Numbers can drive you nuts. Some folks don't like the digits that reveal their ages, others get frustrated by the ones that make up their bank balances. Some parents can't figure out the "new math," and some of us are still a little shaky on the old math. But one number nearly everyone would agree they'd like to raise is their credit score.

In these times when credit is still tight, money is short, and jobs are hard to come by, the benchmark of your credit score carries more weight than ever.

In a sense, your credit score is a crystal ball that's meant to reveal your character, and building a credit history is key to making that picture clear. Traditionally, that meant taking on debt that you could then pay off, like a mortgage, car loan or credit cards. But in terms of your credit history, paying your rent on time meant nothing.

Now, there's an option for the nation's more than 100 million renters -- the newly launched RentReporters.com, which verifies your rent payments with your landlord and securely provides the information to Payment Reporting Builds Credit, which then can be included in a FICO Expansion Score.

Experian announced
earlier this year that it would accept rent payment data as a traditional credit item on its national credit reports.

"Having been where many of our customers are now, I know firsthand the economic circumstances that can result in a poor credit score," said Crispin Luna IV, founder and president of RentReporters.com, in a prepared statement. "RentReporters.com allows essentially every renter in the U.S. to take one step closer to homeownership and leverage their rental payments towards a better credit profile."

What You Need to Know

It's a fairly simple process to get started: Sign up on the site, provide a few details, and once the data is uploaded, you're good to go. "You don't have to worry about destruction or storage of payment records, staying in contact with landlords, or a landlord being unable to rate a tenant's payment history," Luna explained to DailyFinance.

The service is free for landlords, but for renters, an annual membership costs $89.95, with a $49.95 renewal fee, or you can pay an initial set-up fee of $39.95 and $5.95 a month.

Is it worth the money? "There are significant fees," advises Leslie McFadden, associate editor at Bankrate.com. "Compare the cost and benefits of this service to other credit-building methods, such as secured credit cards."

Generally speaking, the idea is sound and could benefit a lot of people, particularly those who are under-banked or non-banked, says Ken Lin, founder and CEO of CreditKarma.com, a consumer education site.

Still, it's somewhat uncharted territory. "There is not enough statistical data to determine the absolute relationship of rent payments to credit default," says Lin. "This type of modeling is not widely used and it is not widely accepted by creditors. Outside of Experian, who is just beginning to test this, you are paying money for something that isn't widely accepted or proven."

He also thinks it's too expensive. "You could spend a bit more and get a secured credit card. Most secured credit card issuers report to all three bureaus, and this is a widely accepted way of building credit, even if you don't have credit to start."

Mike Melby, co-founder and CEO of PayDivvy.com, which offers online bill payment services, suggests an alternative: "Many other bill payment companies such as PayDivvy, AccountNow and ReadyDebit offer credit reporting for free, as a part of their bill pay service."

Lastly, says Lin, rent bureaus are subject to gaming. "Whereas banks have automated credit reporting logic, rent bureaus are subject to landlords who will have inconsistent interpretations of 'on time.' They may also be inaccurate because of any number of biases. For example, a renter could report a friend as their landlord to help build credit. Future creditors that rely on credit scores won't like the subjectivity and human bias when it comes to risk," warns Lin.

Long term though, any type of payment history will be useful. "Rent is one idea, but probably not the best," says Lin. "Utilities and mobile services might be much better risk indicators, since they take the human factor out of the report and have equal market penetration. Moreover, these type of payments are more similar to credit risk. For example, you might always pay your rent because housing is a necessity. But cells phones or cable bills are not, and much more similar to how consumers' prioritize their finances when money is tight."

Melby offers a more optimistic view. "If you are in a similar situation to many Americans today, you've racked up loads of credit card debt and dealt with a lot of late payments, which may have affected your credit score," he says. "A service like this will not work magic overnight, but it will help over time. Every little bit helps, so seize the opportunity ... just make sure you are doing it time and cost effectively."




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Dereck

Do yourself a "HUGE FAVOR" and carefully read this:

The 21st Century Act: Final Amendments to Regulation CC Section:
"Prohibits" reimbursement of Credit, Loan, and Finance Balances to a "Bank Entity" leaving only "Nonbank Consumers" able to receive reimbursement, as specified on Pages 85 and 86.

The 21st Century Act states on pg. 85 and 86 that "Only Nonbank Consumers can suffer losses and File for
Re-credit or Re-claim on any Accounts under the Federal Reserve System" also “Any Second or Third Party Presenters utilizing a Banks Documentation, Contracts and/or Agreements to seek Claims shall be considered to be that Bank under the Rules and Regulations”, the Expanded Definitions also includes Credit Cards and Home Equity Lines of Credit.
Also on Pages 100 and 101 "In any Financial Claims the Indemifying Bank (Parent Bank) must be Identified".

