report to credit bureaus

Here’s How to Report Rent Payments to the Credit Bureaus

Q: I carried a mortgage on a property I rented out and I would like to report rent payments to the credit reporting agency. How can I do this?

A:  Thanks for reaching out and for your question about reporting a mortgage to a credit bureau.

In order to do this, an organization (or potentially, an individual), must become a “credit furnisher” or a “data furnisher” to the credit bureaus.

This means the organization is an entity/business that has been applied for membership and been accepted by the credit bureaus as a regular supplier of consumer payment data.

Such companies have service agreements and rules they must follow, per credit bureau guidelines and procedures. Additionally, data furnishers must comply with federal law (specifically the Fair Credit Reporting Act Furnisher Rule. You can read more about that here, from the FTC, or Federal Trade Commission).

But to sum it up: When a business becomes a data furnisher, they have to agree to regularly report ALL customer accounts to the bureaus. They can’t just randomly choose to report some customers and not others.

Additionally, data furnishers have to report ALL customers’ complete payment history; they can’t report some months but not others. That wouldn’t be a fair, accurate or legal depiction of an individual’s credit history.

Also, individuals can’t be data furnishers for the most part. (They can in some cases, like if they’re property owners, real estate landlords, etc. like yourself who rent out apartments or homes or carry mortgages; they can report people’s rent payments / mortgage payment history).

So if you want to take this path, here are three resources for you:

This is the Equifax Guidebook for Prospective Data Furnishers.

Here is info on Experian’s Data Reporting requirements.

And here is TransUnion’s Data Reporting requirements.

Again, these spell out the rules that you (or any company that wants to become a data furnisher) must follow in order to report consumer info to the credit bureaus.

OK … that’s everything. Hope this info helps, and good luck to you!

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