Bill Card number.
  4. These bills will now be paid using your StellarFi Virtual Bill Pay Card.
  5. The amount charged to your StellarFi Virtual Bill Pay Card will be simultaneously withdrawn from your connected bank account.

With StellarFi, your bills are automatically paid, and they’ll automatically help you build credit.

How StellarFi improves your credit score

StellarFi affects the credit factors that contribute most significantly to your credit score and builds credit with all major credit bureaus. Here’s how StellarFi works directly on your credit score:

  • StellarFi shows up on your Experian® and Equifax® credit as a reported line of credit.
  • StellarFi reports on-time monthly payments to the major credit bureaus, improving your payment history.
  • StellarFi optimizes your credit utilization ratio by providing a payment cushion — reported as a line of credit on your credit report.
  • StellarFi can enhance your credit mix by adding a new type of credit account to your credit report.
  • As you continue to use StellarFi, the account’s age can also contribute to your score.
  • StellarFi does not add hard credit inquiries to your report. Hard credit inquiries can put a dent in your credit score.

StellarFi pros and cons

StellarFi is for anyone looking to build, improve, or maintain their credit scores.Here are some of the best reasons to use StellarFi:

  • StellarFi works for every stage in your credit journey. People with poor or no credit, those interested in taking their score from “poor” to “excellent,” and anyone looking to maintain an optimal score will all benefit from using StellarFi.
  • StellarFi can report a credit limit up to $25,000.
  • There’s no credit check or hard inquiry.
  • You don’t need to pay a security deposit
  • You’ll build a credit history with the major credit bureaus: Experian® and Equifax®.
  • Access your credit report, current credit score, and advanced credit tools such as personalized score projections.
  • You can manage monthly bills in one dashboard.
  • You use your existing bank account and build credit with it.

So, what are the downsides? Here are some situations in which StellarFi may not be a good fit:

  • You’re currently in the underwriting, pre-approval, or under contract phase of buying a home and have been advised against any changes to your credit report.
  • You don’t have a bank account.
  • You pay all your bills by check, or money order.

How does Experian Boost work?

Experian Boost  helps customers build credit using specific qualifying bills. To get started,  connect your existing  bank  account or existing credit card through which you already pay your monthly bills with Experian Boost. Experian Boost will then look through two years of your payment history to find eligible payments. It requires at least three payments including one in the last one month to add to your Experian credit file.

Experian Boost users need to keep their accounts connected to Boost when applying for new credit in order for lenders to see improved credit scores on their Experian report. If a user disconnects their bank or credit card accounts from Experian Boost, their credit scores will be calculated without the information added by Experian Boost.

Experian Boost pros and cons

Here are some of the benefits of the Experian Boost:

  • Changes to your Experian credit file and related FICO 8 Score will be almost immediate because Experian boost  is its own product. For other products, score increases may take a week or so to be reported.
  • Experian Boost is a good alternative to expensive paid credit repair services which only fix any mistakes in your credit report. Experian Boost is free to use and can improve your credit score more quickly.
  • Experian Boost automatically looks for qualifying bill payments to add, so you don’t have to think about which bills might work.
  • It reports not just present and future payments but also tracks and reports qualifying payments as far back as two years ago which can help boost your score significantly.

Here are some of the drawbacks of using Experian Boost:

  • Boost only adds information to the user’s Experian file, your TransUnion and Equifax files will not be affected meaning that lenders who use TransUnion and Equifax data won’t see the score improvements. 
  • Boost only works with bills that have at least three payments in the last six months, including 1 payment within the last three months. Any recently added bills, like a new streaming service subscription, won’t work.
  • Rent payments must be made to select property management companies or through specific rent payment platforms to be eligible for Boost. 
  • Rent payments are not eligible if you have an active mortgage account or a rent tradeline on the Experian file.
  • A person with no credit history at all cannot use Boost. To qualify, you must already have at least one credit account that has been active for at least six months and has been reported within the last six months. 

StellarFi vs. Experian Boost: What’s the best way to build credit?

Every individual’s credit and financial situation is different, sobuilding credit is not a one-size-fits-all scenario.

Experian Boost would be a good choice if your lender(s) pull and report only to Experian and not the other major credit bureaus. Plus, it’s free — so you save money while improving your FICO 8 credit score and always keeping your Experian file updated.

On the other hand, StellarFi is a great choice  if you want to make a more gradual, and lasting impact on both your FICO and VantageScore scores by building credit with the major credit bureaus. Even though you may pay a nominal monthly membership fee to access StellarFi services, you get additional benefits like reporting to the major bureaus which impacts your overall credit profile, and $5 referral points for every new member you bring on board. You can use these credits to pay for some of the subscriptions you have linked to your StellarFi account. You can link more bills than Experian Boost with StellarFi, further increasing your chances of improving your credit score. 

StellarFi is meant for those who want to make a more significant long-term impact on their credit by using substantial monthly bills they are already paying. Monthly bills are more manageable and consistent, helping consumers build a more solid, reliable financial behavior profile. StellarFi is also a great solution for those who would like to manage their bills and view their credit scores and reports in one dashboard. 

By comparing credit builders side-by-side, you’re sure to find the right tool, or combination of tools, for your goals.

How it works

StellarFi, an Experian Boost alternative

Get your free credit report

View your current credit score and access your detailed credit report, just by creating your account.

StellarFi, an Experian Boost alternative

StellarFi, an Experian Boost alternative

Add and pay your bills

Make automatic bill payments using your StellarFi Virtual Bill Pay Card. Next, we report on-time payments to major credit bureaus each month.

StellarFi, an Experian Boost alternative

StellarFi, an Experian Boost alternative

Build your score

See your credit score increase while we build your payment history, optimize your credit utilization, and more.

StellarFi, an Experian Boost alternative