Can Paying Rent Help Your Credit Score?

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In the past, being a renter has only had the potential to harm your credit if you don’t pay your rent on time. But in recent years, things have started to change: The real estate and credit industries have joined to help renters get credit for their on-time payments.

Can Rent Payments Help My Credit Score?

Rent payments made on time now have the potential to increase your credit score, but you may need some outside help — rent-reporting services — to make it happen.

According to Freddie Mac, “There are two ways that your rent can be reported through a rent-reporting service: your property manager can report payments for you, or you can report payments yourself.”

To that latter point, self-reportage requires you to work through another entity: the credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

In this article, we’ll show you how to get your rent reported to the credit bureaus so that your credit scores can increase. We’ll also tell you what you need to know about some of the major rent-reporting services out there.

Money expert Clark Howard says that although on-time rent reporting is relatively new in the real estate industry, it’s long overdue for consumers who could benefit from a credit score boost.

“It’s such a mystery why the system has punished renters for so long. It makes no sense,” the consumer expert says.

“This whole concept goes back to the idea of expanded credit scores,” he says. “Many people don’t have traditional forms of credit. So, if you track utility bills, bounced checks, and other measurements, the belief is that that would also indicate how well someone would handle a line of traditional credit.”

How To Make Sure Your Landlord Is Reporting Your Rent Payments

If you think about it, most landlords already report rental payments received. One way to test this — and you shouldn’t — is to stop paying and watch how quickly your credit score drops. You may also be contacted by a collection agency, which is further proof that your rent payments are being reported. 

Although it’s typical for landlords to report rental payments, it’s possible that yours may not. If you’re not sure whether your landlord is reporting your rent payments, give them a call or visit your leasing office.

To make the rent-reporting process easier, Freddie Mac has partnered with credit-building fintech company Esusu on an initiative to make building credit through rent payments easier for tenants. As part of an incentive for landlords, Freddie Mac has pledged to provide closing cost credits on loans to property owners of multifamily units who agree to report on-time rental payments through Esusu.


What To Know About Rent-Reporting Services Before You Sign Up

As you can imagine, not all rent-reporting services are equal. You’ll need to do some research to find out which companies work better for your particular circumstances. Some questions you’ll want to know before you sign up with a rent-reporting service include:

  1. How much does the service cost (if anything)? Many charge a monthly or yearly fee as well as set-up costs.
  2. Which credit bureaus do the service report to?
  3. How do they deal with late or missed rent payments?
  4. How are my payment information and other data protected? “Make sure to research the reputability and data practices of any rent reporting service you choose to work with,” it says on the Freddie Mac website.

How To Get Your Rent Payments Reported To the Credit Bureaus

Aside from Experian — which runs RentBureau, a rental history database — the major credit bureaus don’t have a formalized process in place to report timely rental payments on your credit report. They do, however, have some partnerships through third-party rent-reporting services.

These companies, which typically operate on a monthly or yearly subscription model, report on-time rental payments to the credit bureaus. It’s just that the onus for doing that is on you and may come with a price. Let’s check out a few of them:


RentReporters lets you include up to two years of reported rental payments with this service. It says that its average credit score boost for reporting rent is 40%, of course, increases may vary.

Reports To: Equifax and TransUnion.

Cost:  $9.95 per month (monthly plan) or $7.95 a month (annual plan).

Rock the Score

RocktheScore is another data-reporting company that lets you report your last two years of rental payments.  

Reports To: Equifax and TransUnion

Cost: $48 one-time enrollment fee; $6.95 monthly fee; $65 one-time historical reporting fee.


ClearNow is one of the few rent-payment services that isn’t a subscription model. The service says they have no set-up fees and no long-term contracts. 


Reports To: Experian RentBureau

Cost: Free for renters


eRentPayment advertises itself as a landlord and property management tool. The service partners with another company — RentSpree — to handle rental payments and more.

Reports To: Experian and Equifax.

Subscription Cost: $39.99 application fee and $3 per transaction (Standard plan); $10 per month (Plus plan).


PayYourRent is a service that allows residents who pay their rent on time every month to report their rent payments.

Reports To: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

Cost: Free, according to


Rentler is a full-service real estate company that lets tenants pay their rent once their landlord sets up payment options online via Stripe and Plaid payment processing platforms.

“When you opt-in, we’ll automatically report all your positive rent payments to Experian RentBureau to positively impact your credit history,” it says on


Reports To: Experian RentBureau

Cost: Free


With RentTrack, you can subscribe to get your rent payments sent to your landlord.

“We can also report up to 24 months of previous payments for a one-time fee of $50 for the current address,” it says on “You will first need an active monthly subscription in order to be offered the option to purchase LookBack.”

Reports to: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

Cost: $6.95 a month.


Global payments company Zego (formerly known as PayLease) allows renters and/or landlords to use its platform to report payments directly to TransUnion.

According to, “Residents simply opt-in to LevelCredit to automatically have rent payments reported to credit bureaus by LevelCredit and build credit from those payments.”

Reports to: Experian RentBureau and TransUnion

Cost: Free


Final Thoughts

Along with allowing consumers to get free credit reports every week, Clark says the credit industry is slowly trying to help consumers take better control of their finances and purchasing power. Credit bureaus working with companies to help build people’s credit is another step in the right direction, he adds.

“This is all good news for renters, who have historically paid higher rates for insurance and sometimes had trouble with job offers because not having a mortgage hurt their credit score,” Clark says.

Want more ways to help your bottom line? Read some sneaky ways to boost your credit score.