We’ve all been binging more Netflix than ever thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The streaming service has become a lifesaver for many who are just looking for ways to pass the time. Yet now there’s another benefit for being a Netflix subscriber: It could help boost your credit score—if you pay your bill on time, that is.
As CNBC Select reports, a free service from Experian called Experian Boost lets people improve their credit scores by paying their monthly bills on time. And now, the service will allow its users to associate their on-time Netflix payment history with their accounts. The reporting of Netflix on-time payment history then has the potential to raise their credit scores just like paying other utilities on time does.
Traditionally, only utilities such as water, gas, and cable payments have affected a person’s credit score. But as Jeff Softley, D2C president at Experian Consumer Services, told CNBC Select, “We know consumers are watching more television, and we also know that many consumers are also cutting cable and moving to streaming services, so it’s the right time for us to look at including a service like this.”
In order to get credit for your on-time Netflix payments, you’ll first need to create a free Experian Boost account. Once you’ve done that, you simply verify the payment data you want to send to your Experian credit file—including your Netflix on-time payments. You’ll then receive an updated FICO score—and potentially a credit rating boost if your Netflix payments have all been on time.
Of course, on-time Netflix payments aren’t going to radically change your credit score. But even raising it by a few points can lower your monthly costs because of the way credit scores affect your ability to get lower interest rates.
A recent study by the Rand Corporation has found that many people are turning to credit cards to pay monthly bills as they try to navigate the economic fallout from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Specifically, the study found that 49% of people who make under $25,000 are relying on credit cards to pay bills, while 54% of people who make between $25,000 to $124,999 and a whopping 74% of people who make over $125,000 are doing the same.
Given the high usage of credit cards for monthly expenses, it probably doesn’t need to be pointed out that a good credit score is more important now than ever. After all, the better your credit score, the better the chance that your credit cards will have a lower APR, which in turn can save you a lot of money in interest payments over the long run.