Reporting rent payments to credit bureaus is an effective way to boost your credit score and enhance your credit history. Although you can’t directly report rent payments yourself, rent reporting services can help include them in your credit reports. Some services are free, while others involve fees for renters or landlords. By ensuring your timely rent payments are reported, you demonstrate financial responsibility and potentially improve your creditworthiness. It’s essential to know which credit bureaus and credit scores consider rent payments. Regularly checking your credit report helps you stay informed about your credit status, detect errors, and address any issues that require attention.
Rent reporting to credit bureaus is a valuable way to enhance your credit history and boost your credit score. To have your timely rent payments included in your credit report, you’ll need to use a rent reporting service. You cannot directly report rent payments yourself, but these services can easily add them to your credit reports, with some services being free and others involving fees for renters or landlords. It’s important to understand which credit bureaus are involved and which credit scores consider rent payments. Rent can be reported through a service either by you or by your property manager.
What are rent reports?
Rent reports provide information on a tenant’s rental payment history, including payment amounts, due dates, and timeliness. They serve as proof of payment behavior and can be used to verify a tenant’s rental history and financial responsibility.
Rent reports are important in credit reporting, where they contribute to an individual’s credit history. Timely rent payments can improve credit scores and overall creditworthiness. Lenders, landlords, and others use rent reports to assess payment reliability and determine eligibility for credit, loans, or future rentals.
How rent payments affect your credit score
The three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — will include rent payment data in your credit reports if they receive it. Your credit reports play a crucial role in determining your credit scores. The two major credit scoring companies, FICO and VantageScore, handle rent payment information differently.
Certain older versions of the FICO score do not factor in rental payment data when calculating your scores. However, newer versions, like FICO 9 and FICO 10, do take rental information into account if it is present in your credit report. Meanwhile, VantageScore does consider rent payment information when assessing your creditworthiness.
So by ensuring that your rent payments are reported to the credit bureaus, you can positively impact your credit history and potentially improve your credit scores. It’s another way to demonstrate your financial responsibility and increase your chances of obtaining credit in the future.
Why you should report your rental payments
If you are looking to build your credit history, recover from credit challenges, or simply improve your credit score, reporting your on-time rent payments to a rent reporting service can make a significant difference.
Having a credit history is a prerequisite for calculating a credit score. If you don’t have one yet, reporting your rent payments to a reporting service can help you establish a credit report, setting the stage for a future credit score. And if you already have a credit history but have faced difficulties in the past, incorporating on-time rental payments can expedite your credit recovery journey.
When you add your on-time rental payments to your rent credit report, you send a clear message to lenders that you’re responsible with your financial obligations. Depending on the credit scoring system in use, these timely payments may be factored into the calculation, further bolstering your creditworthiness.
Examples of rent reporting services
Looking to have your rent payments reported? There are various services available to help you achieve that goal. Here are some options to consider:
Positive Rent Payment pilot program (Fannie Mae)
This program partners with vendors like Esusu, Jetty, and Rent Dynamics to enable landlords to report on-time rent payments to credit bureaus for one year. It’s currently free for renters, as Fannie Mae reimburses the vendors.
This free service reports to TransUnion and is available to renters regardless of their landlord. If your landlord has a partnership with Piñata, your rent payments can be reported to all three bureaus.
Rent Reporters charges a one-time enrollment fee of $94.95, which covers up to two years of reported rental payments. After that, you can choose a monthly plan ($9.95 per month) or an annual plan ($7.95 per month).
LevelCredit (formerly RentTrack)
LevelCredit charges a monthly fee of $6.95 to report your rent, cell phone, and utility payments to the credit bureaus. Rent is reported to all three bureaus, while utility payments are reported to TransUnion only. A one-time fee of $49.95 allows for a look-back of up to 24 months on your current lease.
Rock the Score
Enrollment to Rock the Score comes with a $48 fee, followed by an ongoing service cost of $6.95 per month. For reporting up to two years of rental history, there is a $65 fee. Rock the Score reports to Equifax and TransUnion.
This service charges a monthly fee of $14.95 with no setup fee. Additional charges apply if you want past rent to be reported. CreditMyRent reports to TransUnion and Equifax.
Enrollment to Boom costs $10, and a monthly fee of $2 allows for rent reporting to all three credit bureaus. For a one-time payment of $25, you can also have up to two years of past rental payment history reported.
