Common Mistakes Made When Buying Tradelines

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How To Choose A Tradeline: A Buyer’s Guide
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Common Mistakes Made When Buying Tradelines

person writing common mistakes when purchasing tradelines

Use our list of common mistakes below to learn more about choosing and buying the best tradeline for your needs. Don’t make the same mistakes we’ve seen before!

1. Having fraud alerts or credit freezes on your account

If you have fraud alerts or credit freezes on your account, new tradelines simply will not post on your credit report. Fraud alerts essentially freeze your account so new information will not come up. In order to remove the fraud alerts, you must contact each bureau directly to ensure that the fraud alerts are removed before you will be able to add new tradelines to your file

2. Not learning or understanding how tradelines work

The most important factor (in our opinion) in purchasing tradelines is to understand how tradelines work. Knowledge is king and without this understanding it is easy to let commissioned salespeople lead you astray and sell you tradelines that are not the best for your particular situation. To learn more about how tradelines work you can read our article on How To Choose A Tradeline: A Buyer’s Guide

3. Not understanding how a credit score works

Before buying tradelines it would be smart to have a general understanding of how your credit score works. You can just type into google “how a credit score works” and you will gain access to many articles that will give you a basic understanding of what goes into a credit score. Knowledge is power and it is worth the investment since credit will be with you forever.

4. Judging the power of a tradeline strictly by price

It is easy to assume that the more expensive a tradeline is the more powerful it is but this is not always the case. For example, someone with a very established credit profile might look at a $1,000 tradeline and just assume that is the one they want. However, if that $1,000 does not significantly improve their current average age of accounts or lower their already low utilization ratios it may not have very much of an effect. Simply adding more of what you already have is not necessarily an improvement. Using our Tradeline Calculator would be the perfect tool to calculate where your numbers stand currently and how they may be affected by new tradeline data.

5. Not realizing that the power of a tradeline is always going to be relative to what is already in your credit report

The power of tradelines is always going to be relative to what is already in your credit file. For example, if your average age of accounts is already 10 years old, an 8-year-old tradeline may not necessarily help you very much since you are not improving that variable. On the other hand, if someone’s average age of accounts is only 1.2 years old an 8-year-old tradeline may be more powerful for that person. Tradelines do not affect people in the exact same way. It is relative to what is already in your file.

6. Relying strictly on buying tradelines

It is not smart to only rely on purchasing authorized user tradelines. In general, tradelines that you can purchase are usually authorized user positions on credit cards which are revolving accounts. While this can be very powerful, almost all credit scoring models will take into account your total mix of credit and it is more favorable to have a good mix of different kinds of credit accounts. Some additional examples of different types of credit accounts may include auto loans, mortgage loans, installment loans, etc. Having a good mix of credit types is ideal

7. Valuing limit over age

This is a common misconception where many people initially focus on how large of a credit limit a tradeline has. They often think that the tradeline with the largest credit limit is best. While there may be some validity to this strategy, we feel that a tradeline’s age is even more important. As a real-life example, it is not uncommon for someone to open a new credit card (possibly with a high limit) and that person’s credit score drops initially. Perhaps the reason the person’s score goes down is a new account has no payment history and may pose a higher risk in the eyes of the credit bureaus until a pattern of on-time payments is established. In this example, a new high limit account actually made their credit score go down initially.

8. Buying cheap tradelines as a test

Some people will use the strategy of buying a cheap tradeline to see what that does first and if it works a little they then will buy a better one next time. We feel this strategy is a mistake. For one, it ends up costing more in the long run because now they have to buy 2 tradelines (one cheap one and one better quality one) when the person would probably be better off just getting a high-quality tradeline to begin with. Also, buying that cheap tradeline may be working against the goal of improving the average age of accounts because in general cheap tradelines do not have very much age. So when you add a tradeline with little to no age and then later add a tradeline with age, the first tradeline with little to no age ends up lowering the average age of accounts, thus making it more difficult to improve that average.

9. Not doing the math on average age of accounts

You would be surprised to find how difficult it is to significantly change an average, especially when there are multiple accounts in the equation. As an experiment, imagine there are 5 accounts that are all 2 years old so the average age of accounts is 2 years old. Now guess how old a new 6th account would have to be in order to make the average age of accounts be 5 years old. (take time to guess this answer) The answer: 20 years old!!! Seriously, do this math. 2+2+2+2+2+20 = 30 divided by 6 accounts = 5 years average age of accounts. The easiest way to do the math for yourself is using this Tradeline Calculator. Even most “experts” at other companies do not do this math correctly and often guess wrong and therefore advise wrong.

10. Not getting old enough tradelines

If you look at the example above you will see how easy it is to underestimate how old of a tradeline you may really need in order to significantly improve your average age of accounts. Age is king. Do not underestimate how difficult it is to significantly change an average. Use the Tradeline Calculator to know for sure.

