Reporting rent to the credit bureaus is a positive addition to your credit report that can help you build credit and improve your credit score. If you pay your rent on time and in full regularly, consider taking steps to add it to your credit report.
Rent payments aren't typically reported on your credit report like you're used to with credit cards, loans and other debt payments. If you want your on-time payments reflected in your credit report, you'll have to take steps to ensure they're added to your credit report by using Experian Boost®ø or a rent reporting service.
How Rent Payments Affect Your Credit Score
Having on-time rent payments reported to Experian can help people who are trying to build their credit history for the first time, recovering from credit difficulties or just hoping to boost their credit score.
You need to have a credit history before a credit score can be calculated. If you don't have a credit history, reporting your rent payments to Experian can help you establish a credit report and eventually a credit score.
If you already have a credit history but have had some difficulties in the past, the addition of on-time rental payments can help your credit recover more quickly.
By incorporating on-time rental payments into your Experian credit report, you're demonstrating to lenders that you're able to manage financial obligations. Depending on the credit scoring system used, your on-time payments may be included in the calculation.
How to Report Rent to the Credit Bureaus
Experian makes it easy to add your rent data to your Experian credit report for free. Below are ways to report your rent to credit bureaus.
One of the easiest ways to add your rent is with Experian Boost. Experian Boost is a feature that allows you to add common bills like eligible rent, cellphone and internet to your Experian credit report all for free. Doing so can potentially give you an immediate increase in your credit scores based on your Experian credit report.
Your rent may qualify for Experian Boost if:
- You pay online to an eligible landlord or property manager or through a rent payment platform.
- You've made at least three residential rent payments within six months, with one in the past three months.
- Your rent payments reach the qualifying amount.
If your rent qualifies, you can add your rent to Experian Boost by:
- Connecting your bank accounts or credit card that you use to pay rent to your Experian account. If you don't already have a free Experian account, signing up for Boost will establish one for you.
- Allowing Boost to search for eligible payment information. You'll then verify the rental payments and Boost will add them to your Experian credit report.
- Checking to see if your score got boosted. In a matter of seconds, you could see an increase in your Experian credit score thanks to your added rent payments.
Other Ways to Get Rent Reported to All the Credit Bureaus
You can also use a private rent reporting service to have payments added to your credit reports with all three credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You may need to ask your landlord to enroll with one of these services to report your information if they don't use a service already.
Rent reporting services make it simple for property managers or landlords to report rent directly to one or more credit bureaus. If you need to choose a rent reporting service, consider these factors:
- Fees: There may be small fees associated with reporting. As a tenant, you may be responsible for these. But if you're looking to build your credit with your positive rental data, these fees may be worth it. Conversely, some services charge the landlord and not the renter, so shop around if this is important to you.
- Eligibility: Your apartment building may not be eligible for all rent reporting services. Check to see which ones are compatible with your location and property management.
- Bureau report options: Some rent reporting services only send your rental data to one or two of the three major credit bureaus. Try to find the best combination of reporting combined with the best price.
If you're looking for a rent reporting service, one of these options is a good place to start.
Using a rent reporting service can help you get credit for one of your largest bills. You may even be able to add rental payment history to your account and get credit for previous payments depending on the service's policies.
The Bottom Line
Don't leave the possibility of a higher credit score on the table. Reporting rent to the credit bureaus can help your credit increase. With just a few steps to enroll in Experian Boost or a rent reporting service, you can take advantage of your positive rental payment history.