(Left-Click to Search Link)
21st Century Act: Final Amendments to Regulation CC http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/press/bcreg/2004/20040726/attachment.pdf

This Federal Law signed January 1, 2006 makes it "Fraudulent" and therefore "Illegal" for the 3 Major Personal Credit Reporting Agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TrasUnion to allow the Banks and the Banks "Third Party Presenters" to place any claim of "Negative" or "Potentially Negative" Accounts on your Personal Credit Based upon the fact that they have no "Legal Grounds or Claim" to the Money.

This is an "Unfair Practice" that diminishes our Financial ability to support ourselves and adversely affects our ability to gain work in many areas which breaks "Antitrust Laws".

These Rules also back claims of: "Aiding and Abetting" Racketeering and Extortion (of Finance Accounts and Personal Credit Reports), Pandering (of Credit and Loan Accounts, and Conspiracy to wit), Theft, Fraud, Federal Mail Fraud, and Telephone Harassment. Also "Threatening of the U.S. Financial Infrastructure", which is a "Capital Crime".

In order to engage the Federal Trade Commission to act against this injustice we must File many Claims, as these Reports must be Filed by a large number of people in order for the Federal Trade Commission to pursue
"Legal Action".

(Left -Click to engage Email Address)

antitrust@ftc.gov

This is way easier than "Occupying Wall Street"!

March 11 2012 at 4:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Natasha

Great article,

Yes boosting your credit report is very important these days.You can be approved for loan easily and with less rates.You also will pay less for insurance any ...

If you need to check your credit report I would suggest you ---EliteCreditReport.info--- They offer 100% Free Credit report + Credit Monitoring.

January 12 2012 at 2:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Amanda

My best friend ,she just has announced her wedding with a millionaire old man Ronald who is the CEO of a MNC ! They met via ----WealthyFlirt.CОM---.- ..it is the largest and best club for rich man date with young and beautiful woman and their admirers to chat online. …you don’t have to be rich there ,but you may meet one ,maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends !

October 03 2011 at 12:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
KILO

I just wrote to the Federal Trade Commission about error after errors on my credit reports. Greg and Shannon this is a suggestion for you all to write and put in your complaints. It is time consuming...I added so many letters (6) different complaints to the credit bureaus..Experian is still the worst one..So, being fed up with their deceptive and lazy practices, I went the next step: FTC Complaint Division w a cover sheet and my Exhibits. i do this type of "credit repairing/deleting "as a side business to compensate my disability (small check). my e mail is universal credit consultant@yahoo.com or my personal e mail: law.e.farias.2010@gmail.com....I have been successful on most ocassions: problem is for some individuals and their heavy schedule to not have the time to act and continue to complain, complain and complain and then no results. Thx. good luck Esmer

October 02 2011 at 3:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Vfbgfnb

My best friend ,she just has announced her wedding with a millionaire old man Ronald who is the CEO of a MNC ! They met via ----SeekSugarDad.CОM---.- ..it is the largest and best club for rich man date with young and beautiful woman and their admirers to chat online. …you don’t have to be rich there ,but you may meet one ,maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends !
For the cost of the ridiculous fee on that website to renters it is easier to get a copy of your payment record, from the/a landlord, and have it to show the future landlord. Keep the originals, and make copies, for them. The cost of joining is ridiculous.

October 01 2011 at 5:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmyadams

See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/nlLDhC

September 30 2011 at 11:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dabrownman

Is it me or am I the only one who thinks that not paying your rent will hurt your credit score? So, it helps to pay your rent fools. Especially if you are renting from me.

September 29 2011 at 6:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
calbev

As the owner of single family rentals I have been contacted many times by mortgage companies asking for rental history information. I think it should be included in a FICO score. It relates to how they manage income and pay for the roof over head. Responsible tenants should have this oppertunity to build credit.

September 29 2011 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Greg & Shannon

Why does it cost anything???????????? I paid on time every time for 14 years strait with one landlord. If I hadn't and he reported me it wouldn't cost anyone a dime to ruin my credit. If it was an error it would cost me a great deal of time getting it off my credit report. The three major reporters do not respond when questioned and almost fight you to keep wrong information on a credit report. My name has 6 different spellings and one reports my latest address as one I had 16 years ago. I have spent many many hours trying to correct this. They fix it then 2 month later its messed up again. If you are going to report rental history (as they allways should have) then lets do it free of charge to the consumer. The three major agencies should have open phone lines to help consumer deal with issues so we could have a name and employee # for proof we made the attempt to fix their errors..............

September 29 2011 at 1:16 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
cacheit

For the cost of the ridiculous fee on that website to renters it is easier to get a copy of your payment record, from the/a landlord, and have it to show the future landlord. Keep the originals, and make copies, for them. The cost of joining is ridiculous.

September 29 2011 at 11:45 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply