If you’re wondering how to build your credit, we have some great news: If you pay monthly rent online, you can do just that! TransUnion studied 12,000 renters who reported their rent payments to credit bureaus over the course of a year. The study found that renters’ scores rose an average of 16 points within six months, and the benefit was greatest for those who started with credit scores below 620.

If you’d like to see a similar increase to your credit score, go ahead and pay your monthly rent online. Doing so makes sure your payments are reported, gives credit bureaus the information they need, and can be used with credit card payments to gain more points to your score. To learn more, read on:

Makes Sure Your Payments Are Reported

“Simply paying your rent will not help you build credit,” says Bev O’Shea at NerdWallet. “But reporting your rent payments can help you build credit—especially if you are new to credit or do not have a lot of experience using it.”

So how do you make sure your rent payments are reported? At The Pines, we offer an online rental payment system that reports information to the credit bureaus. That way, credit bureaus receive a record of your on-time rental payments, which adds to your good credit. In order to opt in for the credit reporting, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your account through the resident portal and click on “Make a Payment Now.”
  2. Select “Build your credit history by opting in to credit reporting.”
  3. Enter your information in the credit reporting fields. Be sure to select “yes” for month-to-month lease if you have one, or select “no” and a lease end date.

Gives Credit Bureaus the Information They Need

What actually goes into a credit score, and does paying rent online contribute? Experian, for example, determines credit scores through the following elements:

  • Use of credit cards
  • Payment history
  • Applications for new loans and credit

When you pay rent online, those payments become part of your payment history. As you pay on-time and in-full each month, that becomes part of your score, too.

Use With Credit Card Payments to Gain More Points

To boost your score even more, pay with a credit card.

“Open a credit card and use it to pay your rent . . . then pay your credit card balance in full each month,” says LaToya Irby, credit expert for The Balance. “The timely credit card payments will help boost your credit score.”

This can provide a nice increase to your credit score, along with the other benefits of paying rent online.

So this month, pay monthly rent online through the resident portal! As you do so, your payments are reported to credit bureaus, giving them the information they need. Plus, if you use credit cards, you may gain more points to your score. Happy credit-score-boosting!