By Chandler Sullivan
July 18, 2022 | 2 Min. Read
If you don’t have a lot of credit history but pay rent/utilities, it may be worth checking out how to report your rent to credit bureaus so that your payments can start building up your credit.
You can’t simply report rent or utility payments by typically paying your bill. You need to seek a rent-reporting service that can get credit reports to reflect your rent/utility payments. Rent-reporting service can come at a cost, but if your landlord pays it, it can be free of charge.
It is important to do your research before jumping into a rent-reporting service. Here is some important information to keep in mind.
Each service operates a little differently at its own rates, but in general, each service may independently report your payment history and keep track of future payments and then report them to the three major credit bureaus– Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
It is important to understand what bureau your rent reporting service is reporting to and which credit report score will be affected– FICO score or VantageScore (or a different option). These two major credit scoring companies report scores differently. The most common is FICO score, which traditionally doesn’t use rental payments for calculating scores but newer versions of FICO like FICO 9 or FICO 10 can consider rental information. VantageScore on the other hand has always considered rent payment information.
Understanding what credit scoring company and score a rent reporting service is reporting to is crucial for keeping track of your credit history.
First, double-check with your property manager or utility company to see if they already work with a credit reporting service. If they don’t, note that your landlord may need to verify your rent payments. You will need to collect your records of payments and see how many payments can be recorded for a certain period of time. Next, choose a service that best fits your need and your budget.
Most services have a monthly payment amount to use the service and others have a one-time enrollment fee in addition to using their service. Some services are limited to a 12 or 24-month period that they can pull rent payment records, which is another important factor to consider depending on your lease length.