Banking and Finance

8 Things to Consider When Choosing Rent Reporting Services in 2022

July 27, 2021

Did you know that by reporting your rent you can potentially increase your credit score by an average of 60 points? While that’s great, it still helps to ensure you’re working with a great rent reporting service (no, they’re not all equal).

If you're in the market for a rent reporting service, there are a lot of things to consider. Which one is right for you? What features do they offer? How easy is it to use? 

To help make your decision, here are eight things to think about when choosing a rent reporting service. Keep these in mind as you shop around and compare providers.

How Rent Reporting Improves Your Credit Score

It's a common misconception that rent payments don't count toward your credit score. The truth is, they absolutely can! 

Rent reporting allows your landlord to report your on-time rental payments to the credit bureaus, just like a credit card or loan payment. This helps improve your overall payment history, which makes up 35% of your credit score. Plus, it can also help boost your length of credit history (15% of the score) if you've been consistently making on-time payments for multiple years. 

So next time you pay rent, remember that it could very well be improving your credit score as well. And who knows, in the future, it may even make it easier to qualify for loans or credit cards with favorable interest rates.

The Best Rent Reporting Companies

Interested in learning how to report rent payments to a credit bureau for free? Unfortunately, you can’t report your rent to credit bureaus yourself. This means you need to work with a rent reporting company. By providing your rental payment history to credit bureaus, rent reporting companies can boost your credit score and make it easier for you to qualify for loans and other financial opportunities. 

But how does it work exactly? When you sign up with a rent reporting company, they will track your monthly rent payments and report them to the credit bureaus just like they do with any other bills. This way, your rent is factored into your credit score, just like student loan or credit card payments would be. 

What are the best rent reporting companies? Rental Kharma and Rent Reporters are two of the most well-known rent reporting platforms. However, Rock the Score and Credit My Rent are two other options.

Rental Kharma is popular because the verification process is somewhat easy compared to other options. You can verify your rental situation over the phone in five minutes. However, their monthly fee is slightly higher than competitors (and ours). Expect to pay a one-time fee of $50 to get set up and then $8.95 per month for their rent reporting services.

Esusu Rent and Boom are the only major credit reporting services that report to all 3 credit bureaus. That is, however, until we launch our credit reporting service!

Cheese is launching a rent reporting service in December 2022 that will help you easily report your rent. We’ll report both your future ongoing rent ($5 per month) as well as up to two years of full rental history ($49 one-time fee for this service) to all three major credit bureaus. Good deal, right? 

8 Things to Consider When Choosing Rent Reporting Services

While we briefly reviewed some of your rent reporting options above, we know how difficult it can be to make the right decision. Regardless of the platform you choose, here are eight things to consider when choosing rent reporting services.

1. What Information Do You Need to Provide?

Consider what kind of information the rent reporting service will need from you. This can influence how difficult the sign-up process is and how long it will take you to complete. 

When it comes to rent reporting, the most important thing a rent reporting company will need from you is proof of your rent payments. This can include bank statements or rent receipts from your landlord. 

Additionally, they will likely ask for personal information such as your name, address, and Social Security number. It's also a good idea to have the contact information of your landlord or property manager on hand in case the rent reporting company needs to verify any information with them. 

Overall, make sure that you gather all necessary documentation before reaching out to a rent reporting company to ensure a smooth rent reporting process.

2. What Information Does Your Landlord Needs to Provide?

How can your landlord report rent payments to credit bureaus? They’ll also need to report that information to rent reporting services (not directly to credit bureaus themselves).

What does your landlord have to provide? They’ll likely ask them to confirm your full name and contact information. They'll also need the amount of rent being paid per month, as well as the payment dates and whether rent is paid on time or not.

And finally, rent reporting companies will require proof of their ownership of the rental property in question, usually through a copy of your rental agreement or lease.

Ultimately, it’s best to work with a company that makes the process as easy as possible for both landlords and tenants.

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3. How Much Do These Rent Reporting Services Cost?

When searching for the best rent reporting company, it's important to consider not just the cost, but also the cost of add-on services they offer. Some companies may charge a flat monthly fee, while others might have an ongoing monthly fee.

It's also worth looking into whether or not they offer automatic rent payments or tenant screening services. Take your time and do some research to find a rent reporting company that not only fits within your budget but also meets all of your needs.

4. Do They Report Your Ongoing Rent or Your Rent History?

While you can benefit from reporting ongoing rent payments, it’s extremely helpful if a company will report a few years of rental history for you. This can have a drastic and instant impact on your credit score as it will show years of on-time payments and open accounts.

For example, when you use Cheese’s rent reporting service, you’re able to choose whether you’d like us to report your ongoing rent and up to 2 years of rental history to credit bureaus.

5. When Will Your Rent Payments Show On Your Credit Report?

Sure, rent payments are recurring monthly bills, but they don't necessarily show up the same way that traditional credit obligations do. So, when will your rent start being reported on your credit report? 

The answer really depends on the rent reporting company that you use. Some companies update immediately, while others may have a lag time of a few months before including rent payments in their reporting. 

If you’re not sure how long it will take, it’s best to reach out to the rent reporting company directly.

6. Which Credit Bureaus Do Rent Reporting Services Report To?

Always check which credit bureaus the rent reporting company reports to. Most only report to TransUnion and Equifax. However, a few, as mentioned above, report to all three bureaus.

Is it a big deal if they don’t report to all three? Reporting to two is great and can impact your credit score. However, when possible, choose a service that reports to all three to ensure you improve your VantageScore as much as possible (it’s the tri-bureau score).

7. Can You Cancel the Rent Reporting Services Anytime You Want?

When choosing rent reporting services, ask about whether or not you cancel anytime you want. Some platforms require you to subscribe on a yearly basis while others offer more flexible month-to-month payments you can cancel whenever you need to.

8. Features, Usability & Additional Factors

Other factors to consider include whether or not the platform is easy to use, the kind of customer support they offer, and how compatible the platform is with your phone or computer. 

Overall, rent reporting services offer similar features, so the decision typically comes down to whether or not the platform is easy to use and offers great support in case you have any questions or concerns about your rent reporting efforts.

Why Cheese Is the Best Rent Reporting Service

Cheese’s rent reporting service is launching in December 2022. Through our easy-to-use service, we will report your ongoing rent payments and up to two years' rent history, which has the potential to instantly affect your credit score.

While the impact on your credit score may vary (as many other factors affect your credit score), the average improvement is between 35 to 50 points.

Ready to get started? Click here to join the waitlist today! Stay tuned to Cheese to learn about the launch of the best rent reporting service! We’ll be with you soon.