Rent payments are not typically reported to the credit bureaus. If you make a rent payment on time every month, you’re fulfilling your commitment to your landlord—but those payments are not contributing to your credit scores.
However, if you’re new to credit or trying to recover from past financial problems, you probably want to get credit for every on-time payment you make. That’s why it’s a good idea to consider reporting rent to the credit bureaus.
Why Report Rent to the Credit Bureaus?
Reporting your rent payments to the credit bureaus can be helpful, especially if you haven’t used credit much and you’re working to establish credit. There are two important reasons to report rent to credit bureaus:
Increase the age of your credit history. The length of time you’ve been using credit accounts for about 15% of your total score. If you haven’t been using credit for very long but you’ve been paying rent for quite some time, reporting your rent payments to the credit bureaus may increase the length of your credit history.
Increase your on-time payments. Payment history is the most important factor in your credit score, accounting for about 40% of your total score. If you typically pay rent on time and in full every month, adding your rental history to your credit reports will reflect positively in your payment history.
How Does Rental Payment History Affect Your Credit Scores?
Rent payments are not automatically reported to the credit bureaus in the same way that credit card payments and other payments are. However, all three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) will include information about rent payment in credit reports if they receive it.
The information in your credit report is used to create your credit score by the two major credit scoring companies, FICO and VantageScore. While some older versions of the FICO score don’t use rental payment information in calculating scores, newer versions do consider rental information if it’s in your credit report. VantageScore also considers rental payment history if it is in your report.
How to Report Rent to the Credit Bureaus
Unfortunately, you can’t report your own rent payments to the credit bureaus. That information must come from your landlord or through a third-party reporting service.
However, you can select a rent reporting service and ask your landlord to participate or just verify the rent information you submit. There are several rent reporting agencies that will report your rent payments to the credit bureaus. Here’s a look at the different types of rent reporting agencies.
- Free rent reporting. Landlords who finance through Fannie Mae can participate in the Fannie Mae Positive Rent Payment Program to report tenants’ rent payments at no charge to help tenants report their payments on to their credit history. Renters can use the Piñata app to have their rent payments reported to TransUnion.
- Landlord-paid rent reporting. There are several different services available for landlords to streamline rent collection, including reporting to credit bureaus. Some of these services include ClearNow, PayYourRent, Jetty, and Esusu. Keep in mind that some services report rent payments to all three credit bureaus while others report to only one bureau.
- Renter-paid rent reporting. If your landlord is not enrolled in a rent reporting service, you can choose to enroll in (and pay for) a service of your own. In most cases, your landlord will need to verify the information you provide to the service so that your rent can be reported to the credit bureaus. Renter-paid reporting services charge monthly fees starting at about $6.95, and some also require a setup fee to get started. Some of these services include PaymentReport, CreditMyRent, LevelCredit, and Rock the Score.
Whether or not you choose to initiate rent reporting to the credit bureaus, it’s a good idea to regularly monitor your credit reports and scores to stay informed about reported changes. ScoreSense makes it easy to track all three of your credit scores and reports. If you’re not a member, try a 7-day trial now.