Paying Rent on Time May Improve Your Credit Score
Last year, Experian started including rental payment histories in its credit reports and scores when it acquired RentBureau, a credit bureau that receives rental payment histories from apartment owners and managers. It was a great way for renters in the RentBureau database who made on-time payments to improve their credit score (see A New Way to Improve Your Credit). That database includes only a fraction of the nation's nearly 100 million renters, though.
To extend this opportunity to more renters, Experian announced May 16 that it is collaborating with ClearNow, which allows landlords and property managers to collect rent through automatic bank account debit. Renters who pay rent through ClearNow will be able to opt in to reporting their payment history to Experian RentBureau.
RentBureau collects data primarily from large property management companies. Now, with Experian's collaboration with ClearNow, renters of any size or type of residential property can report their rental payments to the credit bureau. ClearnNow has been serving thousands of landlords and property managers since 2000. If your landlord does not use ClearNow, you might want to suggest that he or she look into it.