If you’re making efforts to improve your credit score, chances are you’re doing things like diligently paying off a student loan and responsibly using a credit card. But did you know that if you pay rent online, that can help your credit score, too? In fact, TransUnion studied 12,000 renters who reported their rent payments to credit bureaus. They found that the renters’ scores rose an average of 16 points within six months, and the benefit was greatest for those whose credit scores were below 620 at the beginning of the study.

If you want to see your credit score soar, head over to the resident portal to pay rent online. Doing so ensures your payments are reported, shows credit bureaus what they are looking for, and can combine with credit card payments to increase your score even more. Here’s how.

Making Sure Your Payments Are Reported

Paying rent online is the key here, because “simply paying your rent will not help you build credit,” says Bev O’Shea at NerdWallet. Reporting your payments to the credit bureaus is how you get your score to improve.

So how do you make sure your rent payments get to the credit bureaus? At Solara Apartments, we offer an online rental payment system that reports your payments to them. With the record of your on-time rental payments, credit bureaus can boost 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.

Evidence for Credit Bureaus That You Are Responsible

What are credit bureaus looking for, and when you pay rent online, does that count for anything? Credit bureaus are looking to see that you are using credit cards, have a long payment history, and aren’t applying for new loans and credit too often.

Paying rent definitely counts! When you pay rent online and those payments are reported, those payments become part of your payment history. As you pay on time and in full and continue to do so, that becomes part of your score, too.

Launching Your Score Even Higher

Want to boost your score even more? Consider getting a credit card specifically to pay your rent. If you go this route, “consider doing it with the credit card that has the lowest interest rate, and try requesting a credit limit increase from your issuer first. And then, of course, pay off the amount in full every month, or contribute as much as possible.”

See your credit score soar when you pay rent online through the resident portal. As you do so, you make sure your payments are reported, show credit bureaus what they are looking for, and may boost your score even more when combined with credit card payments.