Build credit by paying rent.
We text you when rent is due.
Text WAIT if you’re short, or do nothing and rent will be paid automatically.
No computer or bank account required.
We can report your good payment history to TransUnion, one of the three major credit bureaus. Even if you are late with rent, good communication can help you maintain or improve your credit score.
We cannot guarantee that your score will be helped, but if your landlord is in agreement with a payment plan, then your score will not be hurt. The global pandemic is hard. We’re not here to make it any harder!
The property manager or building owner pays for RentHelper. RentHelper will never charge you a fee. If you currently buy money orders or paper checks, RentHelper will save you money.
Your bank or card may charge you a fee if RentHelper overdrafts your account. You can prevent 100% of overdrafts by texting RentHelper “wait” if you are short on funds.
Here’s what that looks like.
How does RentHelper collect the rent?
When you sign up, you will give us permission to debit your bank account or cash card. This is secure. We use the automated clearinghouse (ACH), similar to online bill pay. We can debit the amount of the rent, but no more. We can debit on a specific day, but no earlier. The laws are very strict and you are protected.
What if I don’t have a bank account?
You can still use RentHelper. You need to get a debitable cash card. You can purchase this and put money on it at various locations. For example, you can go to a convenience store. The type of card to purchase is Netspend or GreenDot. After you purchase, you can pay cash to the store cashier. They will put the cash on the card. You need to call the number on the back of the card to activate it first. They will give you an Account and Routing number, like a bank account. You will put that information on your signup form or in our signup page. To pay rent, you need to go to any convenience store and load that card before rent is due. This works even if you are not eligible for a new checking account due to prior bad banking experience. Contact us and we’ll walk you through the process.
What if I can’t sign up online?
That’s okay! You can sign up on paper. You will need to fill out our renter enrollment form. You need to place your ID on the paper in the box provided. Then take a picture. Upload the picture of the form to renthelper.us/enroll. You can download the form there.
If you cannot take a picture of the form, you can mail it to our office. Include a photocopy of your license.
If you don’t have access to text messages, we can manage the process with email or the phone.
What if I don’t have enough money to pay full rent?
We’re sorry to hear this! This is a very common problem. The first thing we can try is a new payment schedule. You can pay your rent every Friday, or every other week. You can pay your rent in pieces over time. This helps many people manage cashflow.
Your landlord may agree to a payment plan. This will let you work down a large balance over time. If you are participating in a payment plan, we do not report that negatively for bad credit.
What if sometimes I still want to pay with money order or cash?
Your landlord probably prefers that you pay via RentHelper. Cash and money can be stolen and are not convenient. But if you need to pay by cash or money order, just let us know. We will verify the offline payment with the landlord and credit you in our system.
How does credit reporting work?
If you pay all rent on time, it counts as “paid or paying as agreed.” We report to Transunion each month in the third week of the month.
If you are late but you and the landlord are on a payment plan, then we do not report for credit until your payment plan is complete. When your balance owed reaches zero, then we start reporting for good credit again. This is required by protections for renters like you during the pandemic and after.
How does credit reporting work during COVID-19?
RentHelper complies fully with federal and state laws and regulations. We cannot report for negative credit reporting during COVID-19 if you are impacted by COVID-19. Typically this means that you need to communicate to us in detail. The general rule is: “If you are communicating, it will not hurt you.”
Can I use RentHelper with roommates?
If you have agreed on a rent split, you can each sign up for your share of the rent.
If your roommates pay you, and you pay the landlord, then you will get full credit for the entire apartment.
RentHelper does not replace the terms of a rental agreement. If you have a rental agreement that specifies roommates will have “joint and several liability,” then each of you is responsible for the full rent. This is why we recommend each roommate sign up and pay their own share separately. It easier to track who still has not paid.
Where does RentHelper work?
Renters must be renting a US address. The landlord must also be in the US or have a US bank account. All states, districts, and territories count.
What if I don’t get a text message in time?
The default is that we will debit your account. If you anticipate being short, you must text us as soon as you know. We halt transactions automatically when we receive a text. You can also email or call. We need more time to process emails and phone calls.
Is there a charge for this service?
No, there is no charge for renters. We charge the landlord. RentHelper never charges renters. Your bank or cash card may charge you if RentHelper debits your account and overdrafts it. You can prevent 100% of overdrafts by monitoring your bank account balance and texting RentHelper “wait” before a debit if your account balance is low.
How are changes in the rent amount handled?
If the amount to be debited increases (e.g., rent increase), we require you to approve this via text message. We cannot debit the increased amount without your approval. You just need to text us back “yes” or “okay”.
If the amount to be debited is lower than what you previously authorized (e.g., your housing assistance payment increases, such that your share decreases), then all you have to do is tell us and we will confirm with the landlord.
What if I start and change my mind?
You can stop at any time. You will like RentHelper, it is better than the old way of paying rent!