Have you ever wished you could easily build your credit as a renter? When you buy a house, your mortgage is reported every month to the credit bureaus, building your credit. But if you rent? You don't get that...
But RentTrack is looking to change that with a service that allows your rent to be reported to the credit bureaus. This can be a huge help for renters looking to build their credit.
- Build credit by paying your rent
- Only $6.95 per month
- Landlord doesn't have to be involved
Who Is RentTrack?
Many people struggle to build credit when starting out. It’s difficult to open up a credit account when you don’t have any credit. It seems like a chicken-and-egg problem, right? Additionally, a credit account implies you’ll take on debt. In other words, to build credit, you also have to take on debt. But what if you didn’t?
That’s where RentTrack comes in. They allow you to build credit by paying your rent.
After you sign up with RentTrack, they will report your rent payments to all three credit bureaus. When you apply for new credit, you’ll already have a credit history. The upside is that you didn’t even have to take on any debt. This feature is great for anyone building new credit or trying to repair damaged credit.
Fico.com found that just 0.3% of people renting have a rental tradeline reported in their credit file. Obviously, RentTrack has tapped into a potentially huge market.
“We spent years fighting to make rent reporting a real part of your credit history, and we're thrilled that you can now get credit for your largest monthly expense,” said Matt Briggs, CEO of RentTrack.
How Does RentTrack Work?
When you sign up through RentTrack, they deduct your monthly rent from your checking account and mail it to your landlord. Your landlord doesn’t need to sign up for anything. They receive a check each month from RentTrack under your name.
RentTrack then reports your payment to all three credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.
What Is Reported to the Credit Bureaus?
RentTrack reports your rent payments to the credit bureaus. Rent payments are different from other tradeline payments such as credit cards, car payments, or mortgages. Rent payments fall under FICO Score 9 and VantageScore. Those are the two scores you’re working to improve each month.
When you apply for new credit, most creditors will use other FICO scores to determine your creditworthiness. You might wonder then what good is it to report rent payments if no one is using them. Some creditors do use FICO Score 9 and VantageScore. It still is worth reporting to build up these scores.
What Are the Costs for Using RentTrack?
RentTrack costs $6.95/month. Landlords don’t pay anything.
There is an additional service available from RentTrack for anyone who wants to report their past rent payments. A history of 12 and 24 months can be reported. The costs are $49.95 and $89.95, respectively.
The way historical reporting works is that you share your rent details with RentTrack. This includes a copy of your rental details and previous leases of up to two years. Then RentTrack verifies that payments were made on time and per lease terms. The final step is reporting to the credit bureaus.
Once your rental payment history has been reported, a positive rental tradeline is added to your credit report. RentTrack claims that the average credit score improves by at least 29 points.
Is RentTrack Secure and Is My Data Protected?
RentTrack takes security and data protection seriously. They employ the latest security technology and best practices. This includes these features:
- They are a EI3PA-compliant certification holder. EI3PA stands for Experian’s Independent 3rd Party Assessment. It is a measure of a third party’s ability to protect Experian-provided data.
- Identity verification due to KYC and AML regulations.
- Secure best practices through the use of encryption and non-storage of sensitive data.
- PCI compliance ensures your sensitive data is protected.
Are There Any Credit Monitoring Services Included?
Yes — there are two services included as part of your RentTrack monthly service. One is credit protection, which is a monitoring service. The credit protection service monitors the following areas:
- Credit inquiries
- Identity protection
- Public record alerts
The monitoring service watches over your credit file 24/7. It will send the following notifications when it detects changes:
- New credit inquiries
- New public records
- Late payments
- New accounts
- Score improvement
- New addresses
In addition to credit monitoring, you can also check your credit score.
How Do I Get Started?
You can get started by signing up at RentTrack.com. Once your account is created, you’ll connect your bank and set your monthly rent due date. RentTrack will send your rent payment each month and report the payment to all three credit bureaus.
For anyone wanting to build their new credit or even repair damaged credit, RentTrack offers a great service.
While FICO Score 9 and VantageScore are used specifically for rental tradelines, which limits the number of creditors that may assess them, it’s still worth signing up. While not all creditors will utilize those two scores, some will. Additionally, you’ll already have the necessary credit in place when the time comes.
- Pricing and Fees - 60
- Ease of Use - 80
- Customer Service - 90
- Products and Services - 80
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.