Why Europe Must End Its 30-Year Digital Winter to Ensure Its Long-Run Future

Zillow Adds Credit-Building Payment Reporting Program for Renters

Real estate website Zillow added a feature that allows renters to build their credit history at no cost.

All renters who use the Zillow platform to pay rent can opt in to this new credit-building payment reporting program at no cost to them or their landlord, the company said in a Wednesday (Jan. 17) press release. On-time rent payments will be reported to the credit bureau Experian.

“Every on-time rent payment is a testament to a renter’s reliability, yet it’s often overlooked in credit reports, and we want to change that,” Michael Sherman, vice president of Zillow Rentals, said in the release.

The initiative addresses a gap in credit reporting, as billions of dollars in rent payments often go unreported, according to the release. As a result, about 26 million Americans are considered “credit invisible” with no credit history.

By reporting on-time rent payments, Zillow aims to help renters build or enhance their credit history, opening doors to broader financial opportunities, the release said. Higher credit scores can lead to easier loan approvals and better rates for home purchases, credit cards and future rentals.

To opt in to rent reporting on Zillow, renters can enable the feature through their Renter Payments Dashboard, per the release. New renters will be asked if they want to opt in when they enroll in the service.

Zillow identifies on-time rent payments, defined as payments made within 30 days of their due date, and reports them to Experian monthly, according to the release. Late payments, defined as those more than 30 days past due, are not reported.

Once enrolled, the process is automatic, with Zillow continuing to report on-time monthly rent payments without requiring further action, the release said. Renters can opt out of rent reporting at any time.

Credit-building apps using rental payments data are surging in popularity, PYMNTS reported in December.

In another addition to these offerings, financial wellness platform Bloom Credit said in October that it was launching a credit reporting service for rental payment data. The service allows rental apps to report rent payments to the three major credit bureaus.