Those struggling with bills and those rebuilding their lives after bankruptcy are always looking for ways to improve their credit scores. Since 35% of your FICO credit score is based on your 24-month payment history, doing everything you can to post positive information in this category is a great way to get your score up.

Experian to the Rescue!

In December, 2011, credit-reporting company Experian started including rent-payment history in its credit reports.  Landlords can provide rent payment histories, which is then factored into the VantageScore credit score used by Experian.

Since FICO also uses Experian data, this score would be affected as well. Tenants can ask their landlords if they are submitting the information to Experian or ask them to start doing so.

Then There's Rent Reporters

Another option that collects rent and lease data from renters, verifies it with landlords, and then makes it available to any of the credit-reporting companies. The only thing is, the service isn't free. Account setup is $39 and there's a $5.95 monthly fee. The money is returned if the landlord opts not to participate.

Great Way to Improve Your Scores

There are many ways to improve your credit, such as steadily paying down debt (which accounts for 30% of your score), but this one is handy for those people who are not homeowners paying a mortgage or those with car loans and other debt that might show a payment history. It is also good for those with not much of a credit history at all.

If you are renting your home, you should look into this option to raise your score.  Just make sure to follow it up with timely rent payments!

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Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.