Do you like to pay your rent online? Well, then we have some good news for you. When you pay your rent online, you can improve your credit score. In 2017, TransUnion, one of the three major credit bureaus in the US, studied 12,000 renters who reported their rent payments over a 12-month period. The results? Within six months, renters’ scores rose an average of 16 points, with the most significant benefit going to those whose scores were below 620.

If you’re interested in seeing a similar boost in your credit score, you should pay your rent online. When you pay online, your payments are reported, credit bureaus get the information they need for your score, and you’ll boost your credit even more if you use a credit card. Here’s what you need to know:

Pay Your Rent Online for Credit Reporting

Using rent payments to build your credit score takes a little more work than paying rent online.

“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.”

Some services report rent payments for you—usually at a cost. But at Porto Bella Apartment Homes, our online rent payment portal reports directly to the credit bureaus. We send the information automatically, so you don’t have to worry about it—and you get the benefits of having your on-time rent payments improve your credit score. In order to opt in for the credit reporting, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your account through the resident portal and click on “Make a Payment Now.”
  2. Select “Build your credit history by opting in to credit reporting.”
  3. 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.

Give Credit Bureaus the Information They Need

All credit bureaus have slight variations in how they figure credit scores. One thing is universal, though: payment history matters. At TransUnion, the breakdown includes the following:

  • Payment history, 40 percent
  • Credit utilization, 20 percent
  • Credit history, 21 percent
  • Recently reported balances, 11 percent
  • New credit accounts, 5 percent
  • Available credit, 3 percent

If you pay your rent online, your rent payments become part of that payment history portion. Over time, on-time rent payments add up and improve your credit score.

Use a Credit Card To Boost Your Score

Using a credit card to pay rent may help further improve your credit score. You must make payments on time, though, for both the rent and credit card.

“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.”

Paying with a credit card helps, but you don’t need to pay your rent with a card. It may make a nice boost to your credit score, though.

Are you ready to improve your credit score? Pay your rent online through our resident portal. When you do, we report your payments, and credit bureaus get the information they need. If you want to boost your score more, consider paying with a credit card. Happy credit-score improving!