Building a strong credit score is easier than you think. When you pay monthly rent online, you can establish a positive payment history that helps build your credit score. In 2017, TransUnion studied 12,000 renters who reported their rent payments to credit bureaus over the course of a year. The study found that renters’ scores rose an average of 16 points within six months, and the benefit was greatest for those who started with a credit score below 620.
First, let’s examine what credit agencies track for credit scores and what you need to do to ensure your payments are getting recorded.
Understand What the National Credit Agencies Track
It’s helpful to know what national credit agencies track. For example, Experian determines your credit score with three basic components:
- Use of credit cards
- Payment history
- Applications for new loans and credit
When you pay monthly rent online and on time, your payment history shows good faith, and that improves your credit score. One thing to remember, though, is that you need to pay off your credit card in full each month. That will reflect on your score, too.
Make Sure Your Landlord Reports Your Payment History
“Rent payments do have the possibility to help you build credit, but that’s only if you are actively making sure that your payments are being reported,” explains Raychelle Heath at bankrate.com.
So how do you make sure your rent payments are reported? At Park Plaza Apartments, we offer an online rental payment system that reports information to the credit bureaus. That way, credit bureaus receive a record of your on-time rental payments, which contributes to your good credit. In order to opt in for the credit reporting, follow these steps:
- Log in to your account through the resident portal and click on “Make a Payment Now.”
- Select “Build your credit history by opting in to credit reporting.”
- Enter your information in the credit reporting fields. Be sure to select “yes” for month-to-month lease if you have one, or select “no” and a lease end date.
Use a Credit Card for Rent Payments
By using a credit card for rent payments, you are accomplishing two things: First, you have established a way for your landlord to report your payment history. Second, paying off your credit card balance in full every month also contributes to a better credit score and promotional rewards.
“If you’re looking for flexibility and want to avoid the hassle of writing checks, paying rent with a credit card can be a good option—especially if you pay your credit card bill in full every month and you’re earning rewards that can help defray the cost of convenience fees,” adds Melissa Lambarena at NerdWallet.com.
A good credit score is an essential part of your financial goals. The good news is that you can build your credit when you pay monthly rent online. By understanding what credit agencies look for in buying behavior, setting aside a credit card to use for rent payments, paying the full balance each month, and ensuring your landlord reports your payment history, you are on your way to better credit and a promising financial future. Give your credit score a boost by paying your rent online through the resident portal.