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How to Report Rent Payments to the Credit Bureau

Janine DeVault

Oct 21, 2022 5 min read

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How to report rent payments to credit bureau

Even though you must pass a credit check to qualify for a rental, your monthly rent payments won’t be reported to the credit bureaus unless you enroll in a rent reporting program. There are a couple of different rent reporting programs available to Canadians and you can enroll individually or with your landlord’s cooperation. 

Rent reporting programs are a great way to build your credit profile without taking on additional debt. As you know, a strong credit score opens many doors, including access to better interest rates, higher credit limits, and much more. If you’re a renter, it’s definitely worth while to take advantage of programs like this to build your credit! 

What is Rent Reporting?

Rent reporting is the practice of sharing your rent payments with the credit bureaus so the payment data will appear on your credit report and be used to calculate your credit score.

Rent payments aren’t typically reported to credit bureaus in the same way that payments toward your loans, credit cards, or cell phone bills are. Since rent reporting isn’t automatic, your rent payments will only be reported if you enroll in a rent reporting service and request that the data be shared each month. 

Reporting rent payments

How Does it Work?

You can report your rent to the credit bureau through the Landlord Credit Bureau (LCB) or with the Borrowell Rent Advantage program. 

To report through the LCB, you will need your landlord’s cooperation. You and your landlord must both create accounts through the LCB, and your landlord will have to submit your payment data each month. 

Reporting your rent with Borrowell’s Rent Advantage program does not require landlord cooperation. Instead, you can self-report your rent by connecting your bank account and inputting your lease details within the platform. There is a $5 monthly fee for reporting rent through the Rent Advantage program, but you can cancel at any time without penalty. 

Rent payment data is typically reported to Equifax on the last business day of the month following your rent payment. In other words, there will be a slight delay in reporting between when you make the payment and when it appears on your credit report. Your July rent payment will be reported to Equifax on the last business day of August, and so on. 

Paying rent

Why Report Your Rent Payments?

Rent reporting is a fantastic way to contribute data to your credit profile and build your credit score. Since you have to pay your rent on time each month, you might as well make your payments work for you by reporting them to the credit bureaus. They’ll contribute to your history of on-time payments (35% of your credit score) and the average age of your accounts which makes up 15% of your credit score. Reporting your rent payments for a year or two will undoubtedly make a big difference in your history of account longevity and contribute to a higher credit score. Again, since you already have to pay rent on time each month, you might as well report the payments and use the data to your advantage.

Just remember, missing a payment or making a late rent payment will affect your credit score negatively if you opt to report your payments, so always pay your rent on time! 

Which Credit Bureaus Account for Rent Payments?

Currently, the only Canadian credit bureau that accounts for rent payments is Equifax. They have partnerships with both the Landlord Credit Bureau and Borrowell, enabling rent payment history to be easily reported. 

Since the other credit bureaus do not currently account for rent payments, your credit score through those bureaus may be different than your Equifax score. It’s wise to review your credit report and score through the various credit bureaus from time to time to ensure the data reported is accurate. If you enroll in rent reporting, just be aware that your Equifax score will likely look different than your score through other bureaus. 

Rental payment history

Other Ways You Can Build Your Credit

Rent reporting is just one of many ways you can work to build your credit and improve your credit score. Here are some additional strategies you can employ. 

On-Time Payments

Your payment history makes up 35% of your overall credit score, so making on-time payments on all of your credit accounts is the simplest and most impactful way to build your credit score. Setting calendar reminders a day or two before your payments are due is a great way to ensure you never miss a due date. Do your best to build up an emergency fund with at least three months of living expenses so you have a financial buffer in case you lose your job or experience unexpected expenses one month. That way, you’ll never miss a payment! 

Secured Credit Cards

Secured credit cards are a powerful way to build credit even if your credit history is poor or non-existent. While they function like regular credit cards, secured cards are backed by a cash deposit which also acts as your credit limit. Even though the card is backed by your own money, you must still make your credit card payments on time every month, and you will be charged interest if you carry a balance on your account. 

The account data from your secured credit card will affect your payment history, credit-to-debt ratio, and credit mix.  

Major credit bureaus

Credit Builder Loans

A credit builder loan functions more like a savings program than a traditional loan, making them a safe and effective way to build credit. You don’t receive a lump sum upfront when taking on a credit builder loan. Instead, the money is deposited into a savings account, and you must make payments to the lender until the end of your loan term. Once the loan term is completed, the lender will deposit the sum into your bank account.

The data from your credit builder loan, including the balance and your payment history, is reported to the credit bureaus and contributes to your credit score.  

The Bottom Line

Rent reporting is a simple way to contribute data to your credit report and build your credit score, especially if you have a limited credit history. You can report your monthly rent payments through the Landlord Credit Bureau with your landlord’s cooperation or through Borrowell’s Rent Advantage program, which does not require landlord cooperation. 

Whether you’re just beginning to build credit or want to give your score a boost, rent reporting is an easy way to boost your score. Just remember that late payments will count against you, so always be mindful to pay on time.

Janine DeVault
Janine DeVault

Janine is a writer who focuses on topics such as credit education, money management, and renting best practices for tenants and landlords. Janine loves to travel and has lived in Canada, the US, and Mexico.

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