11. Not buying your tradeline in advance far enough before the reporting date

When you buy a tradeline there first is a processing time in order for the tradeline company to receive the funds. For example, with our E-Check payment method, it may take up to 5 business days to receive the funds. Then the credit partners get up to 2 days to add the authorized user. Then the credit card company may have their own processing time on updating their records internally. Next, the banks update the credit bureaus and finally the credit bureaus publish their records. For this reason, our “Purchase By Date” is typically around 11 days prior to the beginning of the reporting period. So as long as you purchase the tradeline by the Purchase By Date we guarantee that your tradeline will post on the next reporting cycle.

12. Having an urgent need to have a tradeline post but only buying one tradeline and betting your entire outcome on that one posting.

Our posting success rate is the highest in the industry but even given this fact, credit report data is not always perfect. In other words, although rare, non-postings do occur and if you are betting your entire outcome on the results of one tradeline you may want to consider hedging your bet and buy two to be safer. Not to mention buying two may be better anyway. Plus, we offer package deals where you can get 10% off your second tradeline (and 20% off your third and 30% off your 4th.) In short, two is better than one for many reasons. If it is that critical to get a tradeline to post it is safer to just buy two.

13. Buying tradelines instead of paying down your debt

We sell tradelines, but if you have high utilization on your credit cards paying down your debt is usually the smartest thing to do. You have to do the math on your own on our Tradeline Calculator to see where your money is better spent but in general paying down your debt is the best advice.

14. Not factoring in your closed accounts when calculating your average age of accounts

Many credit scoring models factor in your closed accounts into their equation. For example, some people with zero open accounts still have a credit score. Clearly, the closed account data is still part of the equation. With this said, it is wise to factor in your closed accounts as well when trying to calculate your average age of accounts.

15. Having high utilization credit cards

Having high utilization credit cards is a negative factor. This negative factor will always play a part in your overall credit picture as long as it exists. The only real way to solve this problem is to pay down your credit cards.

16. Thinking tradelines will fix high utilization

Tradelines should not be thought of as the solution to high utilization on your credit cards. While tradelines may affect your overall utilization ratio, having individual cards with high utilization will still be a factor in your overall credit picture. In other words, you should take into account your overall utilization ratio, along with each individual utilization ratio from each of your credit cards. Again, the solution to the source of the problem is paying your cards down.

17. Putting price first

When buying tradelines, putting price first is not wise. For example, adding a new tradeline that is inferior to your current mix of accounts is most likely not going to help you out very much. That would not make sense. If you put price first, it is possible that you may do just that; You might add an inferior tradeline to your credit file. Instead, use our Tradeline Calculator to find out where you are currently at and only select tradelines that you feel will actually help you.

18. Asking what the average boost of score might be

We do not guarantee any boost of your credit score and asking on average what is the typical boost from tradelines is also not something that we can answer. Tradelines affect everyone differently. One tradeline may help one person while that same tradeline may hurt another, and have no effect on someone else. All tradelines will be relative to what you already have in your credit file. There is no meaningful average effect of tradelines in general.

19. Asking for a specific credit score

We do not guarantee any boost of your credit score and often when we hear a variation of the following question. The request goes something like this… “I currently have a 520 credit score but I want to be over 700. What tradeline do you recommend to accomplish this?” Again, we are unable to answer these kinds of questions but in talking about this topic in general, who says that it is even possible to go from a 520 to over 700 anyway? Not us. (although we are not saying it is impossible either.) We just do not advise on these types of credit score requests. But going back to talking in general, if someone has a 520 credit score they probably have some serious derogatory accounts in their credit. If they have such derogatory accounts in their credit, their credit score will probably not be a 700 regardless of what other tradelines may exist in their credit file. So in this example, the question itself is flawed since it may be impossible to begin with. Even in less extreme examples no one knows the exact credit score algorithm so no one can say with certainty. Therefore, it is best to not ask that question because whoever answers that question is making a wild guess and they could easily be wrong and give you bad advice.

20. Thinking a high limit tradeline alone is the main factor to consider

Some people talk about tradelines in terms of the limit alone. For example, they might ask should I get the $30,000 one or do you think the $20,000 is enough? However, the question is flawed from the start. In our Buyer’s Guide, we talk in depth about how the age is usually more important to begin with but many people do not know that or understand this. It could be the case that a $1,000 limit tradeline is the best for them because maybe that one has a lot of age and meets their strict budget. Everyone should consider the age and the limit together when buying tradelines and use the Tradeline Calculator to know where your ratios are as step one.

