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Apartment Landlord is asking for a monthly fee to report good standing to the Credit Bureaus


stormbringer
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My daughter turns 18 next month and started college this year.
She wanted to sign an apartment lease for next school year, but they told her that since she will not turn 18 until next month, that I would have to sign as a guarantor.

The Lease is now signed by both of us, for an August move-in date.

 

She told them she wanted to establish good credit and asked if they could report her name to the credit bureaus.

They told her they will - if she pays them $7.95 per month, since I am the guarantor and they are reporting me.

Is there any legal recourse to make them report her to the credit bureaus without charging her the monthly fee?

 

If a fee has to be paid, is one monthly fee enough to get her apartment lease to hit her credit report and help her start establishing good credit history?

 

 

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No law requires an entity to report to ANY bureau.  You are asking them to do something that they apparently do not normally do and IS a task that causes them to incur costs.  It is not unreasonable to see them ask for a nominal fee. 

 

You MAY want to look at the EXP Boost product as I thought this was one of the things that they were incorporating through the monthly review of banking records...setting aside the privacy concerns, that COULD be a lower cost option.

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That apartment complex is full of 💩!   I use a service through Experian where they can pull the information from the bank account that I use to pay bills with.  The monthly recurring bills such as my cell phone, water, electricity and even including rent.  It takes three (3) payments for Experian to use it in their system. And it costs nothing! I have this since I was one of the consumers who was affected by the Equifax data theft problems as part of the settlement.

 

I have no idea if lenders use this extra information from when they pull a credit file, so it may not matter, but all the reported trade lines state "Exceptional Payment History".

Personally, I'd be damned if I were to pay someone $7.95 per month to report a Tradeline.

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18 minutes ago, Burgerwars said:

I agree with both above, but she should try for a couple credit cards. If she pays them on time, that will get her started with good credit (over time), and I feel more so than an apartment lease. 

Concur with this. 

 

MOST people will do what they need to keep a roof over their head.  They question is how they handle a product designed for discretionary spending...and that would be a credit card. 

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Credit cards are a valid, but a separate topic for which I already started a separate thread.

 

As for rent, I understand you are saying that apartment complex can choose to not report Credit or charge a fee if they do, so I don't have a leg to stand on, as they are not obligated whatsoever?

 

You are also offering a work around, where if CR agencies are given access to her bank account, they then will report her RENT payments, for the "free" price of having access to her bank account? So all three CB must be contacted separately, what is the name of this service and how is it started?

 

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Just now, stormbringer said:

Credit cards are a valid, but a separate topic for which I already started a separate thread.

 

As for rent, I understand you are saying that apartment complex can choose to not report Credit or charge a fee if they do, so I don't have a leg to stand on, as they are not obligated whatsoever?

 

You are also offering a work around, where if CR agencies are given access to her bank account, they then will report her RENT payments, for the "free" price of having access to her bank account? So all three CB must be contacted separately, what is the name of this service and how is it started?

 

 

The reporting of the rent payment is not necessary for her to establish good credit and in fact this type of alternative tradeline is not worth spending money on (the fee, whether paid to the apartment complex or to a CRA). As others have suggested she needs to establish high quality revolving tradelines in her name. There are several good secured cards she can consider. Has she at least tried the pre-screened options offered by many issuers? good luck

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13 hours ago, stormbringer said:

what is the name of this service and how is it started?

Centex told you what the service was, It is called Experian Boost.  I use it sort of like an experiment. Since my spouse was also affected by the Equifax breach, he is also eligible.  He has not signed up for it.  I just wanted to see what difference it makes as an experiment in scores and if any creditor uses the information, since one of us is the control subject.

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1 hour ago, legaleagle2012 said:

I would love to know how Marv got Boost to work. I spent half an hour on Experian's site and let them accesss my account. It is the only account I have used to pay ALL personal bills since 2008. They came back with something like "sorry, we can't find any eligible bills in this account." 

Honestly, I don't know how it works.  But I suspect this: We recently moved, so I had to change a few utilities some of which I trust enough to allow them to auto pay from the one bank account.  Some of the new utilities were with different companies that I don't know well enough so I will only use the bank's bill pay service to pay them.  They even picked up the trash pickup service which I only pay quarterly and alerted me, I need more payments for it to report. I don't know if there is a difference in banks, but the bank I use for this is Truist.  I will try and snap a pic of the report and post it here for you, maybe that will give you a hint.  It was extremely easy since all I had to do was give them access.  I figured out they looked for the same payees that occurred regularly.

