Are You a Renter Looking to Boost Your Credit? Rental Kharma Can Help

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

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Building up your credit can be tough. But fixing bad credit or improving your credit score is even harder. Especially if you’re a renter.

Traditionally, rent was not reported to credit bureaus as part of your credit history. However, there are some new options that allow you to use your on-time rental payments to boost your credit.

If you’re looking for such a credit-building service, then you may be interested in Rental Kharma.

Rental Kharma review

Traditionally, people used products like secured credit cards to fix their bad credit. And while missing rent payments could land you in collections, they otherwise have little relevant impact on your credit score.

However, credit agencies are coming around to the fact that paying rent can and should affect your credit history.

Some landlords have integrated systems to report rent payments on your credit. Yet, other independent landlords and smaller companies are unlikely to do so. Unless you are potentially using a third-party rent payment system like RentPayment.com provided by your landlord.

If you are like most people, you probably don’t have automatic rent reporting on your credit report. That’s because most landlords don’t report your rent payments to Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion, the big three credit bureaus.

Enter Rental Kharma.

Rental Kharma products

Primarily, Rental Kharma Offers a monthly credit reporting product for renters. They will verify that your rent has been paid, then report it to TransUnion for inclusion on your credit report.

Essentially, Rental Kharma works with your current landlord and reports on time (or late) rent payments to TransUnion.

We all know having a high credit score can be very valuable. And a solid credit history can be the difference between being approved or not approved for a new credit card or loan.

There is no guarantee or exact way to know exactly how much your rental payments will improve your credit score. Especially because your rent will now be treated as a new credit line on your credit report. This is similar to a credit card, loan, or line of credit.

However, an excellent credit score can help you get the best interest rates possible. These, in turn, can potentially help you save tens of thousands of dollars on a mortgage or auto loan.

Bonus tip: You can get your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus for free each year through AnnualCreditReport.com. And you don’t have to get your three credit reports all at once. I get one every four months.

Behind the scenes with Rental Kharma

Rental Kharma’s service has a $40 one-time signup fee, and a recurring $9.95 per month fee as long as you use the service.

Once you are signed up, everything happens automatically for you behind the scenes. And while it does not cost your landlord anything to participate, they have to agree to participate and verify that your rent was paid each month.

Rental Kharma’s service works if you are the primary renter, on a sublease, split your rent with roommates, or split your rent payment reporting with a spouse. As long as you are a renter and the landlord or building manager agrees to participate, you are good to go.

It is important to note that if you are late or miss your rent, it will be reported as late on your credit. Thankfully, you have a 30 day grace period before Rental Kharma will report rent to the credit bureau as late.

Using the Rental Kharma online platform

Signing up for Rental Kharma is a fast, online process.

Start by heading to the Rental Kharma homepage. Then, click the big button to get started at the bottom of some pages. Or, the navigation menu at the top of the page.

On the first page, you are prompted to add basic contact information: your name, email, and phone number.

On the next page, you are prompted to add information about your credit goals, address, and current lease information. You’re also given the option to enroll a spouse or roommate for a $15 discount.

On the final screen, you enter your social security number for credit reporting and pay the signup fee.

On the last page, you are also given an option to build your credit faster by including rent from the last 24 months.

Whether it was at the same place you are renting now or from a prior landlord, Rental Kharma offers this service for $5 per month for up to 24 months of history. If you choose that option, your signup fee is then $160 (24 months x $5 + $40 signup fee).

While testing the platform, I did come across a couple of bugs. I was redirected to a “completed signup” page when I had not entered anything into a form. This was during my first attempt at using the Rental Kharma system.

For landlords and property managers, Rental Kharma offers credit screening services as part of TransUnion’s SmartMove system.

SmartMove reports screen for credit, criminal, and eviction history for $25-$35 per screening depending on the features needed. In this case, Rental Kharma is acting as a referrer to TransUnion’s SmartMove.

