Are you interested in buying tradelines and wondering how it all works?
If you are new to the topic, you may have some frequently asked questions;
Does buying tradelines for credit repair really work?
What are the best tradelines companies?
Are tradelines legal?
Tradelines are the credit industry term for accounts on your credit report. The credit reporting agencies will list a new tradeline for each account you have.
Depending on your credit habits, your tradelines can either positively or negatively impact your credit score.
If you are interested in purchasing tradelines, then let’s review all the in’s and out below.
What Is a Tradeline?
A tradeline is a credit account that appears on your credit report. Therefore, you can expect a corresponding tradeline to appear on your credit report every time you get a new personal loan, credit card, auto loan, or even mortgage.
The tradelines on your credit report will include information provided by each creditor. Some of the provided information will be the following;
- Creditor/lender’s name
- Account number (partial)
- The type of account
- Date the account was opened
- Date of the last activity
- The current balance
- Amount of the last payment
- Date of the last update
- Payment history
- Account status
Your tradelines are a reflection of your credit habits. As such, if you practice good credit habits such as paying your bills on time, you can expect your tradelines to reflex a positive payment history.
Unfortunately, the opposite also remains true, if you make late payments or worse default, these will be visible on your credit report.
When discussing tradelines, we look at the following two definitions;
1) Seasoned tradelines: A seasoned tradeline would be a credit account that has aged for at least two years.
2) Authorized user tradelines: By being added as an authorized user on a credit account, you reap the benefits of the account holder’s seasoned tradeline.
Taking the time to improve your credit score is always important. You can focus on clearing any debts and making your monthly payments on time.
Another option is getting a secure credit card which would provide an increased credit limit and go towards improving your payment history.
However, when time is of the essence, buying tradelines provides the opportunity to temporarily skip the line (so to speak) and get that necessary boost you need to your credit history.
The 3 Best Tradeline Companies
When dealing with your credit, you always want to work with the best. This is not the time for cutting corners.
While not the oldest tradeline company in the business, they have been operating since 2017. They have a well-designed, automated system for buying tradelines online.
Their business structure allows them to pass on the saving to their clients, making an often hefty expense, a little more affordable.
Tradeline Supply Company is currently rated A- with the better Business Bureau.
Their website contains a hefty supply of informative articles to get you fully versed on the subject of tradelines and credit in general.
They also have 4.6 stars through Google reviews based on the current 94 reviews, with a general appreciation for their customer service and provided services.
2. Superior Tradelines
Superior Tradelines, LLC has been in business since 2010 and has an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau.
They also have a 4.5 rating on Yelp and 4.7 stars on Birdeye.
Their site contains plenty of information, FAQ questions, videos, and audio to thoroughly review.
Superior Tradelines also states that they are the only tradeline company bonded by a surety bond ($10,000.00).
In business for the last fourteen years, CreditPro is no stranger to the tradeline business.
Currently rated C+ with the Better Business Bureau and 4.2/5 stars on consumeraffairs.com.
CreditPro does not offer a “specific number for score increase” given the various factors that influence individual credit scores.
However, they guarantee that the tradelines will get reported to a minimum of two credit bureaus (while aiming for all three main bureaus).
Are Tradelines Legal to Use?
The subject of tradeline legality is an interesting question and often a topic of discussion.
There are currently no laws on a state or federal level that prevent the purchase of tradelines, although some still view purchasing tradelines as somewhat dishonest.
The reason being, by purchasing a tradeline, you are getting a temporary boost to your credit history. This boost makes you eligible for products and services you would not otherwise have been able to acquire with your credit history and score.
As with everything, there are some drawbacks to buying tradelines.
You also want to make sure you do business with one of the best tradelines companies available, as not all tradeline companies are created equal.
Avoid any company that uses Credit Privacy Numbers (CPN)
or want to claim your address as the same as the primary cardholders.
Benefits of Tradeline Renting
Let’s face it; if there were no benefits to buying tradelines (essentially renting a tradeline), no one would be interested. Here are the most significant advantages;
Loan approval: While there are no guarantees, having seasoned tradelines can work towards temporarily boosting your credit history, which can help you get that loan approved.
Receiving a better interest rate: If you want to make a big purchase using a loan or get a mortgage, you want the best interest rate possible.
Since your credit score plays a notable role in what interest rate gets offered to you, a better score can help you secure that preferred rate.
Rental agreement: One of the first steps landlords do when evaluating rental candidates is reviewing their credit history. While many candidates often have decent salaries, their credit history can show different issues.
A couple of seasoned tradelines can be the deciding factor in getting that rental unit a situation like that.
Lower home, rental, and car insurance rates: As our credit score follows us almost everywhere, it it not surprising to see it affecting insurances rates.
A lower credit score and negative history can impact the insurance rates you get offered. According to FICO, there is a proven correlation between a less than favorable credit history and auto insurance claims.
How Long Do Tradelines Stay on Your Credit Report?
