If you’re looking for a small business loan or want to finance a car, having good credit can make a world of difference in the rates you get. Unfortunately, you need credit to get credit. Fortunately, paying rent online can help! In a 2017 TransUnion study of 12,000 renters who reported their rent payments to credit bureaus, it was found that renters’ scores rose an average of 16 points within six months. And the benefit was even greater for those who started with a low credit score.

So, if you’d like to build credit, try paying your rent online. When you do, your payments are reported, showing credit bureaus what they are looking for, and combining with credit card payments for even greater score gains.

How the Credit Bureaus Know You’re Paying Rent

You can’t build credit just by paying rent—but you can if you pay rent online through a system that reports those payments. At Summer Crest Apartment Homes, we offer an online rental payment system that reports your payments to the credit bureaus. That way, credit bureaus receive a record of your on-time rental payments, helping you build credit. 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.

How Your Rent Payment History Can Boost Your Score

As you’ve sought to build credit, you’ve likely gotten a credit card or diligently paid back student loans. Actions like these build your credit score, while applying for new loans or credit can harm your score if done too often.

So how do rent payments factor in? When credit bureaus receive a record of your rent payments, they 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.

How Paying with a Credit Card Can Help

Paying your rent with a credit card can build your credit even more. Here’s how it works: “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 rent with a credit card is completely optional, but since you’re paying rent anyway, it can be an easy way to build credit.

Ready to boost your credit score? Hop over to the resident portal to pay your rent. We’ll report your payments to credit bureaus, and they’ll likely increase your score. And as an added bonus, consider paying with a credit card.