We pay a lot of bills every month that generally don’t get considered when computing our credit score. The cable or bill, utilities, and especially rent. That’s no small deal: the national average monthly rent just topped $1,000.
While credit reporting agencies are beginning to factor in some “alternative payment data,” Property managers are encouraged to report the payment histories of their tenants – and that could be a big boost for consumers as well as landlords.
Foxridge, apartments in Blacksburg, VA does report rent payments to credit agencies, thus helping tenants to improve their credit scores. In fact, all HHHunt properties report on-time rental payments.
TransUnion says for renters with below-par credit scores, including rental payments in their credit histories could cause nearly 80% of consumers to see a boost in their score after just one month into a new apartment lease.
"Many consumers are still recovering from the economic malaise brought on by the past recession, but those consumers who wish to rent can now see meaningful improvements in their credit score after making their first on-time payment," said Michael Doherty, senior vice president of TransUnion’s rental screening solutions group. "This can help renters who want to purchase homes or cars receive better loan terms, potentially saving them thousands of dollars."
This could be of major benefit to the 40 million Americans who rent. First-time home buyers in early 2012 saw a 5.2% increase in their credit score over the year following their purchase, because their payment history was reported to credit agencies. But renters, whose monthly payments are not usually reported, saw a slight decline in their credit score during the same period.
"We continue to see improvement in the credit risk of renters, which gives them more opportunities to receive better rental terms," said Doherty. “This is a continuation of a trend we have now observed for the last few years. With the advent of rental reporting… improvements in credit risk will also help renters build their credit by making on-time, monthly rental payments."