Rental Boost

A new program will likely help renters’ credit scores

Renters rejoice — your monthly payments could soon be counted toward your credit score. Fannie Mae has launched a new program that will allow property owners to submit your rent payments to the three credit bureaus, and thus bolster your score.

Currently, on-time rent payments are typically not included in your credit report. If you’re a renter, that puts you at a big disadvantage. You could be paying on-time for years and have nothing to show for it, credit-wise. For many families, rent is the single largest expense per month. With this new program from Fannie Mae — called Multifamily Positive Rent Payment Reporting — your on-time payments will finally be included in your report and likely improve your credit score.

The program is now available to property owners (i.e. landlords). They have to opt-in to the program, which would eventually send the data to the credit bureaus. The good news is that Fannie Mae is covering the costs of the program for the first year. Hopefully, that will entice more property owners to enroll.

Notably, the Fannie Mae program is only a positive for you. If you miss a rent payment, you’ll be automatically unenrolled in the program, keeping your credit score intact. If you don’t want to be in the program, you can opt-out. But we wouldn’t recommend that, as you should jump at the chance for an easy way to improve your credit score.

Chris O'Shea