If you’re looking to improve your credit score, we have some great news: Paying rent to build credit is not only possible, but it’s also a great strategy for improving your score!

This isn’t just our opinion, either. In 2017, TransUnion studied 12,000 renters who reported their rent payments to credit bureaus over the course of a year. The study determined that, on average, renters’ credit scores rose by 16 points within six months! Not only that, but those with starting scores below 620 saw the greatest score increases.

This same strategy can work for you if you pay your rent online! Doing so allows your payments to be reported, gives credit bureaus information they are looking for, and can combine with credit card payments to realize greater gains to your score. Here’s how it works:

Gives Credit Bureaus Information They Are Looking For

First, it helps to understand what the credit bureaus are looking at when they determine your credit score. 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 your rent online, the payments become part of your payment history. As you pay on-time and in-full each month, that information is factored into your score, too.

Allows Your Payments to Be 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 ensure your rent payments are reported? At The Courtyards, we use an online rental payment system that reports directly to the credit bureaus. This way, credit bureaus receive a record of your on-time rental payments, which strengthens your credit score. 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.

Combines with Credit Card Payments to Realize Greater Gains

If you want to add even more of a boost to your score, consider this piece of advice from LaToya Irby, credit expert for The Balance: “Open a credit card and use it to pay your rent . . . then pay your credit card balance in full each month. The timely credit card payments will help boost your credit score.” You don’t have to pay your rent with a credit card, but it can be a nice little boost to your credit score in combination with the other benefits of paying your rent online.

So, paying rent to build credit? It’s not only possible, but it’s also an easy way to boost your score. Get started by visiting the AMC resident portal. As you do so, it allows your payments to be reported to the credit bureaus, giving them the information they are looking for. As an added bonus, choosing to pay your rent with a credit card can help you to realize greater gains to your score. Happy credit-score-boosting!