Looking to increase your credit score? Don’t worry—you don’t have to take out and then meticulously pay back a loan. You can just pay rent online!

It may sound too simple, but check this out: 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.

So try paying your rent online and see what it does to your credit score. When you pay online, 

your payments are reported, it shows credit bureaus what they are looking for, and it can combine with credit card payments to increase your score even more. Here’s how.

Get Your Payments Reported

How does paying your rent lead to improving your credit score? 

“Simply paying your rent will not help you build credit,” says Bev O’Shea at NerdWallet. “But reporting your rent payments can help you build credit—especially if you are new to credit or do not have a lot of experience using it.”

That’s one of the reasons we at Uptown Fullerton offer an online rental payment system that reports information to the credit bureaus. Credit bureaus receive a record of your on-time rental payments, which contributes to your good credit.

Show Credit Bureaus What They Are Looking For

If you’re wondering how rental payments factor into a credit score, keep reading. First, let’s talk about what goes into a credit score in general. For one example, Experian determines credit scores through the following elements:

  • Use of credit cards
  • Payment history
  • Applications for new loans and credit

When you pay rent online, those payments become part of your payment history. As you pay on time and in full and continue to do so, that contributes to your score, too.

Use a Credit Card Specifically for Rental Payments

Here’s a great tip: “Open a credit card and use it to pay your rent . . . then pay your credit card balance in full each month,” says LaToya Irby, credit expert for The Balance. “The timely credit card payments will help boost your credit score.”

You may have seen people use a credit card exclusively to pay for gas so they can get rewards points, and this is a similar principle: paying your rent with a credit card just for the credit boost! You don’t have to pay your rent with a credit card, but it can increase your credit score in combination with the benefits of paying your rent online.

Increase your credit score by paying your rent online through the resident portal. You’ll get your payments reported and look good to the credit bureaus. And if you use a credit card exclusively for rent, you may see even more of a boost. Best wishes in your journey towards the best credit score of your life!