Here's an Unexpected Way to Build Credit One Month at a Time

NEW YORK (MainStreet)—Renters can now build their credit history by simply making their rent payments on time.

Having a healthy credit score may be the most important thing you can do financially since repairing damages can take time.

Your credit score is examined by various lenders when you try to obtain debt from a credit card company or purchase a house or car. Most lenders use the FICO score to assess your credit, the amount of money you can borrow and the amount of interest you will pay.

Having a strong and high FICO score means you can receive the lowest interest rates on loans and obtain higher quality credit cards.

The three credit bureaus - Experian, TransUnion and Equifax - track consumers' credit history and determine a score based on their ability to maintain and pay debt on time. This method has left millions of Americans "credit invisible," because their timely payments for rent, utilities such as gas and electricity, cable and phone are not included in the credit score. However, late payments are counted against them and appear on their credit reports.

Consumers now have another option to build a good credit score so they can obtain a lease for an apartment or house, insurance or even a job.

Experian is the first credit bureau to give consumers the ability to build their credit history by paying their rent on time. Renters can pay their rent through companies such as WilliamPaid, a Chicago-based company which allows people to build credit through paying their rent online for free.

"Experian is committed to its RentBureau business and has consistently made it a priority to make building credit history more accessible than ever and with our collaboration with payment processors like WilliamPaid, we're providing another avenue for consumers to build their credit history," said Emily Christiansen, director of Experian RentBureau. "Experian remains the only national credit bureau to allow renters to build credit histories by paying their rent responsibly, which we feel empowers renters with the ability to build credit histories through on-time rental payments."