A good credit score opens the doors to a variety of life-long benefits, including lower rates on car insurance, approval for higher spending limits, lower interest rates for car loans and other credit cards, and even eliminating the need for security deposits for things like utilities and cell phones.

If you’re wanting to improve your credit score to cash in on those benefits, there is a simple solution: paying rent online! In a 2017 study, TransUnion followed 12,000 renters who reported rent payments to credit bureaus for a year. Within six months, the scores of those renters rose an average of 16 points.

To see a similar increase in your credit score, try paying rent online. Doing so guarantees payments are reported, gives credit bureaus the data needed for your score, and, when combined with credit card payments, can increase your score even more. Here’s how.

Guarantee Payments Are Reported

In the past, rent payments have not had much effect on a person’s credit score. However, that’s all changed due to online portals, “Some newer services make it possible for those monthly rent payments to contribute to your credit history,” says Paul Sisolak on Student Loan Hero.

Luckily, Highland Pinetree Apartments offers an online rent payment system that reports positive payment information to the credit bureaus. Simply set up your resident account on our online portal and your on-time payments will be reported to TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. In order to opt in for the credit reporting, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your account through the resident portal and click on “Make a Payment Now.”
  2. Select “Build your credit history by opting in to credit reporting.”
  3. Enter your information in the credit reporting fields. Be sure to select “yes” for month-to-month lease if you have one, or select “no” and a lease end date.

Give Credit Bureaus Essential Data

When it comes to creating a credit score, the bureaus actually consider a number of factors, including payment history, amount of debt in comparison to credit limits, length of history, number of credit inquiries, and the variety of credit accounts, according to LaToya Irby, credit expert for The Balance.

By paying rent online, those payments become part of that all-important payment history. As you pay on time and in full and continue to do so, that becomes part of your score, too.

Increase Scores More When Combined with Credit Card Payments

Looking to elevate your credit score even more? Consider using a credit card specifically to pay your rent. As an added bonus, using a rewards-based card can also help you earn cash back or airline miles.

“Open a credit card and use it to pay your rent . . . then pay your credit card balance in full each month,” says Irby. “The timely credit card payments will help boost your credit score.” You can make do with a debit card, but for that added credit score (and rewards) enhancement, consider paying rent online using a dedicated credit card.

As you push your credit score even higher by paying rent online, you are guaranteeing those payments are reported to credit bureaus, providing the bureaus with the credit-enhancing data they are looking for. And, as a bonus, if you choose to pay rent with a credit card, you may increase your score even more.