Landlords and rent reports
Did you know that your property manager might already be reporting your rent payments for you? However, not all landlords participate in this practice. To find out if your property is part of a rent reporting service that helps renters build credit, reach out to your property management office. There are initiatives that allow landlords to report on-time rent payments at no cost to tenants. Here are some services paid for by landlords:
This service allows for rent payments to be debited directly from your checking or savings account. There is no cost to tenants, but your landlord must be signed up. Payments made through ClearNow are reported to Experian.
Fees for this service are typically paid by management. PayYourRent reports to all three credit bureaus, and residents can choose to opt in or out at any time.
If your landlord has a service agreement, Esusu can report your rental payments to all three major credit bureaus. As a renter, it’s free for you, unless you are part of the Positive Rent Payment program. Esusu will send an enrollment email to renters to initiate the setup process.
As part of Fannie Mae’s pilot program, Jetty is free for renters at participating properties. Jetty automatically reports rental payments to all three credit bureaus, and tenants are enrolled automatically.
This program allows renters at participating Bilt Alliance properties to earn rewards by reporting their rent through the app, free of charge. Renters may receive an invitation to join when they move in. Even if you don’t live in one of these properties, you can still earn rewards by using the Bilt Mastercard. Points earned can be applied toward future rent payments or transferred to airlines and hotels. Rent is reported to the three major credit bureaus.
This service is designed for multifamily landlords and property owners and is part of the Positive Rent Payment pilot program. Rent Dynamics reports on-time paid utility bills to all three credit bureaus and can retrieve up to 24 months of payment history. Renters should reach out to their landlord for information about enrollment in Rent Dynamics.
How do I self-report to the credit bureaus?
Individuals do not have the ability to directly self-report rental payments to credit bureaus. Unlike credit card payments or loan repayments, rent payments are typically not included in credit reports by default. However, there are third-party services, like Experian Boost or Rental Kharma, which can help you to report your rental payments to the credit bureaus.
Rent reporting services
To report your rent payments, use rent reporting services like RentTrack, RentReporters, or PayYourRent. They verify your payment history and report it to credit bureaus on your behalf.
Property management reporting
Check if your property management company or landlord has a rent reporting program in place. They may report rental payment data to credit bureaus.
Non-traditional credit reporting
Explore options like Experian’s RentBureau, which collects rental payment data from participating property management companies and includes it in credit reports.
Does paying bills build credit?
Paying bills, such as utilities, phone bills, and rent, typically does not directly build credit. These payments are not automatically reported to credit bureaus in the same way as credit card payments or loan repayments. However, there are ways to use bill payments to build credit indirectly, such as rent reporting services, credit builder loans, and secured credit cards.
What is RentTrack on my credit report?
RentTrack is a service that reports renters’ payment history to credit bureaus, helping establish a positive payment record. It can be included in your credit report, improving your credit score and overall creditworthiness. Having RentTrack on your credit report shows lenders and entities that your rental payments are being considered when assessing your creditworthiness.
Does it hurt to pull your own credit report?
Requesting your own credit report is a soft inquiry, meaning it doesn’t harm your credit score or creditworthiness. Soft inquiries are only visible to you. It’s advisable to regularly check your credit report to monitor your credit status, identify errors, and uncover potential fraud.
Can I run a credit report on myself?
Yes, you can obtain your own credit report for free from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion once every 12 months as mandated by law. You can request it online, by phone, or by mail. There are also trustworthy websites and services that offer credit reports for a fee. Checking your credit report helps you stay informed about your credit status and uncover any errors or problems that require your attention.
- Reporting rent payments to credit bureaus is a valuable way to enhance your credit history and boost your credit score.
- Rent reports provide information on a tenant’s rental payment history and can be used to verify rental history and financial responsibility.
- The three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — include rent payment data in your credit reports if they receive it.
- FICO scores may or may not factor in rental payment data, depending on the version of the scoring model used. VantageScore, however, does consider rent payment information when assessing creditworthiness.
- There are various services available for reporting rent payments. Some of these are free, while others require one-time fees or a subscription.
- Landlords can participate in rent reporting programs to report on-time rent payments on behalf of tenants.
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Allan Du is a personal finance writer passionate about helping people take control of their finances. Allan strives to present readers with the right knowledge and tools, so they can make informed decisions about their money and build wealth. When he is not writing about finance, Allan enjoys pursuing his other interests, including powerlifting, kickboxing, and investing. He is an active follower of economic and political trends, always keeping watch on the latest developments that could impact the financial world.