Credit Bureau Starts Tracking Rent Payments: Good News or Bad News?

Lynnette Khalfani Cox - credit
Lynnette Khalfani Cox - credit

For years, renters who got behind on their housing payments could do so without worrying about the impact that a late payment would have on their credit rating.

Next year that's going to change.

One of the big three credit bureaus, Experian, recently began collecting data about consumer rental payments and including that data in its credit reports.

For 2011, Experian is only reporting positive rental payment information about consumers. But starting in 2012, Experian will also keep tabs on and report negative information too, such as late rent payments.

"Given that one-third of the U.S. population rents, we felt it was imperative to reflect the true creditworthiness of those individuals who responsibly pay their rent," Brannan Johnston, vice president and managing director, Experian RentBureau, said in a statement.