How to add utilities to credit report + 3 alternative ways to build credit

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Ask your property manager to report utilities or utilize a third-party reporting service to have your utility bill payments, such as electricity and water, reflected on your credit report.

Most landlords and utility companies don’t report your utility payments to the credit bureaus, so they don’t typically impact your credit. However, if your payments are in default or delinquent, the debt will likely be reported to one or all of the three major credit bureaus and negatively affect your credit.

While credit accounts, like credit cards, automatically appear on your credit report, utilities such as water and gas are becoming more easy to report.

You can now add the following utility bills to your credit report:

  • Rent
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Gas
  • Phone and internet

Including your utilities and rent in your credit report can be an effective strategy for building credit if you consistently make on-time payments. In this guide, you’ll learn how to add utilities to your credit report and alternative ways to build your credit.

Table of contents:

Ask your property manager to report payments

Ask your leasing company or property manager about their ability to report utilities to credit bureaus. Some property managers utilize rent reporting services that report on rent payments, utility payments or both.

Some property managers will automatically enroll their renters in a reporting service when they sign their leases. Alternatively, it might be optional, and the renter may request to be enrolled in the service. Depending on the type of service and whether payments require verification, they may be free of charge or require an enrollment fee for renters.

Two ways to add utility bills to your credit report with small illustrations

Utilize a third-party reporting service

Alternatively, you can independently use a rent-reporting service. If your property manager doesn’t utilize such a service, there are tenant-only rent-reporting services you can enroll in.

 To report your payments, you’ll likely need verification from your property manager. There may be additional fees associated with using a third-party service. You’ll need to pay an additional fee to utilize the service. Options for alternative credit reporting services include Experian Boost® and ExtraCredit from®. These services allow users to provide credit bureaus with additional financial information by linking their bank accounts to their credit profile.

When adding your utilities to your credit report, consider your payment habits. If you can’t consistently pay your utility bills on time, using a reporting service may not be the best option for building your credit.

How can utility bills hurt your credit score?

If you use a reporting service and then fail to pay your utility payments on time, your payment history, which affects 35 percent of your FICO® score, will be negatively affected.

Additionally, if you miss enough payments on any utility account, the company can consider it delinquent and send it to collections.

The collection account will then become part of your credit file and will likely negatively impact your credit health. Collections and missed payments are considered derogatory marks and can stay on your credit report for up to seven years.

While paying the collection debt won’t remove the derogatory mark from your credit file early, we recommend settling the debt as soon as possible to avoid accumulating additional fees.

A small illustration next to copy describing using a third-party reporting service to report your utility bills.

Alternative ways to build your credit

There are alternative routes to consider aside from including your utility bills in your report to build credit. Below are a few recommendations we suggest for building credit.

Credit builder loans

Credit builder loans allow borrowers to build a credit history or improve their credit score. With a credit builder loan, your payments go toward a savings account until the loan term ends. These payments are typically reported to the credit bureaus, demonstrating that you’re a reliable borrower and improving your credit and history.

When selecting a credit builder loan, it’s crucial to choose a realistic loan amount that you know you’ll be able to afford. You must complete the loan payments on time to see a positive impact on your credit history and to avoid penalties.

Credit cards

Credit cards are another convenient method to begin building credit, as payments are automatically reported to the credit bureaus. If you have bad or little credit history, consider applying for a secured credit card.

Unlike traditional credit cards, a secured credit card is backed by a cash deposit, which acts as collateral in case of a missed payment. You can improve your credit by using the card responsibly, maintaining low credit utilization and making timely payments.

Add a cosigner

If you’re having difficulty getting approved for a credit card due to a lack of credit history, consider adding a cosigner to your credit card application. A cosigner is considered equally responsible for any card utilization and accrued debt.

Having a cosigner signals lower risk to the lender, increasing the chance of approval. However, any missed payments will negatively impact both your credit and your cosigner’s.

Three ways to build credit with small illustrations


Below are commonly asked questions about how utility bills affect credit scores and are reported to credit bureaus.

Can I add utilities to Equifax or Experian?

Typically, utility bills aren’t automatically reported to Equifax® or Experian® by your utility provider or property manager. However, you may utilize a reporting service through your property manager or independently to add them to your credit history. Doing so can demonstrate positive financial behavior and potentially improve your credit.

How do I add rent and bills to my credit report?

You can include your rent and bills in your credit report through a reporting service. These services are either tenant-only or managed by property managers. Check to see if your property manager utilizes a reporting service. If they do, ask to be added to the service to report your rent and utility payments to the credit bureaus.

If they do not use one, consider using a tenant-only reporting service. Keep in mind that there is likely a fee associated with using the service. Lexington Law Firm offers assistance in repairing your credit, providing services ranging from obtaining a free credit assessment to addressing errors on your credit reports. Take the first step toward improving your credit by signing up today.

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