A question we love to answer here at The Circle is this: “What happens to my credit if I’m paying rent online?” As it turns out, some great things can happen!

A 2017 study conducted by TransUnion tracked 12,000 renters who reported their rent payments to credit bureaus over the course of a year. The outcome? On average, renters’ scores improved by 16 points within six months! The best score increases were seen by those who started with credit scores below 620.

To see a similar increase in your credit score, try paying your rent online. Doing so ensures your rent payments are reported, gives credit bureaus relevant information, and can combine with credit card payments for better score gains. Here’s how.

Ensures Your Rent Payments Are 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 The Circle Apartments at Long Beach, 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:

  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.

Gives Credit Bureaus Relevant Information

When determining your credit score, the credit bureaus 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 activity gives the credit bureaus relevant information that can improve your score.

Combine with Credit Card Payments for Better Score Gains

To realize even better score gains, use a credit card to make your rent payments online.

“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.”

You don’t have to pay your rent with a credit card, but it can be a nice little boost to your credit score in combination with the benefits of paying your rent online.

Give your credit score a boost by paying your rent online through the resident portal. As you do so, it ensures your payments are reported to the credit bureaus, giving them relevant information to impact your score. Plus, you may see even better score gains if you decide to pay rent online with a credit card. Happy credit-score-boosting!