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Rental Kharma is a rent reporting service that allows you to customize your package to your needs.
If you live alone and you’ve only been renting for a few months, then there is no need to pay for services you don’t need. But if you do want to add renters or additional payment history, you can add those services to your account.
This customized level of service along with claims of an average credit score increase of 40 points is backed by a 90-day satisfaction guarantee.
The cost of their services is middle of the road ($50 signup & $8.95/month) and this price point, coupled with their customized service model, means that you might not get as much value as you would with another company.
In our opinion, Rental Kharma’s rent reporting service offers the most benefit to renters who have a thin credit profile and have leased the same home or apartment for several years.
Overview of Rental Kharma’s Services
|Sign Up Fee||$50|
|Monthly Fee||$8.95/month subscription|
|Optional Add-On Services||Additional payment history, additional renters, new lease fee|
|Reports To||TransUnion and Equifax|
|Length of Credit History Reported||6 months base plan, $60 upgrade gets you unlimited history for your current property|
|Refund Policy||90-day satisfaction guarantee|
|Resources Offered||Extensive FAQs, customer service via phone or chat|
How Does Rental Kharma Work?
Rental Kharma’s service helps its customers build credit by reporting rent payments to the credit bureaus.
Once you sign up for their service, Rental Kharma will contact your landlord and work with them to verify your past payment history. And they will continue to verify your ongoing rental data for every month you continue their subscription service.
This payment history is added to your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports, allowing your timely rent payments to appear alongside any loan payments or credit card payments.
This gives you an instant boost to your credit score for the payment history and length of credit history as well as the ongoing benefit of a smaller credit score increase for every month you make an on-time payment.
Also Read: Does Rent Affect Credit Score?
Pros of Using Rental Kharma
There are some features of Rental Kharma’s service that are unique to this company. And many of these unique features are a benefit to customers looking to achieve better credit.
Below are 2 such features that make Rental Kharma stand out from their competition.
Customized Length of Payment History
Rental Kharma offers an add-on service where you can get the entire rental history of the property you are currently renting reported.
Traditionally, the reporting history limit for Rental Kharma’s competitors is 24 months. But with Rental Kharma, you can have your entire history reported. So if you’ve been renting the same home for 6 years, the entire history gets reported.
This information will appear on your credit reports for TransUnion and Equifax credit bureaus, Experian is not yet supported.
Much like a loan or credit card, this rental payment data can provide a huge boost to your score. The 6 years of rent history will improve the payment history portion of your score (the largest) and improve your length of credit history.
On the flip side, if you had a rough patch a year ago and incurred late rent payments, you can opt to go with the basic plan that only features 6 months of payment history in order to avoid the negative impact of late rent payments on your credit score.
Choosing the appropriate option for adding to your credit history can help you build good credit quicker.
Rental Kharma stands behind their claim that their service will improve your credit score. So much so that they provide a 90-day, 100% back satisfaction guarantee.
If you have problems with the service or feel that the service has not really improved your credit score, you can contact Rental Kharma for a full refund of all signup and subscription fees.
You have up to 90 days from the time Rental Kharma reports your initial rent payment history to the credit bureaus to request your refund.
There are certain restrictions or fees that you can incur.
For instance, if you try to use their rent reporting service for a non-supported property type, i.e. on your mortgage, they can deny your refund.
Or, in other instances, they can charge you a $25 service fee if they attempted to help you, but were unable to and found you were at fault. Or, in other words, you were unresponsive to their attempts to contact you.
Read the full review: RentReporters Review
Cons of Using Rental Kharma
Each rent reporting company operates a little differently. While this often results in unique benefits, it can also result in disadvantages for those looking to build credit with their service.
Below are 2 areas where Rental Kharma could use improvement.
Requires Complete Landlord Cooperation
In order to use Rental Kharma’s service, you will need your landlord’s full cooperation. Rental Kharma will need to contact your property manager to verify your past payment history, and they may need to acquire other supporting documentation (i.e. a copy of the lease).
For every month that you maintain their subscription, they will need to contact the landlord again to verify that you paid your rent on time.
If you have a landlord who is unhelpful or at times difficult to get ahold of, then this service might not work for you. Rental Kharma’s only solution is to suggest that you speak to your landlord first before attempting to use their rental reporting service.
This is very disappointing considering several of Rental Kharma’s competitors offer automatic reporting services that pull your rent information from your bank records without needing to contact the landlord at all.
