How to Build Credit While Renting An Apartment

by Robert Bennett 03/23/2020

Having a high credit score is one of the most important and helpful things you can achieve before buying a home. A solid credit history will give you a better chance of being approved for the home loan you want and getting a lower interest rate so that you know you’re getting a good deal on your first home.

But, as any renter can tell you, it can sometimes be difficult to lift your credit score when you’ve got so many other things to worry about.

In today’s post, I’m going to cover the best ways to build credit while renting an apartment so you can lift your score to an amount that will help you achieve your goal of homeownership.

1. Take over the bills

If you live with roommates or with your family, one good way to start building your credit score is to simply put more bills in your name.

If you’re certain that you’ll be able to make on-time payments on them each month, this can be a way to boost your score without much thought.

Keep in mind, however, that not all utility companies report your payments to credit bureaus, so it’s a good idea to check that yours does before putting the bills in your name.

2. Become an authorized user

If taking out new credit isn’t an option for you, becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit account can help you increase your score.

Be sure to find out whether the credit issuer reports payments for authorized users before taking this step. And, once you’re sure that they do, you can be added to the account without changing anything about your spending.

3. Convince your landlord to report your rental payments

In most cases, rental payments aren’t reported to the credit bureaus. However, it is becoming more common. Check to see if your landlord uses a service like PayYourRent or RentTrack. If not, consider asking them to try it out.

4. Solving the “no credit” problem

Since we all start off with a blank slate in terms of credit history, some renters have the issues of not having enough credit information to start building their score.

If this is the case, it might be a good idea to open your first credit account. But, wait! Before you start racking up debt on your first credit card, take a minute to make a wise plan.

First, don’t change your spending habits just because you have credit. Pick a card that offers rewards in the form of cash back, and only use your card for things like gas and groceries that will help you earn points.

Then, set your card to auto-pay in full each month so that you never start accruing interest. This way, you’ll build your credit score and earn money (in the form of rewards or cash back), making it a win-win.

About the Author
Author

Robert Bennett

I have been in the real estate services business in the Danvers, Lynn, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Nahant, Peabody, Salem, Saugus, Swampscott, and West Peabody real estate markets for many successful years and will be here for many more. This longevity and confidence comes from my real estate services to a great many buyers and sellers, and their recommendations to others that result in repeat and referral business that keeps me productive and successful.

As a full service Danvers, Lynn, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Nahant, Peabody, Salem, Saugus, Swampscott, and West Peabody real estate professional, I work with buyers, sellers and investors in real estate transactions spanning all of the price ranges and property types.

Residential Single Family – My residential single family services connect buyers with sellers every day, and I do it with professionalism and a total dedication to my clients. This property type is the majority of my market transactions, but by far not the only one in which I have expertise.

Condominiums – While condominiums are residential, they’re a very different market focus, and I am an expert in evaluating condos and helping buyers and sellers to cope with the special financing and homeowner concerns for this property type.

Multi–family – Investors are great clients for me. Multi–family properties are a very unique market. The detailed return on investment and valuation calculations investors need to evaluate properties for rental are second nature to me.

Commercial – Whether it’s a shopping mall, a small office building or a restaurant space, I'm your commercial property specialist. Contact me for your commercial property needs in the Danvers, Lynn, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Nahant, Peabody, Salem, Saugus, Swampscott, and West Peabody real estate markets.

Vacant Land – Land is a very special property class. It’s relatively easy to show a gourmet cook a wonderful commercial kitchen in a home and see their eyes light up. It’s more of a challenge to help a buyer or seller to realize the potential in a piece of land. I'm the best at it in the Danvers, Lynn, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Nahant, Peabody, Salem, Saugus, Swampscott, and West Peabody real estate markets.

Call me at 781-309-7466 or email me to start a discussion of your needs. Or, fill out this quick form and tell me about your property interests and an overview of your needs.