Building Credit As A Renter Can Help You Buy Your First Home

by Allison Jaffe 11/10/2019

Having a high credit score is one of the most important and helpful things you can achieve before buying a home. A solid credit history will give you a better chance of being approved for the home loan you want and getting a lower interest rate so that you know you’re getting a good deal on your first home.

But, as any renter can tell you, it can sometimes be difficult to lift your credit score when you’ve got so many other things to worry about.

In today’s post, I’m going to cover the best ways to build credit while renting an apartment so you can lift your score to an amount that will help you achieve your goal of homeownership.

1. Take over the bills

If you live with roommates or with your family, one good way to start building your credit score is to simply put more bills in your name.

If you’re certain that you’ll be able to make on-time payments on them each month, this can be a way to boost your score without much thought.

Keep in mind, however, that not all utility companies report your payments to credit bureaus, so it’s a good idea to check that yours does before putting the bills in your name.

2. Become an authorized user

If taking out new credit isn’t an option for you, becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit account can help you increase your score.

Be sure to find out whether the credit issuer reports payments for authorized users before taking this step. And, once you’re sure that they do, you can be added to the account without changing anything about your spending.

3. Convince your landlord to report your rental payments

In most cases, rental payments aren’t reported to the credit bureaus. However, it is becoming more common. Check to see if your landlord uses a service like PayYourRent or RentTrack. If not, consider asking them to try it out.

4. Solving the “no credit” problem

Since we all start off with a blank slate in terms of credit history, some renters have the issues of not having enough credit information to start building their score.

If this is the case, it might be a good idea to open your first credit account. But, wait! Before you start racking up debt on your first credit card, take a minute to make a wise plan.

First, don’t change your spending habits just because you have credit. Pick a card that offers rewards in the form of cash back, and only use your card for things like gas and groceries that will help you earn points.

Then, set your card to auto-pay in full each month so that you never start accruing interest. This way, you’ll build your credit score and earn money (in the form of rewards or cash back), making it a win-win.

About the Author
Author

Allison Jaffe

Welcome to Key Real Estate Services 

Providing professional representation for Sellers and Buyers throughout NYC and the northern suburbs.

Westchester/Rockland/Putnam: 914-661-0340

Manhattan/Bronx/Brooklyn/Queens: 718-874-2877

www.keyrealestateny.com

Meet Our Team

Allison Jaffe, Licensed Real Estate Broker

Office: 914-661-0340 or 718-874-2877, Ext. 2

Call/Text: 718-577-5284

Email: [email protected]

During more than 14 years as an independent broker, Allison has managed all manner of residential real estate sales – single and multi-family houses, condos, co-ops, and mixed-use -- from upper Manhattan, throughout the Bronx and Queens, across Westchester to Putnam and Rockland Counties. Allison specializes as a Sellers Agent, Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), Estate Properties Agent, and a Certified Buyer Representative (CBR). Please see our menu of Client Services to learn more about each of these focused areas of real estate expertise.

"I determined early in my real estate career to focus on the specific needs of my respective clients rather than a specific geographic area. My job isn’t to sell buyers on a town or school district – they know where they want to live – my job is to sell the one property in that location that my client has to sell. My buyer clients want options and having lived and worked in Westchester, Rockland, the Bronx, and Manhattan, I know where to find those options.”

Linda Mancini, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Office: 914-661-0340 or 718-874-2877, Ext. 3

Call/Text: 718-619-8022

Email: [email protected]

Linda joined Key Real Estate Services in 2017 to expand our client representation throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Extending the firm’s core principal of market expertise, Linda specializes in HDFC (Housing Development Fund Corporation) apartments in NYC that keep affordable housing options open to financially qualified families.

"I’m happy to represent the firm’s client-centric, market expertise approach to real estate throughout NYC. After more than thirty years of experience with HDFC properties, I’m able to guide qualified clients through the particular challenges of buying into and selling out of this unique homeownership option.”

Lea Mae de Guzman, Client Care Coordinator

Office: 914-661-0340 or 718-874-2877, Ext. 1

Call/Text: 718-577-5286

Email: [email protected]

Overseeing transaction activity, Lea works directly with Allison and Linda to keep every sale and purchase moving forward efficiently. With her finger on the pulse of each client’s transaction, Lea is at the firm’s administrative hub for scheduling, document processing, and coordinated communication.

"While I attend to the day-to-day clerical and communication needs for all of Key Real Estate Services’ clients, Allison and Linda are free to give their undivided attention to one client at a time in the field. I’m sort of the company's human tracking app that every client can access online, by text, or on the phone.”