The length of time that a tradeline stays on your credit report will depend on the tradeline company you work with and the tradeline you decide to purchase.
As an example, Tradeline Supply Company guarantees two reporting cycles which comes out to approximately two months. During this time, you would be an active authorized user on the account and the tradeline would appear as open.
Once you are removed as an authorized user from the account, the tradeline will be considered a closed account but may remain on your credit report for years to come.
While there are no guarantees, there is the possibility of a closed tradeline account still providing some positive impact on your overall credit.
But before buying a tradeline, it is important to remember the reasons you are taking this approach.
The goal is to get a temporary boost to your credit history so that you can apply for a loan or mortgage in the short term. Temporary is the keyword, if you need permanent solutions, you need to take steps towards long-term credit repair.
Cost of Buying Tradelines
The price of buying a tradeline varies greatly. You can expect to pay anywhere from around three hundred dollars to a few thousand.
When purchasing a tradeline, you are aiming for a seasoned tradeline. The best tradelines to buy have a long and positive payment history (a minimum of two years).
When renting a tradeline, the best scenario would be to find a tradeline with a low balance on a high credit limit, plus a nice and long credit history. You should naturally expect those tradelines to cost the most.
Since each person’s credit history and credit scores are different, it is best to discuss your needs with a tradeline company representative.
Agents are there to help evaluate and recommend the best and legit tradelines that would benefit your current circumstances.
What Makes a Good Tradeline Company?
When you are looking to buy a tradeline, you want to start on the right path. When researching your options, it is best to ensure the tradeline company has these important features;
1. Trusted source
Make sure you are researching each tradeline company before committing to a purchase. Avoid tradelines being advertised and sold on sites like Craig’s list, Marketplace, and even eBay.
What type of guarantees does the tradeline company offer? Do they back up their tradelines (as they should) if they fail to post?
2. Competent agents
Given the many factors that go into a credit score, tradeline companies cannot promise a specific credit score.
Do they, however, offer helpful resources to help guide you in your search for a tradeline?
How are their customer reviews? Was good customer service consistently among the reviews? What resources are available to you as a customer before, during, and after buying a tradeline?
3. Contact information
Avoid selecting a tradeline company that cannot be easily located. You want to ensure that the company you choose to business with is legitimate. Do they have;
- A functional phone number
- Confirmed mailing address (not a PO Box)
- Professional website
This information should be readily available. If you start to feel like a private investigator to find simple contact information, this is not the tradeline company for you.
4. Seasoned company
Just as with buying a seasoned tradeline, we also want the tradeline company to have a seasoned history. Are they new to the block, or have they been in business for a decent amount of time?
5. Tradeline utilization ration
Does the company provide any form of guarantee regarding the tradelines utilization ratio? You want to make sure you are getting the best possible tradeline, aim for a company that offers a utilization ratio of 15% or less.
6. No use of credit privacy numbers (CPN)
When dealing with a tradeline company, you must ensure that the company does not work with credit privacy numbers.
While purchasing a tradeline is not unlawful, credit privacy numbers are indeed illegal.
While often marketed as a clean slate for people with bad credit, CPNs are basically fake or stolen social security numbers, and no reputable tradeline company would use these tactics.
To learn more about CPN’s, read here.
How to Buy a Tradeline
Once you understand how tradelines work, the process of purchasing them is relatively easy.
When you are dealing with the best tradeline companies, you can generally make your transactions online. However, if you are new to tradeline renting, a representative can review your situation with you to further discuss your options.
Afterward, you can browse the best tradelines for sale and make your selection.
How Does Buying Tradelines Affect Utilization Ratios?
When considering a tradeline purchase, it is important to understand how it can affect your utilization ratio.
Have you been following credit experts that recommend keeping your credit utilization ratio below 30%? If so, purchasing a tradeline may help you decrease your credit utilization ratio.
The goal is to reduce the percentage of available credit you have been using. By purchasing the correct type of tradeline, you can potentially reduce your ratio by piggybacking off the primary account holders’ good credit usage.
As an example:
Your current credit card has a credit limit of $2000 and a balance of $1500. Your credit utilization ratio is 75%.
You have now purchased a tradeline which has a credit limit of $5000, which gives you a total credit limit of $7000, dropping your credit utilization ratio to 21.4%.
(Note: In this example, we did not consider the tradeline’s utilization ratio.
As previously mentioned, make sure you verify if the tradeline company offers a guarantee for the maximum utilization ratio of their tradelines.
Common Mistakes Made When Buying Tradelines
1. Not knowing how tradelines work
It is easy to get swept up by thoughts of an improved credit score without truly understanding how a tradeline purchase can potentially work for your benefit.
Take advantage of the abundance of free resources provided by the best tradeline companies to understand the in’s and out’s before deciding on anything.
2. Not understanding how your credit report plays a role
It is necessary to understand that buying a tradeline cannot fix everything on your credit history.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is not understanding how their credit information impacts how and if a tradeline will improve their credit.