If you have a difficult landlord and decide to use this service, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your credit reports, which you’ll need to do with a 3rd party service since Rental Kharma doesn’t provide you with updated credit reports.
You can also consider using a different service like BoomPay or explore other credit building alternatives like a secured credit card, credit builder loan, or Experian BOOST™.
Also Read: Rent Reporting Services
Extra Fees for Add-Ons
Rental Kharma’s base service starts with a $50 signup fee and an $8.95/month subscription. While the price of this service isn’t horrible, it includes only the basics, which are 6 months of payment history for one person at one rental property.
Everything else comes with an extra fee.
Want to add more payment history? There’s a fee for that. Want to add a spouse to your account? There’s a fee for that too.
Here is a breakdown of all of the add-ons and their respective fees:
- $60 for payment history for one property (no limit on the length of time)
- $25 to add a spouse or roommate
- $5/month for spouse or roommate
- $25 to add a new lease
While this model of having a base service with optional add-ons is great for customization, it means for the price you are initially charged, you’re not getting much in the way of value when compared to the packages Rental Kharma’s competitors offer.
The one upside is that Rental Kharma gives you the option to split the setup fees into 2 payments to make it easier on your wallet.
How Rental Kharma is Different
Rental Kharma’s service is straightforward and simple. You get only what you pay for and you can customize the service to your needs.
Rental Kharma also provides their customers a lot of information upfront about their service and how to determine if it is the right service for you. And they back up their claim to help you improve your credit with an unheard-of 90-day money-back guarantee period.
Some other features unique to Rental Kharma include same-day verification via phone. The verification process can often take days or weeks, so being able to do this quickly over the phone can help you see an increase in your credit score quicker.
And what about free money? Rental Kharma rewards its customers with weekly giveaways of $1000. So, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to build credit and get a boost to your bank account as well.
Rental Kharma’s website offers a thorough selection of FAQs and resources regarding their services. You can check out all of them here.
Below are 3 of the most common questions that we find most individuals have regarding Rental Kharma’s services.
Is Rental Kharma Legit?
Yes, Rental Kharma is a legitimate Tennessee-based company that has been in business for 9 years. According to their own website, they’ve worked with 72,000 members to improve their credit scores.
Rental Kharma will work with both you and your landlord to help you get your rent payment history added to TransUnion and Equifax credit reports. But they make no guarantees that you will see a credit score increase from their rent reporting service.
There are several testimonials on their website and they link to their Trustpilot reviews.
As of yet, they are unrated on the BBB and they have received only a handful of reviews and complaints.
On Google and Facebook both, Rental Kharma has a 4+ star review rating.
How Much Will Rental Kharma Help Improve My Score?
With the different levels of service that Rental Kharma offers, the potential increase in your credit score changes.
According to their website, their average customer sees a 40 point increase to their FICO score.
However, for customers who chose just the base plan with ongoing reporting and only 6 months of payment history, the quoted credit score increase is closer to 30 points.
The average 40 point increase is for customers who opt to use their payment history add-on service and have at least 2 years’ worth of positive payment history.
For those who have not yet established a credit profile (no credit lines reporting), you could see a jump from no credit score to the mid 600s if you have two years of positive rent payment history.
How much your individual score will increase depends on the unique makeup of your existing credit file.
You should also be aware that Rental Kharma is obligated to report any negative rental payment history. So if you have a history of late rent payments, using their service could actually lower your credit score.
How Much Does Rental Kharma Cost?
The initial signup fee for Rental Kharma is $50 and their monthly subscription will set you back $8.95. So, a full year will cost you $157.40.
If you add on all of their recommended services, your total price for a year will be $302.40. That includes full rental history at the rental property for two individuals, plus ongoing rent payment reporting for those same individuals.
If you don’t like the service, Rental Kharma does offer a 90-day guarantee period, but you will want to read their terms of service carefully.
Rental Kharma will charge you a $25 service fee if your account is flagged as unresponsive or if they were unable to improve your score because of a late rent payment or you failed to provide requested documentation.
Additionally, they can outright withhold a refund if they suspect fraud or you tried to use their service to report for a non-eligible property (i.e. commercial property).
If you’re looking for a cheaper rent reporting option, perhaps consider BoomPay.
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Amanda Garland is a personal finance blogger living in Dallas, TX. 10 years ago she was living paycheck to paycheck and knew nothing about how credit works. She learned some hard lessons in her fight for financial stability. Now she has a friendly competition going with her husband to see who can reach a credit score of 850 first. She is also a poet, having obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing.