Updated April 30, 2020

Selling Tradelines: How I Make $1,410 a Month Because I Have Good Credit

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Good credit obviously has a wide range of benefits, and the most obvious ones include lower interest rates and a better chance of qualifying for future lines of credit. Even a slight improvement in credit score can have a significant impact on one’s financial outlook.

Tradelines are another advantage for people with good credit scores, and they’re a commonly overlooked way to make money. Selling tradelines could help you earn hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month, depending on your credit score and risk tolerance.

This article will cover everything you need to know about selling tradelines to supplement your income. It’s surprisingly simple, and you could start earning money in as little as an hour after completing a short setup process. I added $1,410 to my monthly income simply by selling my tradelines.

What Are Tradelines?

Tradelines are the accounts displayed on your credit report that show every form of credit and debt on your record. This includes everything from personal, student, auto, and home loans to lines of credit, credit cards, and more. Credit bureaus use tradelines to calculate your credit score.

Credit bureaus use a range of information about each account to determine its impact on your credit score. Late payments, for example, can have a negative effect on your credit, while your score may rise in response to on-time payments and long-standing accounts.

Tradelines are always displayed for the main user of an account, but they can also be factored in for authorized users. For example, if you add your partner as an authorized user on your credit card, activity on the card may be used to calculate both of your credit scores.

Why Sell Tradelines?

Adding good tradelines and removing bad ones are critical in improving credit, and people with poor credit don’t always have the resources to increase their credit scores quickly on their own. Accessing an existing tradeline by becoming an authorized user is often a quick and effective way to bump up a credit score.

Buyers will pay to access a high-quality tradeline by being added as an authorized user. The market price for a tradeline depends on factors including the credit limit and the age of the account — the more a given tradeline could improve someone’s credit score, the more they’ll be willing to pay.

It’s tough to find buyers on your own and even more difficult to evaluate their reliability and make an informed decision. Instead, online services connect buyers and sellers and facilitate important aspects of the transaction, such as price and payment.

Credit Requirements

Demand for a given tradeline depends on the history of that account, so it’s difficult to make any substantial income if your own credit history is flawed.

Keep in mind that your credit score isn’t relevant — the important thing is the impact of that individual tradeline.

You may need to spend some time building your credit if you don’t have any accounts with a reliable payment history over a long period of time.

How to Improve Your Credit Score

Try these 17 ways to boost your credit score up to 700 or above.

Finding a Credit Booster

Selling tradelines is a major decision, and there are numerous websites that claim to provide this service. Thoroughly review the security and reliability of each option before coming to a final decision.

Privacy is a critical issue when it comes to sharing financial information, so look for a company that offers sophisticated security measures along with a long history of successful transactions. Taking an extra hour to evaluate your options is well worth the knowledge that your money and personal information are safe.

Tradelines technically exist for any type of credit, but many brokers work specifically with credit card users rather than getting involved with other kinds of credit. Check the details if you’re interested in selling the tradeline for an alternative credit account.

Selling Your Tradeline

Once you’ve identified the right tradeline broker, the next step is finding an offer that works for you. Brokers calculate your commission based on information about the account, so your earnings may increase as the account’s history improves.

While tradeline rates are somewhat standardized, services may calculate your commission using slightly different formulas. Compare offers from at least two or three reputable websites to avoid leaving any money on the table.

Understanding the Value of Your Tradelines

Every tradeline is different, and accounts typically become more valuable over time as their age increases. Companies use a variety of factors to determine your tradeline’s value and develop a price point for interested buyers.

Assuming the account isn’t shut down, selling your tradelines won’t have any other negative effects on your credit. You can always start selling them now and continue to demand better prices as your credit improves.

Adding Tradelines to Your Account

Credit card providers have slightly different processes for adding authorized users, but I’ve never had any issues while selling tradelines. You’ll need some basic information about the user including their name, address, and Social Security number. Reputable tradeline services will facilitate data sharing and make sure you have what you need to add the buyer to the account.

You can usually add authorized users by either calling your credit card company or logging on through the online portal. Similarly, you’ll be asked to contact the company again when the agreement ends to remove the user from your account.

Selling Tradelines FAQs

Selling tradelines can be confusing. These are a few of the most common concerns people have about selling tradelines.

  • Can authorized users spend my money?

    A common concern people have with selling their tradelines is that the authorized user could spend money using your card. In fact, authorized users don’t have access to either the card or the information necessary to defraud your account. With a reliable broker, you won’t have to worry about data security.

