Do you want to increase your credit score? If so, we have some fantastic news: Paying rent online can do just that! 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. The increase was the greatest for those who started with a credit score lower than 620.

Paying rent online could help you achieve similar growth in your own credit score. Doing so confirms that your payments are properly reported, gives the credit bureaus reason to increase your score, and can work with rent payments made via credit card for even more score growth. Here’s how.

Confirms that Your Payments are Properly Reported

“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 how do you make sure your rent payments are reported? At Serena Vista Apartment Homes, we offer an online rental payment system that reports information to the credit bureaus. That way, credit bureaus receive a record of your on-time rental payments, which contributes to your good credit.

In order to opt in for the credit reporting, follow these steps:

  • Log in to your account through the resident portal and click on “Make a Payment Now.”
  • Select “Build your credit history by opting in to credit reporting.”
  • Enter your information in the credit reporting fields. Be sure to select “yes” for month-to-month lease if you have one, or select “no” and a lease end date.

Gives Credit Bureaus Reason to Increase your Score

What actually goes into a credit score? The specifics depend on which credit bureau you ask, but they all look at the same general information. Experian, for example, 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 becomes part of your score, too.

Can Work with Rent Payments Made Via Credit Card for Even More Score Growth

It’s possible to give your score an extra kick by using a credit card to pay your 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.” While it’s not necessary to pay your rent with a credit card, it can give your credit score a little lift when done in combination with paying your rent online.

Get started paying your rent online now through the resident portal. As you do so, your payments are reported to credit bureaus, giving them a reason to boost your credit score. Plus, if you choose to pay rent with a credit card, you may grow your score even more. Happy credit-score-boosting!