Tenants now have a way to improve their credit scores by paying their rent on time | Arizona News


PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Aaron Atkins is like many frustrated renters who feel trapped in an apartment because they don’t have enough credit to qualify for a loan and buy a home. “There were definitely times when I thought I could never find a home,” Atkins said. “My credit score is just too low.”

Renters can improve their credit score with a new service.

Homeowners have always improved their credit scores simply by making mortgage payments on time. On the other hand, tenants have never received the same credit increase, even though they have paid their rent on time for years. But now that has changed. A number of credit service agencies have begun offering rent reporting services that allow tenants to report their monthly rent payments to major credit bureaus, which can directly improve their credit rating.

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One of the companies offering the service is Credit Sesame, which acts as an intermediary between tenants, landlords and major credit bureaus. Shazia Virji is the Managing Director of Credit Services at Credit Sesame. “You connect the account you make your payments from. Let’s say it’s your checking account,” Virji said. “If you log in through our service, we can see that you are making payments and then we go to the owner to verify it. Once they verify it, we can report it quickly to the offices. Sometimes an impact positive on a credit rating can happen in as little as 10 days.”

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Atkins said he signed up for Credit Sesame’s rental reporting service five months ago and has already seen a significant boost in his credit rating. The Phoenix renter had a score of 542. He’s now jumped over 100 points to 650. “It’s a big deal for me because if I paid for a house, it would credit me,” Atkins said. “Now I am a tenant and that can also give me credit now.”

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Credit Sesame’s basic service is free, but the Rent Report feature is a premium service and costs $9.95 per month. Atkins thinks it’s worth it. According to Virji, tenants cannot report their rent payments directly to credit bureaus. They must go through a credit agency like Crédit Sésame. For more information, click/tap here.

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