Rental Kharma interest rates and fees

Their basic rent reporting service costs $9.95 per month after a $40 one-time signup fee. For past rent that you want to be included on your credit report, Rental Kharma will verify up to 24 months of history for $5 per month.

Spouses and roommates are eligible for a $15 signup discount when referred by someone else singing up at the same time.

Rental Kharma has a referral program if you send a friend their way. You both get two months of the service for free and you each save about $20 with this offer.

You can also refer up to five friends at once. And if you refer six friends, you get a year of Rental Kharma’s services for free. The best part is, there’s no limit to the number of friends you can refer for the bonus.

Rental Kharma eligibility requirements

Anyone who is renting can use Rental Kharma. If you own a home, your mortgage payment is reported to the major credit bureaus. Therefore, only renters really need this service.

In addition to being a renter, your landlord or property manager has to agree to enter your rent payments each month.

This service only works for legal United States residents with a valid social security number.

If you already have great credit, there is no need to spend the $40 plus $9.95 per month fixing your credit. However, if you have bad credit and want improve it, your rent payments can help by using a service like Rental Kharma.

Rental Kharma customer service

Rental Kharma customer service can be reached by phone, email, or a handy chat widget embedded on the website.

Customer support is available Monday through Friday from 8:30am-6:00pm MST, and is closed on weekends.

More about Rental Kharma

Rental Kharma is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.

Run by CEO Cullen Canazares, Rental Kharma serves low credit individuals renting homes and apartments. The company has a mission of empowering renters and giving renters credit for their positive rental history.

Rental Kharma currently only reports your rent to TransUnion. They do have plans to add Equifax and Experian, the other two major credit reporting bureaus in the United States. However, there is currently no timeline for adding the other credit reporting bureaus.

Rental Kharma contact

You can reach Rental Kharma via a form on their website, or email them at support@rentalkharma.com.

Or, you can call them on their local number at 303-219-1902 ,or toll-free at 888-506-4640. You can also reach the business via a live chat feature on its website during business hours.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.

The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at hello@earnest.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.

© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.


2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

  1. VARIABLE APR – APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes.

3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 3.899% APR to 8.179% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.570% APR to 6.980% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. SoFi rate ranges are current as of September 14, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.570% APR assumes the current index rate derived from the 1-month LIBOR of 2.08% plus 0.740% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.


5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

  1. Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). The following table displays the estimated monthly payment, total interest, and Annual Percentage Rates (APR) for a $10,000 loan. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown for each in-school loan product reflects the accruing interest, the effect of one-time capitalization of interest at the end of a deferment period, a 2% origination fee, and the applicable Repayment Plan. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment, which is reflected in the interest rates and APRs displayed. Variable rates may increase after consummation. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.08% effective July 25, 2018.

6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate DisclosureVariable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.07%. Variable interest rates range from 2.57%-8.17% (2.57%-8.17% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.75%-8.69% (3.75%-8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled, must be in repayment of their existing student loan(s) and must make the minimum number of payments after leaving school. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.
  7. Estimated average savings amount is based on 14,659 Education Refinance Loan customers who saved on loans between August 1, 2017 and July 31, 2018. The calculation is derived by averaging monthly savings across Education Refinance Loan customers whose payment amounts decreased after refinancing, calculated by taking the monthly payment prior to refinancing minus the monthly payment after refinancing. We excluded monthly savings from customers that exceeded $4,375 and were lower than $20 to minimize risk of data error skewing the savings amounts. Savings will vary based on interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of loans to be refinanced. Borrower’s overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if monthly payments are lower.

2.57% – 6.98%3Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit SoFi
2.47% – 5.87%1Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Earnest
2.47% – 8.03%4Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Lendkey
2.80% – 6.22%2Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Laurel Road
2.48% – 6.25%5Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit CommonBond
2.57% – 8.17%6Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Citizens
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Published in Buy or Rent a Home, Credit & Debt, Review