Monthly Bills That Can’t Help Your Credit, But Can Hurt It

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If you pay some bills on time, it won't help your credit. But if you're late, it could hurt. Is it fair?

Many renters think their on-time rental payments are helping to boost their credit score. They’re wrong. But if they’re late with the rent, that could be hurting their score.

That’s according to TransUnion, which recently conducted a survey revealing that many Americans are mistaken when it comes to identifying which monthly bills affect their credit rating.

Respondents wrongly believe that cable and Internet fees (53 percent), utilities (54 percent) cell phone bills (52 percent) and rent (48 percent) are routinely reported to credit bureaus.

According to Money, TransUnion and Experian now allow rental payments to be factored into credit reports, though most landlords aren’t reporting it. It’s a similar story for Internet, cable, utility and cellphone companies.

Even if your landlord or service firm is one of the few that does report, the payments may not be included in the most common credit score lenders use, called the FICO score. So if you were counting on your on-time monthly rent checks to help you build your credit score, you’re out of luck.

However, if you’re not paying your rent and other monthly bills on time, your credit could suffer. Money said some landlords and other utility companies that don’t routinely report on-time payments to the credit bureaus do report delinquent customers.

Most credit card, mortgage, student loan and car loan companies report all your payments, regardless of whether they’re late or on-time, to the credit bureaus.

If you’re looking for ways to boost your credit score, click here.

Did you know that rent and utility payments are not routinely (or ever) reported to credit bureaus? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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