The ability to report rent payments to a credit bureau benefits both landlords and tenants, and the idea is quickly catching on. For many, now is the time to explore the logistics of rent reporting.
Why Report Rent?
Good credit builds over time and requires a mixture of credit accounts. The traditional way to build credit is to take out a credit card, springboard that credit into a car loan, and eventually take the step of securing a long-term mortgage. As credit matures, consumers benefit by qualifying for the best interest rates and financing terms, making it easier to build wealth.
But more tenants today are staying in the rental market, either as a lifestyle choice or because mortgage loans are more difficult to obtain and housing is becoming more expensive. Over time, those renters fall behind homeowners who benefit from making monthly credit payments, forcing tenants into a downward spiral of spending more of their income on interest and fees to access credit lines.
Rent payments, like credit cards and mortgages, only count if they are recorded and tracked by the credit bureaus. Rent is the single largest monthly expense most tenants pay. If tenants report those rent payments to a credit bureau, they would stand to gain by building credit faster.
Who can Report Rent Payments to a Credit Bureau
To maintain the integrity of information reported by credit bureaus, only creditors can report consumer payment history. This is true of credit card companies, auto and home finance companies, and it is true of landlords. For tenants to report monthly rent payments to a credit bureau, the landlord must agree to submit the information.
However, the major credit bureaus have chosen not to accept rent payment information directly from landlords. Instead, they take that information from authorized credit reporting agencies. These agencies have been vetted and have systems in place that safeguard the credit reporting process.
Traditionally, landlords needed to utilize a rent payment platform that also offers rent reporting. These services typically charge a start-up fee along with monthly fees. Some services require a landlord to maintain a minimum number of tenants or monthly rent balance, which makes this option less appealing for smaller landlords.
Landlord Credit Bureau is a credit reporting agency and a better option for landlords who do not wish to change their current rental payment platform or method for accepting rent. LCB specializes in rent payment reporting and tailors its service to tenants and landlords.
LCB makes it easy to report rent:
Step 1: The landlord creates an account. Sign-up is free, or for a small fee, landlords may access premium features.
Step 2: LCB verifies the landlord’s information.
Step 3: The landlord signs in and begins reporting rent payments.
All a tenant needs to do is continue to pay rent on time each month. At the end of the lease, the tenant can access the rental history as a Tenant Record to share with prospective landlords. The tenant not only has an opportunity to earn better credit, but to improve their rental history at the same time. In a tight rental market, that can make it easier to compete with other applicants for the best rental properties.
Does My Landlord Report Rent?
More and more tenants are realizing the importance of reporting rent payments to create a better credit portfolio. In fact, most tenants say they would prefer a landlord who reports rent.
When applying for vacancies, tenants should ask prospective landlords whether this service already is in place. If not, it’s typically an easy sell to get landlords to consider setting up an account with LCB:
Landlords who report rent monthly through LCB experience fewer rent delinquencies, and
An easier time attracting the best tenants.
What landlord wouldn’t want tenants who ask to track their on-time rent payments?
Why Landlord Credit Bureau?
As a credit reporting agency, LCB provides a turnkey solution for landlords and tenants who want to track rental history. Unlike other credit agencies, LCB caters exclusively to landlords and tenants. LCB is committed to helping landlords simplify their rental property management while rewarding good tenants by allowing them the opportunity to build credit and share their good rental history with other landlords.
Focusing solely on landlords and tenants, LCB can offer valuable education and assistance, like providing sample disclosures that landlords may provide to tenants to explain the benefits of rent reporting. LCB also provides sample lease provisions that allow tenants to better understand their responsibilities under the lease agreement and to maximize the value of rent reporting to build credit.
Once landlords learn how to report rent payments to a credit bureau, they can enjoy enhanced tenant screening abilities like access to the Tenant Records database, the ability to register on tenant credit reports and to report delinquencies to support collection efforts.
Tenants can build credit and rental histories to gain a competitive edge when applying for rental properties, monitor credit reports, and rate their landlords.