    Authorized users usually receive their own credit card, but this duplicate will be sent to you if you sell the tradeline tied to that account. You aren’t even required to activate the card, and you’ll remove the user from your account at the end of the agreement.

  • Can I sell multiple tradelines on the same account?

    Credit card companies sometimes shut down accounts for adding too many authorized users, so certain tradeline brokers and credit card companies set a maximum number of users you can work with at a given time. While this limits how much you could earn each month, I was able to make more than $1,000 per month.

    The only work involved in selling a tradeline is adding and removing authorized users from your accounts, so there’s no downside to selling the same account at least twice. It can be an effective way to earn money, especially if you can sell tradelines from several accounts. If you have five accounts in good standing, for example, you could be earning income from 10 credit boosters at the same time.

  • What are the downsides of selling tradelines?

    Unfortunately, it’s impossible to predict whether your credit card company will notice your side hustle and potentially cancel the account. Try to keep each authorized user on your account for at least a few months — switching users too quickly is an obvious sign that you’re selling the tradeline.

    While this practice isn’t illegal, some credit card companies will shut down the account if they notice what’s happening. People who buy tradelines artificially inflate their credit score, skewing their perceived risk when they apply for credit later on.

    With that in mind, selling tradelines exposes you to the risk of having your account suspended or shut down. Most people don’t experience this issue, but you won’t have any recourse if your company decides you’ve gone too far.

  • How can I make my tradelines more valuable?

    You can increase your earning potential by improving an account’s credit history, making it more valuable to credit boosters. If you’re interested in selling tradelines, start making these changes now, so your account gains value before you’re ready to sell.

    Fixing problems in your credit history can also have a positive effect on your own credit score, so consider these strategies whether or not you’re planning to sell tradelines.

    Increase Your Credit Limit

    A higher credit limit is one of the most effective ways to increase the value of a tradeline. Accounts with higher credit limits and lower credit utilization are more attractive to buyers and therefore command a higher commission.

    You can request to increase your account’s credit limit by calling your bank, or navigating the website or mobile app. These decisions are based on a variety of factors, but people with good standing have a good chance of approval, assuming they haven’t recently received another increase.

    Monitor Credit Utilization

    Some people assume missed and late payments are the only factors that could hurt your credit, but credit utilization plays an almost equally important role in determining your score. Using more of your limit has a negative impact on your credit, and experts advise keeping your usage below 30%.

    To maximize the value of their tradelines, brokers often require sellers to keep their credit utilization below a given limit. This could be an issue if you need to use more than that amount to cover important expenses.

    Give Your Accounts Time

    If you recently opened an account, don’t expect it to be worth anything for the first two years, longer if you miss payments. Your tradeline will slowly accumulate value as long as you make on-time payments and keep your credit utilization low.

    Each on-time payment has a positive effect on a tradeline, but there’s no way to build credit history overnight. Improving your credit is a long-term process, both with respect to individual tradelines and your overall score.

    Two years is generally the youngest age at which brokers will consider selling your account, but there’s still significant room for growth after that. Tradelines generally become more valuable as time goes on and the cardholder continues to demonstrate reliability.

Additional Tips

Document Everything

Selling a single tradeline doesn’t involve much work, but things get more complicated once you’re responsible for more authorized users. Keeping a notebook or spreadsheet to remind you when to add and remove authorized users and when to expect payment is vital once you start selling more than one tradeline.

I earn more than $1,000 per month simply by selling my tradelines, and I typically have a number of authorized users across several accounts. Without a spreadsheet to refer to, I would have no way to keep track of these transactions and ensure that I remove users at the right times.

Know the Law

While selling tradelines is legal, there are some concerns you should be aware of. The industry isn’t exactly standardized, so you need to know the details of a broker’s practices well before providing any sensitive information.

With such significant differences from one business to another, it’s easy to do something illegal without realizing the difference. While some people believe that selling tradelines involves misrepresenting your own credit history, you shouldn’t run into any legal issues. That said, the practice could be against your credit card provider’s terms of service, so make sure to read the relevant sections.

Some tradeline brokers also increase the risk of illegal activity by failing to perform their due diligence, including background checks of both sellers and buyers. Working with a broker that doesn’t perform a thorough background check could expose you to fraud. This is another reason to carefully evaluate the reputations of every broker as you consider your options.

Selling tradelines isn’t a common or well-known side hustle, but it’s a simple and quick way to set up a source of reliable income. These tips will help you identify a secure and reputable tradeline broker and consistently increase your earnings by improving your credit history.

Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA, Certified Student Loan Professional, and founder of Money Done Right, which he launched in July 2017. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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