Rent: It’s one of the first items on your monthly budget, and paying rent is such an ingrained habit that you barely even have to think about it. If you’re not in the habit of paying rent online, though, you might consider starting. Why? Because paying your rent online can raise 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.

When you pay rent online, your payments are reported, it shows credit bureaus what they are looking for, and it can combine with credit card payments to improve your credit score even more. Here’s how it works.

Send Your Payments to Credit Bureaus

Paying rent is a pretty simple way to improve your credit score! But how does it work?

“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.”

So you have to make sure your payments are recorded. But how? At River House Apartment Homes, our online rental payment system reports information to the credit bureaus. Credit bureaus then receive a record of your on-time rental payments, contributing to your good credit.

Beef Up Your Payment History

To understand how online rental payments make you look good, it helps to understand what goes into a credit score. Experian, for example, calculates credit scores through the following elements:

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

So, when you make an online rent payment, those payments become part of your payment history. As you pay on time and in full and continue to do so, that becomes part of your score, too.

Boost Your Score Even More

For another added boost to your score, you might try getting a credit card that you only use to pay rent.

“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.”

It’s just one extra step to add to your rent payment each month, but when you pay off that bill, it pays off for you!

Improve 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!