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If you pay rent, you may want to get credit on your credit report for it by using a rent reporting service. You can choose a rent reporting service based on fees and which credit bureaus receive reports.
Rent reporting services are companies that collect information about your rent payment habits and supply it to the consumer credit bureaus—Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Adding this kind of information to your credit report may improve your score.
How to Choose a Rent Reporting Service
Rent reporting services each have their own pros and cons. Each rent reporting service may offer different benefits, such as charging lower fees or reporting to more credit bureaus. To find the best one for you, compare the following features:
- Fees: You may have to pay a small fee to have your rent payments reported.
- Fee responsibility: Some services charge you a monthly fee to report your rent payments, but others charge your landlord.
- Service location and eligibility: Your particular rental unit may not qualify for every rent reporting service, so check your eligibility and the service's availability in your area before signing up.
- Combination of bureau reports: Not all rent reporting services report to all three credit bureaus. You may sign up for one rent reporting service that reports to all three credit bureaus or sign up for a couple that each report to one or two bureaus.
You may also want to use a feature that reports your rent and offers even more. While not a standalone rent reporting service, Experian Boost®ø is a completely free feature that makes it possible to report qualified rent payments directly to Experian. In addition to your rent payments, you can add things like your eligible utility, cellphone and streaming service payments to your Experian credit report.
You can use Experian Boost to add rent payments made online to eligible property managers and landlords and possibly see an instant boost to your score. Get started adding your rental payments to Experian Boost when you:
- Connect the bank account or credit card you use for your rental payments to Experian Boost.
- Confirm the rental payments Experian Boost automatically finds in your account records.
In seconds, you could see your newly added rent payments lift your credit score based on your Experian report.
Options for Rent Reporting Services
There are several rent reporting services on the market to choose from. Some you sign up for yourself, while others require landlords to enroll. The main function of these services is to forward information about your rent payments to the credit bureaus so they can be added to your credit reports.
Some different rent reporting options include:
RentTrack is an option if you're looking for a service that reports to Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. If your landlord is already using RentTrack, your rent payments can be submitted to the credit bureaus for a monthly fee.
If you want to get credit for past rental payments, RentTrack will report up to 24 months of past payments for a single fee of $50.
Paid by: Renter
Reports to: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax
Landlords who sign up with ClearNow can have their tenants pay rent through the ClearNow portal for a fee. Tenants don't pay anything, and ClearNow reports payments to Experian.
Paid by: Landlords
Reports to: Experian
Another option for reporting to all three credit bureaus is PayYourRent. This service is free for landlords and renters. If you live in a participating rental property, you may select your unit from PayYourRent's menu and sign up to have your rental payments reported.
Paid by: Free
Reports to: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax
Many rent reporting service options exist, and you can compare and contrast to see which ones service your area, meet your budget and match your needs for reporting.
How Rental Payments Impact Your Credit Score
Reporting rental payments can help consumers without a credit history or those who are repairing their credit. That's because rental payments can help you build your positive payment history. In an Experian analysis, 75% of scoreable consumers who added their rental payments saw an increase of 11 points or more on their score.
Payment history makes up 35% of FICO® Score☉ credit scoring, the biggest portion of your score. Adding more payment accounts can help strengthen your payment history. VantageScore® models can also use rent payments that appear on your credit report. So if you get your rent reported to your credit file, your VantageScore may be positively affected.
Adding rental payments also help those who have a "thin" credit file, which is one with fewer than five credit accounts. Thin files can make it harder to get approved for credit. But a rental payment can help build this up.
Final Things to Consider
Deciding how much to spend on a reporting service may depend on what goals you have for your credit score. If you're looking to quickly add positive accounts to your credit report to improve your credit, it may make sense to budget for extra reporting service fees.
But if you're not too worried about improving your credit across the board, consider avoiding rent reporting services with fees. You may choose a free rent reporting service that only delivers information to one or two bureaus or a feature such as Experian Boost. You could potentially boost your score today when you add rent to Experian Boost for free.