Comptroller Wants Paying Rent on Time to Count Toward Credit Score

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Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers pay their rent on time every month without seeing those payments counted toward their credit scores, which can be used to determine how much they pay in interest rates on loans or even for cellphone service.

Unlike homeowners who pay a mortgage, renters do not reap the benefits for their dutifulness and punctuality — a distinction that Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller, called “an issue of inequality” in a city overwhelmingly filled with renters.

On Monday, Mr. Stringer announced a plan to expand efforts to encourage landlords and property management companies to give tenants, especially low-income tenants, the ability to opt in to reporting their rent payments as a way to boost their scores. Looking at a sampling of tenants paying less than $2,000 a month, Mr. Stringer’s office found that 76 percent of them would see their credit scores improve if their rental payments were included.

“This could create a powerful credit history that could lift you out of poverty,” he said.

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