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Increasing your Financial IQ

Reporting your rent to credit bureaus

Report your rent

Building credit when you’re just starting out can feel like a challenge. Luckily, you can now report your rent to credit bureaus to give your score a boost.

It’s important to note that you can’t report your rent payments yourself, but there are multiple rent reporting services out there. Depending on whether or not your landlord pays for this service already, it can be free, or upwards to $100+ a year.

Reporting your rent

Before starting, it’s important to know which credit bureaus the reporting service you choose will report your payments to. According to NerdWallet, the two major scoring companies, FICO and VantageScore, vary in how they handle rent payment information1:

  • Commonly used versions of FICO scores don’t include rent payments in calculating your score.
  • FICO 9 and FICO 10, the newer versions of FICO, do include rent payments if it’s in your credit report.
  • VantageScore does include rent payments in calculating your score.

So now let’s take that information and put it to action! NerdWallet suggests services such as the ones below to report your rent payments to credit bureaus. Also, your landlord may have to verify your rent payments in order to have them reported to credit bureaus.

  • Rent Reporters. This service reports to TransUnion and Equifax. You can access up to two years of reported rent payments for a one-time enrollment fee of $94.95. You also have the option to enroll in a monthly or annual plan.
  • Rental Kharma. This service reports to TransUnion. For an initial set-up fee of $50 and monthly payments of $8.95, you can access six months of reported rent payments. Plus, if you’re a credit union member, you can save up to 30% on Rental Kharma with Love My Credit Union Rewards!
  • LevelCredit. This service reports to TransUnion and Equifax and has a $6.95 monthly fee. This service reports both your rent and utility payments, and you can access up to 24 months of reported rent payments on your current lease for a one-time fee of $49.95.

Lastly, here are two services that you can use if your landlord does:

  • ClearNow. This service reports to Experian and RentBureau. ClearNow debits your rent from your checking or savings account and there is no cost to tenants for this service as long as your landlord is enrolled.
  • PayYourRent. This service reports to all three major credit bureaus and the fees for this service are typically paid by your landlord or property management.

A few things to keep in mind

Whether your rent is reported through a service you chose or a service your landlord uses, keep these in mind.

  • Is the service secure?
  • Know what major credit bureaus the service reports to (Equifax, TransUnion, Experian).
  • What’s the turnaround time on reports?
  • Always know how to cancel the service, if you signed up and choose to stop using it.
  • If you’ve ever had a dispute with your landlord such as withholding a payment, breaking your lease, or another special circumstance, know how that could affect your report.

1 – https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/finance/rent-reporting-services