A bad credit score can hold you back in a lot of ways, but giving it a boost isn’t always easy. But what if something you’re already doing could help your score out? You may not know that paying rent online can go a long way to improving your credit score. In fact, one study found that 76 percent of renters in New York City would see increased credit scores if they reported rent to credit bureaus.

If your credit score leaves a lot to be desired, paying rent online could benefit you as well. Doing so ensures your payments are reported, shows credit bureaus what they are looking for, and can combine with credit card payments to increase your score even more. Here’s how.

Reporting Your Payments

Handing over a rent check on time each month is fantastic, but it doesn’t do anything for your credit. The credit bureaus simply don’t know anything about your rent payment history if you don’t tell them.

“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,” says Bev O’Shea at NerdWallet.

This is where paying rent online comes into play. At Yorba Linda Pines Apartments, 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.

Give Credit Bureaus More Information

What actually goes into a credit score, and does paying rent online contribute? Experian, for example, determines credit scores through the following elements:

  • Use of credit cards
  • Payment history
  • Applications for new loans and credit

Paying rent online, and reporting those payments, will add your rent to your payment history. Credit bureaus will love to see a history of rent payments made on time and in full. This positive payment history will then become part of your credit score.

Get Bigger Gains with Credit Card Payments

To boost your score even more, using a credit card specifically to pay your rent may be something worth considering.

“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.”

If you prefer not to use a credit card for rent, you don’t need to. But if you do, it can help your credit score just a bit more. When it comes to improving your credit score, every little bit counts.

You’re already a responsible renter. Why not take advantage of your timely monthly rent payments if it can raise your credit score? Use the resident portal to pay your rent online, and the payments will be reported to the credit bureau. You can also use a credit card when you pay your rent, which will help your credit score as well. Now, you can put your rent payments to work for you!