Before dropping your hard-earned dollars on a variety of tradelines, get a copy of your credit report and sit down to review it in detail.
3. Believing buying and renting tradelines to be separate things
When you buy a tradeline, you are essentially renting a tradeline, and there is no difference between these two industry terms.
The purchase and potential benefits are temporary, so selecting a trustworthy tradeline company with the best-guaranteed reporting cycles and terms makes sense.
4. Valuing credit limits instead of seasoned tradelines
When reviewing authorized user tradelines, you may be tempted to go for a tradeline with a higher credit limit. But it is important to remember the value a seasoned tradeline brings to the table.
Both criteria should be considered, and finding a good balance between both can often produce the best results.
5. Buying “Free” or $100 tradelines
While it can be tempting to go for a deal, it is best to avoid cheap tradelines for sale; those listed as free or even $100 tradelines.
Many disreputable sellers will attract vulnerable customers with “amazing” tradelines packages. You can then find yourself being upsold on a tradeline with no real value or, worse, the victim of a fraudulent scheme.
6. Forgetting credit freezes and fraud alerts
Nothing is worse than spending good money only to have your tradeline not post.
Before making a tradeline purchase, make sure you have not forgotten about any fraud alerts or credit freezes you may have set up in the past to prevent identity thief.
Having these security measures set in place at the time of your tradeline purchase can prevent it from being posted.
7. Considering tradelines over credit repair
One of the first disclaimers on a tradeline company’s website will be their inability to guarantee any particular credit score.
If your credit is suffering, your best bet is to work on credit repair. Start by getting inaccuracies removed from your credit report, paying off credit card debt, and so on.
You can, however, simultaneously work on repairing your credit while also purchasing a tradeline for a temporary boost to your credit history.
But only the positive actions and strategies you make towards repairing your credit will be long lasting, which is the ultimate goal.
What Happens When You Are Removed From a Tradeline?
Since we know that purchasing a tradeline is, in fact, a rental, once you are removed as an authorized user on the account, the tradeline will stop appearing on your credit report.
Sometimes a tradeline can remain on your account for years, but it would be as a closed account.
Since the goal of purchasing a tradeline was to get a short-term boost to your credit history, you can naturally expect things to return to their starting point afterward. If any slight residual benefits remain, that would be a bonus.
Best Tradeline Alternatives
1. Remove Inaccuracies on Your Credit Report
Take the necessary steps to report any errors on your credit reports. Remember to request your free copy of your credit report every 12 months from annualcreditreport.com.
You want to file a dispute with any credit bureau which lists inaccuracies on your file.
2. Clear Any Credit Card Debt
Clearing any remaining credit card debt can definitely improve your credit score.
Many factors work together, but besides clearing the debt, as the debt drops , so does your credit utilization ratio. As we discussed earlier, you want to aim at keeping your utilization ratio below 30%.
While it can be stressful to pay off debts, it really is the best solution in the long run. You immediately start saving on some interest, you will lower your credit utilization ratio, in turn, will start improving your credit score.
3. Secured credit card
With a secured credit card, you will be expected to pay down an amount as a security deposit which generally will be your credit limit.
Using your new card and paying off your balance each month will work towards building a positive credit history.
For the best approval odds, you can apply to OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card. While there is a $35 annual fee, there is no credit check, and you can choose a credit line limit as low as $200, letting you get starting for a minimal amount.
Plus, Opensky reports to all three major credit bureaus.
4. Report missing tradelines
If you notice any missing open accounts on your credit report, contact the creditor to discuss the omission.
You want all positive credit history to be visible on your credit report. At the same time, you can contact the credit bureau itself, but it is best and simpler to go directly to the source to make your request.
5. Family help
Yes, the moment you get added as an authorized user on a friend or family member’s open account, you are essentially credit piggybacking through that posted tradeline.
Now the difference between being added as an authorized user in this situation versus through buying a tradeline is the length of time you can enjoy the benefits.
As we know, tradeline renting is temporary, but you are added by a family member, they may be willing to leave you on the account for the long haul.
If you decide to approach a family member for this favor, make sure it is with someone that has healthy credit and a good credit utilization ratio. You don’t want to be added as an authorized user on an account in bad standing or simply not worth the effort.
While piggybacking can be a faster and longer-term approach than buying a tradeline, it is also a more touchy subject. Sometimes dealing with a professional tradeline company can be the more convenient route.
While long-term positive credit practices are always recommended and preferred, buying tradelines can be a short-term alternative when time is of the essence.
Sometimes all you need is a temporary boost to your credit history to get the ball rolling on that loan or even rental unit.
Be sure to do your due diligence in matters as vital as your credit; you only want the best tradeline companies working on your file.
About the author
Clara is the founder of Credit Rise Up, an entrepreneur, personal finance expert, and credit repair enthusiast. She’s committed to helping her readers get on the right track and take actionable steps towards improving their credit by using the experience that allowed her to join The 800 Club. Find out more.