How to Report Rent Payments to a Credit Bureau
Rent is one of the largest and most consistent bills that you pay every month, but it isn't always included in your credit score. That's because rent payments aren't routinely reported to the credit bureaus. Only information reported to the credit bureaus and included in your credit report is used to calculate your credit score.
Those who pay their rent on time each month could stand to gain from rent payment reporting, especially since 35% of your credit score is based on your payment history. If you're looking for a way to boost your credit score or you just want credit for making your rent payments on time, there are some options for reporting rent payments to the credit bureaus.
Check With Your Landlord
Your landlord may already report rent payments to the credit bureaus using a service like Experian RentBureau. The rental reporting agency is owned by Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus. Timely rent payments will help boost your credit score if your landlord reports through RentBureau.
Unfortunately, these payments will only appear on your Experian credit report and only affect credit scores based on your Experian data.
Credit bureaus don't share information with each other so rent payments reported through RentBureau won't be included on your Equifax or TransUnion Credit reports.
Use a Credit Card to Pay Your Rent
While your rent payments won't be listed as a separate tradeline on your credit report, using your credit card for your rent can still boost your credit score. Check to see whether your landlord accepts credit card payments and note any service fees that might be charged for using a credit card. If you're using a rewards credit card to pay your rent, you can even earn points or cash back on your rent payments.
When you use a credit card to pay your rent, make sure to pay off your full balance just as if you were paying rent. That's the best way to stay out of debt, improve your credit score, and get the full benefit of making timely rent payments.
Use a Rent Reporting Service
There are several companies that will report rent payments on your behalf. Monthly fees vary between services and some charge an initial enrollment fee to get started. In some cases, your landlord may have to verify your rent payments for them to be included on your credit report. Note that even when rent payments are included on your credit report, they may not be included in your credit score calculation.
- PayYourRent allows you to make your rent payments through the PayYourRent. The service reports your timely payments to all three credit bureaus. Pricing varies depending on whether your landlord has signed up for the service.
- RentalKharma will add up to 24 months of past rent payments to your credit report. The registration fee is $25 per person and the monthly charge is $6.95. To add past rental history, you must pay a fee of $5 for each month you want to report. It takes about two weeks to see results.
- RentTrack acts as a middleman between you and your landlord. You pay RentTrack, they pay your rent, and report timely payments to all three major credit bureaus. You'll pay a monthly service charge depending on your landlord and payment type.
- Rent Reporters has a sign up fee of $94.95 and charges $9.95 for monthly credit bureau reporting. Once you sign up, Rent Reporters verifies your rental history with your landlord and then reports the tradeline to the credit bureaus. The service includes a copy of your credit score.
- Rock the Score verifies your rent payments with your landlord each month and updates your credit score with your payment information. You'll pay $25 to enroll in the service and $8.95 each month for ongoing reporting. There's also an option to add 24 months of rental payment history to your credit report.
Making Rent Payments
If you enroll in a rent reporting service, make sure you understand whether you'll continue to pay your rent directly to your landlord or whether you'll make payments to the service provider.
Pay your rent on time each month even when it's not reported to the credit bureaus. Late payments can lead to an eviction would could ultimately land on your credit report through a collection or judgment. At that point, the late rent payments hurt your credit score rather than help it.