Renters get the short end of the stick when it comes to credit scores. Credit scores consider credit card, mortgage, and auto payments but not rental payments. That makes it hard for renters to build credit even if they have been paying rent on time for years. But companies like RentTrack are out to change that.
How does RentTrack work?
When you sign up with RentTrack, you don’t pay the landlord directly. RentTrack will deduct your rent from your checking account and send a check to your landlord. The company will then report your rental payments to all three credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.
Renters pay $6.95 per month to use RentTrack. It doesn’t cost landlords anything. If you want to report past rental payments, it costs $49.95 to report 12 months of past rent and $89.95 to report 24 months of past rent.
RentTrack only helps improve FICO Score 9 and VantageScore
Though RentTrack reports to all three credit bureaus, rental payments are treated differently from other payments such as credit cards, auto payments, and mortages. Rent payments are reported under FICO Score 9 and VantageScore. FICO Score 9 and VantageScore are not widely used by creditors (they use other FICO scores) but can still be useful if you are trying to build credit.
FICO 9 differs from other credit scoring methods in a few ways. Collection accounts paid in full are disregarded and unpaid medical collection accounts are treated differently (favorably for consumers) compared to other unpaid nonmedical collections. FICO 9 scores also include rental payment history if the payments are reported to the credit bureaus. But landlords are not legally required to report them to the credit bureaus.
VantageScore is a credit score developed by Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. It is a competitor to the FICO score. It considers non-traditional credit information such as utilities and rent in its model.
RentTrack includes credit monitoring service
As part of its subscription, RentTrack includes credit monitoring services to the reduce risk of identity theft. You will get alerts when a new credit application is submitted or when a hard inquiry is made in your name. You will also get alerts when a new address is associated with your credit profile and when new employment has been added to your record.
Is RentTrack worth it?
Paying money to improve your credit score is usually not worth it. FICO Score 9 and VantageScore are not widely used by lenders. But if you are interested in improving your FICO Score 9 and VantageScore, it may be worth paying for RentTrack.
Other options to improve your credit score
There are other ways you can improve your credit score. The following options will improve FICO scores which are more widely used by lenders.
Become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card
When you become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card and they have excellent credit, your credit scores go up as well. You can ask a good friend or a family member whether they are willing to add you as an authorized user on their card.
Get a secured credit card
If you don’t have a credit score or if your credit scores are low, you can get a secured credit card by paying a small deposit. As long as you keep the account in good standing, your credit score will improve.
RentTrack allows you to improve certain credit scores by considering your rent payments. Tenants pay RentTrack for the reporting rent payments to the credit bureau. RentTrack will deduct your rent from your checking account and send a check to your landlord. Reporting rent payments to the credit bureaus helps you improve your FICO Score 9 and VantageScore but these scores are not used widely by lenders. But if you are interested in building credit, RentTrack may be worth it.