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Rent Payments Can Boost Credit

By Emily Glazer, Wall Street Journal

A new way to help boost your credit history and score: Factor in your rent.

Last December, credit-reporting company Experian started including rent-payment history in its credit reports, says Brannan Johnston, vice president and managing director of Experian RentBureau, which collects updated rental histories from property-management companies.

Property managers can upload positive rental data, which means payment information for individuals meeting their lease obligations in the last 24 months. That information is then factored into the VantageScore credit score used by Experian. “Individuals [can] build and rebuild their credit by paying rent responsibly,” says Mr. Johnston, adding that 45% of consumers who don’t have a credit score or fall in the lowest VantageScore level can up their score at least 100 points.

Consumers can ask their landlords if they are submitting the information to Experian or ask them to start doing so.

Here’s another option: , a website launched last fall, which collects rent and lease data from renters, verifies it with landlords and then makes it available to any of the credit-reporting companies.

But the service isn’t free. Account setup is $39 and there’s a $5.95 monthly fee, according to Crispin Luna IV, the site’s president. (The money is returned if the landlord opts not to participate, he adds.) Some landlords will cover the cost as an incentive for tenants to pay on time, Mr. Luna says.

Young adults, college students and military members have benefited greatly from using RentReporters as a credit reference for a home or auto loan, he says, since they may not have a strong credit history or score.

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