Experience using services that report rental history to credit bureaus?
February 10, 2013 12:14 PM   Subscribe

Rebuilding credit a few years post-divorce and home ownership, does anyone have experience with services like rentreporters.com that will report rental payment history to credit services?

I have a nice, small-timey landlord that does not fall into the 500+ unit category that Experian is supposed to be opening up to. It seems like a service that allows landlords to report tenant history should exist, but I am not having a lot of luck finding options. The ones I can find (like the one linked above) look slick, but I cannot find a reliable corpus of reviews. For $10/mo I would be willing to foot it and my landlord would probably participate, but does it actually deliver?

Special info: 2-year divorce trashed good credit and had to sell home. Having rented for 4 years and lived cash-only, the bad stuff is starting to expire off my report and I am looking to start the next phase of life. I looked through creditboards.com and have not found the answer I am looking for.
posted by cgk to Work & Money (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
No one answered this question, so I'll take a shot at it...

Why do you need to know this?

People with shitty credit rent decent apartments ALL the time - really all that matters is that your current landlord gives you a good reference and you are employed. Really. I swear.

That, and the rental agent or owner gets a good "vibe" off of you. It is common these days that people have serious credit dings due to divorce, medical bills, credit fraud, or whatever. You are not unusual.

Be prepared to pay the maximum deposit allowed by law in your jurisdiction in a worse case scenario. Know what the maximum is so you don't get taken advantage of.

Evictions show up on your credit report regardless, at least they do in California. I think rentreporters.com and the like are probably scams. If you went in for a service like this as a perspective tenant (and I was in the business just under 5 years ago) I wouldn't think you were proactive as your perspective landlord, I would think you were hiding something, or worse, just plain stupid and likely a pain in the ass type tenant I would not want to rent to.

Divorce is an acceptable reason to have a period of bad credit. As long as you are current now and have a good rental history AND you present well in an interview (don't show up drunk or high, wear clean clothes and are showered) you are sure to snag a new rental.

Don't waste your money or time worrying about this. Have enough cash for a deposit and first month's rent + adequate income. Renting is really this simple.
posted by jbenben at 11:37 PM on February 13, 2013

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