21. Thinking that buying a high limit tradeline automatically means that you will get approved for a high limit credit card also

Having a high limit authorized user tradeline does not guarantee that you will get approved for your own high limit credit card. Most banks that offer credit cards typically will consider your income (ability to repay), your expenses, your credit score, and possibly several other factors relating to your credit and finances in order to make a decision on whether or not they are willing to extend credit to someone.

22. Mistaking tradelines for credit repair

Buying tradelines is not credit repair. Credit repair seeks to correct inaccurate items on your credit report. If you have inaccurate items on your credit report you definitely want to get those items removed. Typically, credit repair is associated with removing items from your credit report. Buying tradelines adds information to your credit report.

23. Having extremely bad credit to begin with

Occasionally we get a call from someone who might tell us that they are currently 90-120 days late on 2-3 accounts and their credit score is in the dumps. Can we help? The answer is probably no. Again, we are not able to advise on credit scores (only general information) but in our opinion, if they are currently that far behind on bills there is no way they can have good credit. After all, a credit score attempts to calculate the likelihood of someone defaulting on a credit account and if they are proving that they are currently in default then their credit score is going to reflect that. The best advice is to pay those accounts current if they are trying to improve their credit.

24. Buying tradelines from the wrong banks that don’t post well

The truth is that most banks across the country do not post authorized user data very reliably. In other words with most banks the odds of a non-posting is very high. Our company has tried out almost all of the common banks and due to our high volume of tradeline sales we have amassed a large amount of data. We know which banks post well and which ones do not. In fact, just about every other tradeline company out there sells tradelines from way more banks than we do. The reason for this is not because we do not have that inventory available. It is because our integrity level on the reliability of our postings is so important to us. The truth is that any company who sells tradelines from more banks than we do automatically has a lower integrity level and will have a higher non-posting probability. Saying it bluntly, we have the highest posting success rate in this industry because we only work with the best of the best banks that reliably post. All other tradelines companies will have a lower posting success rate because they work with banks that are less reliable.

25. Having filed a bankruptcy against the bank you are ordering a tradeline with

It is possible that some banks will not work with a person if they have filed a bankruptcy against that bank. They may be in a sort of “blacklisted” status with that bank. This may also apply to authorized user positions.

26. Having outstanding collections against the bank you are ordering a tradeline with

Similar to the point made directly above regarding bankruptcies, having outstanding collections with a certain bank could also pose an issue with those banks. The collection status is probably less of a risk of non-posting than the bankruptcy status but it is worth mentioning.

27. Thinking that buying primary tradelines are the best option

Often the main goal of someone shopping for tradelines is to eventually open their own primary accounts. However, we get calls regularly from people asking if we sell primary accounts. The answer is no, we do not. Being the primary borrower on an account means someone extended credit to that individual and they are financially responsible for that account. In other words, that person is actually issued credit.

We know of some options within the tradeline industry where companies really will issue credit and that accomplishes the “primary tradeline” desire that some consumers have, however, they are usually relatively low limits and of course they have no age since it is a brand new account. So is a primary account with a small limit and no age better than an authorized user tradeline with a large limit and lots of age? From what we have seen if we had to choose between these two scenarios above, we believe the authorized user tradeline with age and higher limit would be the more powerful choice.

28. Not realizing that you have many different credit scores

Each major credit bureau has its own scoring algorithms and then even within each credit bureau there are many different versions of their scoring models. Often it depends on what kind of company is ordering the report. For example, not only might your credit score be different at each credit bureau but the score might be different depending on if you are applying for a mortgage, a credit card, a car loan, or trying to rent an apartment. It is possible that each person has over 30 different credit scores. If you google “how many credit scores do I have” you can read more about this.

29. Using the correct address that the credit bureaus know

When adding an authorized user to a credit card, it is important that the authorized user provides the correct address that is on file with the credit bureaus. The authorized user’s address is a data point that helps identify the person and if that does not match up there can be issues with postings.

30. Not having any credit score at all

There are instances where some people do not have any credit score at all. There may be several reasons this is the case. For one, maybe the person just never had any credit at all. If this is the case then getting a tradeline to post should not be a problem. Another possibility is the person participated in some sort of aggressive credit sweep or credit repair deletion service where essentially everything was deleted from their credit file. In these types of scenarios getting a tradeline to post can be a problem. Sometimes there may be blocks on that person’s credit file that prevent the new authorized user data from posting.

31. Having too many authorized user accounts

Having a good mix of various credit types is important to building good credit. Therefore, you do not want your entire credit profile made up of authorized user tradelines exclusively.

32. Not having enough tradelines

In general, the best credit profiles are from people who have multiple tradelines from a variety of different types of credit. (ie. Credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, installment loans, etc.) Therefore, having multiple tradelines is highly correlated with some of the best credit profiles out there.


  1. Sam says:

    Learned a great deal through this, thanks!

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