Thursday, May 13, 2021

RentTrack offers students chance to build credit

Campus Advantage and RentTrack, a credit reporting agency, partnered together to give Plattsburgh State students the opportunity to significantly increase their credit scores by simply paying rent at Broad Street Commons.

The most common methods of improving credit scores include taking on debt through credit cards or student loans, but this service allows Broad Street Commons residents to build credit through something they are already paying for.

For $6.95 per month, residents receive a credit report after their rent payment to show the current status of their score, free credit updates and the ability to start or stop sending reports at any time.

The average credit score for people 18 to 24 is 630 according to Credit Karma. RentTrack reports that on average, scores increase 51 points over the duration of an average lease.

RentTrack Freelancer Evan Swerdfeger stressed the importance of building credit as a student because having a low credit score after graduation can affect future financial opportunities.

“If you don’t have a bad credit score or are just unscored, which a lot of people are, it limits your options for what kind of financing you can get for certain things.” Swerdfeger said. “You have to go through certain hoops, that are completely avoidable if you earn credit for something you’re already paying.”

Broad Street Commons Community Assistant Jackson Aaron said that incurring debt as a way to build credit can be more harmful than useful.

“It [gaining debt] can be stressful for college students because we don’t always check our spendings to see how much [debt] we’re collecting,” Aaron said.

As a PSUC junior business administration and marketing major, Aaron also takes advantage of this service and has seen his credit score increase from 672 to 722 from last August. However, he thinks the service isn’t used enough.

“I feel like it’s underutilized because honestly it’s only like $7 to get your credit score,” Aaron said.

RentTrack was the first reporting agency to establish rent reporting with all three major credit bureaus Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
According to US Bank “Each bureau maintains its own record of the credit cards and loans that are open in your name, whether or not you pay your bills on time, what your monthly debt is, and other types of information that affect your creditworthiness.”

The connection to all three bureaus is key because rent reporting affects the participants FICO 9 score and VantageScore, and because the bureau may vary depending on the score lender according to RentTrack.

RentTrack’s services are available to the general public, although the service is ready for all Broad Street Commons residents to opt into at any time.

“It’s already something you’re paying anyway,” Swerdfeger said. “Might as well get the credit for it.”

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