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How to Report Rent Payments to the Credit Bureau

Janine DeVault

Jun 17, 2024 6 min read

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How to report rent payments to credit bureau

Is there a relationship between your credit score and renting? 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: one that lets you enroll as an individual and others where you enroll with your landlord’s cooperation. 

Rent reporting programs is a great way to build your credit profile without taking on additional debt. As you likely 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 worthwhile to take advantage of programs like this to build your credit with the rent payments you're already making!

What is Rent Reporting in Canada?

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 mortgages 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?

There are several different rent reporters available. You can report your rent to the credit bureau with the Borrowell Rent Advantage program or through FrontLobby, although with the second option, you'll need to involve your landlord.

Reporting your rent with the Borrowell 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. Additionally, reporting your rent with Borrowell gives you the option to report up to 24 months of past rent payments in one go, extending your credit history.

Increase your credit score or your money back!

Add at least 12 months of past rent payments to your credit report and we’ll refund the one-time fee of $59 if your credit score doesn’t increase. Terms and conditions apply.

Start building credit

To report through FrontLobby, you will need your landlord’s cooperation. You and your landlord must both create accounts, and your landlord will have to submit your payment data each month. With Front Lobby, you aren’t able to report past rental history, only current and future payments from the time you sign up.

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 way to contribute data to your credit profile and build your credit score without having to take on any debt. Since you have to pay your rent on time each month, you might as well make your payments work harder for you by reporting these transactions to the credit bureau.

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! 

Ready to build credit with your rent?

When you sign up for Borrowell Rent Advantage™, your rent payments will contribute to building your credit history, payment history and credit mix: three factors that have a BIG impact on your credit score.

Find Out More

Which Credit Bureaus Account for Rent Payments?

Currently, the only Canadian credit bureau that accounts for rent payments is Equifax, which is the largest consumer credit bureau in Canada. 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 in Canada 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 involvement. Additionally, through Borrowell, you can report your past rent payments, allowing you to extend credit history.

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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