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Most Renters’ Payments Not Being Reported to Credit Bureaus

According to new research from TransUnion, 36% of property managers who are aware of the practice of reporting rent payments to the three major credit agencies are actually doing so. 

This research comes to us via TransUnion’s Tenant and Employment business department which also found that the 36% of property managers who are reporting this information has increased 37% year-over-year. 

Based on this rising trend, nearly half (48%) of those who now report rent payments only began reporting this information in 2022—in part through product solutions like TransUnion’s TruVision Resident Credit, which counts towards your credit score. The top reasons cited for reporting rent payments were to help residents build their credit scores (86%), followed by encouraging residents to pay on time (52%). 

“It’s exciting to see this kind of movement among property managers toward rent payment reporting,” said Maitri Johnson, VP of Tenant and Employment Screening at TransUnion. “The findings also illustrate that the property manager-tenant relationship is more than transactional—most property managers who report rent payments are doing so to help their residents improve their financial futures. Clearly, awareness of this valuable credit report asset is growing, and we hope to see even broader adoption of rent reporting going forward.” 

This information comes from a small survey of 150 property management executives from mid- and large-sized properties covering 3,301 current renters. 

TransUnion further stated that property managers who do not want to report payments themselves are forming partnerships with third-party vendors in order to participate in rent reporting to credit agencies. 

“Our residents deserve opportunities to build their credit from on-time rent payments that give them access to more financial services such as favorable interest rates on auto loans,” said Matt DeGraw, President, Bridge Property Management. “Working with TransUnion through RentDynamics has made it efficient and affordable to participate in rent payment reporting, and we’re proud to offer this amenity to our residents.” 

Additionally TransUnion found that when asked why they do not report rent payments, 54% of property managers selected “other” among a list of common reasons. Nearly one-third (32%) of that segment indicated they were in the process of setting up rent payment reporting or were already doing so through a third-party data furnisher. When asked to identify which benefits would convince them to begin reporting rent payments, 85% were at least somewhat likely to report if it meant attracting renters who pay on time. 

“I think we’re seeing a change in perspective among property managers in that they increasingly see rent payment reporting as an important and attainable value-add they can provide renters, a new amenity that can not only support good payment behavior but also be valuable in new renter acquisition,” said Johnson. 

Being younger and more apt to rent, Gen Zers renters have their rent payments reported at nearly double the rate of the general population at a rate of 21% to 11%. With Gen Z making up the larger portion of today’s renter profile, this is an important paradigm shift. In addition, 80% of those who had their rent payments said their credit scores increased as a result; however, there is a generational trend in that younger renters participate in and benefit more from rent payment reporting. 

The report also found 58% of renters are more likely to rent from someone who reports rent payments, with even higher representation among younger generations. In addition, 82% of all renters said they would be more likely to pay rent on time if their payments were reported. 

“Having rent payments reported is an attractive option for most renters, so property managers who participate should really leverage that benefit in their advertising and highlight it in their lease agreements,” said Johnson. “Property managers who are on the fence should understand that the practice is a win-win for both parties, as it attracts responsible renters and rewards them for on-time payments.” 

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at [email protected].

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