You can get credit for the rent you pay if you have the right landlord or use the right rent-reporting service. Start by asking your landlord or property management agency if they report on-time rent payments to the credit bureaus – and if so, how often. If they don’t, you might be able to convince them to start. The information in your credit reports is based solely on what creditors submit to the bureaus. And your credit scores are based on your credit reports.
Some property owners may not report your on-time payments every month. They may, however, alert the credit bureaus if you’re late in paying or evicted for non-payment. So you need to make sure you’re getting credit for the good stuff.
Another option is to enroll in a rent-reporting service. Companies such as RentTrack, Rent Payment and RentBureau work with your landlord and specialize in reporting rent payments to the major credit bureaus. Prices range from free to up to $100 per year. Before you sign up, determine whether you’ll make future rent payments to the reporting service or directly to your landlord.
Paying utility bills on time won’t help your credit score. But failing to do so could hurt it. Most utility companies (e.g. cable, internet, gas, electric) do not report account information to the major credit bureaus on a monthly basis, you see.
So on-time payments won’t add positive information to your credit reports – the key to credit improvement. Rather, utility bills are generally reported to the bureaus only when they’re past-due and/or sent to collections. And having late payments, collections accounts and other such … read full answernegative records on your credit report will damage your credit.
To prevent utility bills from harming your credit score, you clearly need to pay them on time. And WalletHub’s on-time payment tips will give you a good sense of how to accomplish that. In particular, setting up automatic monthly payments from a deposit account will at least prevent forgetfulness from hurting your credit. Some good-old-fashioned budgeting will help, too.
Finally, it’s worth noting that certain specialized credit scores do incorporate utilities payments. But those scoring models are the exception, not the rule. And they aren’t used for most lending decisions.
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