Reporting tenants payments to credit

17 Replies

Is there a way that if I own a property free and clear, that I can report my tenants good payments to credit? I want to help them build credit by reporting their good payments, but I have no idea how that works..

There are services for this if you search online but they are not free.

Cozy provides this for electronic payments.

Owning the property "free and clear" shouldn't have anything to do with it. I've looked into this before and it is possible but it's not easy. Maybe with a few properties it would be manageable but for 300+ it would have taken too much work to transfer payment data into the forms required by the credit reporting agency every month.

It's too bad they make it difficult because rent is typically the largest payment made very month and is a great indicator of credit worthiness.

@Dennis W.

Thanks for the recommendation, I'll be looking into them

@Nathan G.

Yeah, not sure why I threw in the "free and clear part" - it was early in the morning for me haha For right now I only have a couple of properties, so I think it would make sense, but if there are programs that are built for landlords/PM's that help report then maybe I won't have to input them manually? Again, I have no idea about any of this.

@Tyson Hosey I contacted Experian because someone told me I could report rent payments to them. I thought it would be a great service to my tenants. It turns out I would have to export my data, cut/paste it into their spreadsheet in the appropriate columns or rows, then upload it to their site. I can't remember how much time they estimated it would take but I do know it wasn't worth it for me with 300+ rentals. 

One of the electronic payment services used to do this. i think it was erentpayment but the tenant can opt out. if they want.

@Nathan G. Yeah that sounds like a complete misuse of your time. I wouldn’t do that either. Unless there was a way to automate it, which, i assume there isn’t... bc that would be too easy! Haha

In Cozy, the tenant can turn on "Rent Reporting". If the tenant chooses to use Rent Reporting, Cozy will send their rent payment history (including past payments) to Experian RentBureau, and they’ll be added as a new tradeline on the tenant's Experian credit report.

@Dawn A. thank you Dawn, I haven’t had a chance to check them out, but I’ll definitely look into them now, knowing that they have that feature. And most of their services are free? Or is that just their advertisement?

I love Cozy and reading this thread made me realise that I can use it for reporting both positive and negative credit payments.  From the very next lease I sign, I'm going to make it a REQUIREMENT that tenants turn on the rent payment reporting feature in Cozy.  That way they know it's being reported either way.  I'll write again in 18 months to say if this increases the on-time payments.  

 Amy, how do you intend to enforce that requirement? From the landlord side, you have no way of knowing if your tenants have reporting turned on or not.

@Tyson Hosey

Tell them to get a credit card, pay you rent from the credit card and pay it off every month WIN WIN. You don't have to deal with the paperwork, and they are building credit in the process. 

They may have to start with a secure credit cards for a couple months to establish themselves. 

@Redgy Saint-Germain   HM! I hadn't thought of that. Like you said, it would be dependent on them being able to get a credit card in the first place. I'm also considering a lease option so that while they pay me rent they build up credit to eventually buy the house, plus they establish a down payment of sorts to help with the purchase when it comes time.

@Tyson Hosey

Yea its an alternative, it should be easy to get a secure credit card, they can start it with one month of rent to make it easy then usually after 6months to a year the bank would return the money to them 

Originally posted by @Tyson Hosey :

Dawn Anastasi thank you Dawn, I haven’t had a chance to check them out, but I’ll definitely look into them now, knowing that they have that feature. And most of their services are free? Or is that just their advertisement?

Yes, I've been using them for years. Some of my tenants don't have bank accounts when they sign up with me, and they just use Cozy to keep track of their balance (I add in water bill charges on Cozy too). But then when they get a bank account, they setup electronic payments.

Good luck getting a tenant to pay a 2.7% fee to use a debit or credit card on top of their rent.  We can barely get them to pay their rent on time.  They get charged a late fee.  They think they get away from the late fee, but we take it out of their security deposit as stated in our agreement that they've signed.  When you have over 600 units, you learn how to handle these smart alecs.

We get our pound of flesh one way or another.  

A friend of mine who LOVES to do lease options does this for all her lease option tenants to help build up their credit so that it helps them qualify for a loan when it’s time to exercise their option to buy. She uses erentpayment and they report to all 3 credit bureaus. It costs the tenant $3 per month which they are apparently happy to pay and no hassle at all for her.

Even for non lease options I think it would be a nice marketing tool, although we have not yet used it.

(Of course erentpayment had that glitch several months back and people lost money but apparently that has been sorted out).

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