Can Paying Rent Build Credit?
There is no escaping the financial reality that our credit impacts our daily lives, whether it’s the interest rate we pay on our credit card, the car we drive, or where we live. Credit is more than a number. It’s our reputation. It can open doors — or close them.
Renters have been at a disadvantage when it comes to building credit. Homeowners with mortgages pay out just as much of their monthly income, but they continue to grow credit — and wealth. Renters don’t. The difference: mortgage lenders report payments to credit bureaus while landlords often do not.
And those people who are improving their credit reports each month are enjoying significant savings because they qualify for the best financing deals, like low interest rates for “approved” credit. A difference of one or two percentage points in interest rates on a home or car loan can translate into hundreds of dollars of savings every year. That’s money that can go toward building a better future. Renters who do not report rent payments to a credit bureau each month are literally throwing away money.
Reporting Rent Payments an Easy Way to Build Credit
Tenants already are paying rent every month —and paying a lot in most cases. Renters typically dedicate 30-40% of their monthly income to housing. They may as well get credit for it.
Other methods of building credit rely on taking out loans or opening revolving charge accounts. But those loans and credit cards can be expensive as far as interest rates, application fees, closing costs, and annual fees. Opening only one account may not be enough because a credit file needs to grow thicker over time. And that adds up. It also can be burdensome to manage open accounts, trying to remember the credit limit on each, which one to use when, and the multiple due dates for each one.
But a lease agreement already is an “open account” and renters can build credit without the need to pay high interest, take on more debt, or track additional payment due dates each month.
Rent Payment History Only Counts if Reported to a Credit Bureau
It is important for renters to understand that rent is not automatically reported to a credit bureau. For renters to enjoy the benefit of building credit through on-time rent payments, their landlords must agree to report rent.
Fortunately, that process is as simple as signing up to report monthly rent payments through Landlord Credit Bureau. All renters need to do is ask a prospective landlord if they already offer this valuable amenity. If not, it is easy to convince a landlord of the benefits:
• Landlords who report rent payments experience a significant reduction in rent delinquencies.
• Reporting rent is the best way to reward good tenants and improve tenant retention.
• Most tenants want to report rent each month, so the benefits extend far beyond one tenancy.
Build Credit and Rent History at the Same Time
Better credit is not the only benefit tenants may gain by reporting rent payments. Landlord Credit Bureau tracks this rent payment history and provides tenants with a Tenant Record.
The rental market is competitive, and tenants who pay on time each month deserve to be rewarded.
Landlord Credit Bureau is committed to helping these conscientious renters gain a competitive advantage by sharing proof of a positive rent payment history with prospective landlords.
The information provided in this post is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.
In October 2021, the LCB organization re-branded some of the services it offers under FrontLobby. Until this point, the LCB organization has consisted of two companies handling different services under the umbrella trademark of Landlord Credit Bureau. The introduction of FrontLobby enables each company to maximize its focus and impact. Read More
Rent Reporting Benefits Landlords and Tenants
Landlords, Property Managers and Tenants can report rent payments and rental history data to Landlord Credit Bureau through FrontLobby.