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On 11/28/2022 at 2:22 PM, stormbringer said:

My daughter turns 18 next month and started college this year.
She wanted to sign an apartment lease for next school year, but they told her that since she will not turn 18 until next month, that I would have to sign as a guarantor.

The Lease is now signed by both of us, for an August move-in date.

 

She told them she wanted to establish good credit and asked if they could report her name to the credit bureaus.

They told her they will - if she pays them $7.95 per month, since I am the guarantor and they are reporting me.

Is there any legal recourse to make them report her to the credit bureaus without charging her the monthly fee?

 

If a fee has to be paid, is one monthly fee enough to get her apartment lease to hit her credit report and help her start establishing good credit history?

 

 

I bet if she DIDN'T pay the rent on time they would report THAT for free.

 

Get this "deal" in writing and the first month they "forget" to report it, I would use Small Claims Court to sue them for Breach of Contract, and if they retaliate against her by reporting that she paid late when she didn't, I would then sue them for the FCRA violation. Congratulations, they started this "I can be a big prick" contest, let's see who wins it. And... since you are the Guarantor, you also have standing to sue them on your own for exactly the same reasons.

Edited by Flyingifr
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Just now, Flyingifr said:

I bet if she DIDN'T pay the rent on time they would report THAT for free.

I bet not!  What they would do in case of a default is turn it over to a collection agency and that collection agency would report.  Ask me how I know.😀

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4 minutes ago, MarvBear said:

I bet not!  What they would do in case of a default is turn it over to a collection agency and that collection agency would report.  Ask me how I know.😀

In matters like this I make no distinction between the OC and the CA because under the Uniform Commercial Code Laws of Agency, the Principal (the OC) is liable for the misdeeds of the Agent (the CA), as well as the Agent being liable for their own misdeeds.

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On 11/28/2022 at 4:50 PM, stormbringer said:

You are also offering a work around, where if CR agencies are given access to her bank account, they then will report her RENT payments, for the "free" price of having access to her bank account?

 

ALL of the bureaus do not offer this.  Only Experian offers Boost.  I do not recommend it and here is why:  Your daughter is young and does not have more than one checking account like other posters on this thread who are experimenting with this service.  All BOOST does is allow Experian to data mine from her bank accounts and see where ALL her money goes.  They then sell that information to other creditors.  The biggest reason is currently NO lender gives a boosted score any weight in their decision making process on extending credit.  I have seen far too many stories about lenders who require a consumer to turn Boost off prior to sending in a credit app to EX.  Especially if it is a mortgage.  Boost won't do her one bit of good in building a positive credit profile in my opinion.

 

As @centex said creditors presume you will be paying your rent first.  It is how she handled non-essential debt that matters in building a strong credit profile.  Her opening a good starter card or secured card and managing that well to build it to a 3 card profile and then ultimately a car loan at some point will build her a stronger profile faster than Bosst ever will.

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The original idea behind this thread is to do what I can, so that I don't have to be a guarantor any more.

I am reading your posts and it sounds like you are saying that paying rent on time is not really as relevant thing to report as I thought.

 

I absolutely agree with you on credit cards, and like I said, I have a separate thread for how to get her credit cards and build credit through them.

 

 

I suppose if any future apartment complex wants to, they can call her old apartment complex and verify she has been paying rent on time?

 

In short, it sounds like you are saying that getting the current apartment complex to report rent payments on time, is not as useful for her credit as I thought it would be.

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17 minutes ago, stormbringer said:

In short, it sounds like you are saying that getting the current apartment complex to report rent payments on time, is not as useful for her credit as I thought it would be.

You are correct.   I seriously doubt it would help. And it certainly would not help for $7.95 monthly.  It is commonly called "self-reporting", and I don't know of any lenders that make use of self-reported data.

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5 hours ago, stormbringer said:

I suppose if any future apartment complex wants to, they can call her old apartment complex and verify she has been paying rent on time?

 

That is exactly what they will do.  I used to be a long time renter and when I was returning to Las Vegas years back I applied for an apartment and listed my previous landlords including one from when I had lived in LV prior to my temporary relocation to another state for a year.  The manager from the former complex in LV was more than happy to tell them I was one of their best tenants and they would have no qualms about renting to me again.  

5 hours ago, stormbringer said:

The original idea behind this thread is to do what I can, so that I don't have to be a guarantor any more.

 

Understood.  Unfortunately for a young woman moving out on her own for the very first time she has absolutely NO track record of managing debt and a year long lease is a big commitment from a landlord and credit perspective.  Chances any landlord was going to do an un co-signed lease was zero.  The good news is that when she renews they probably won't require a guarantor if there are no major payment issues during the first lease.

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