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5 Ways To Boost Credit With Bills You Already Pay: StellarFi, GrowCredit, & More

stellarfi and other ways to boost credit with bills you already pay
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Long Story Short
One of the best credit-building hacks is to get bills you're already paying—like rent, utilities, and Netflix—to show up on your credit report as positive payment history. The tools we explore here help you do just that.

Want to build a positive credit history with payments you’re already making? Boom, StellarFi, RentReporters, and similar tools turn your monthly bill payments into credit-building opportunities, reporting to major credit bureaus without requiring a credit check or charging interest.

There are many tools out there that can help, each with a different focus, benefits, and membership plans. In this article, we'll compare StellarFi to other credit-improvement tools, explore their unique features, and lay out what you need to know to make an informed decision.

  1. StellarFi, Best for One-Stop-Shop
  2. Grow Credit, Great for Just Subscription Payments
  3. Boom Pay, Best for Reporting Rent Payments to All 3 Bureaus
  4. Rent Reporters, Great option for reporting 24 months of rent history
  5. Cushion.ai, Great for reporting Buy Now Pay Later payments

1) StellarFi

One-stop-shop for reporting subscription payments to rent payment

stellarfi app logo

StellarFi reports bill payments to major credit bureaus by paying eligible bills on your behalf through your StellarFi Virtual Bill Pay Card. Debiting your bank account and paying the bills on your behalf allows them to report payments. Although they're not a lender, the process works similarly to how payments towards a line of credit would appear – which is what helps boost your payment history in the eyes of the credit bureaus.

Remember that missed payments with StellarFi could damage your credit score and potentially lead to delinquency reporting. Despite the risk, StellarFi’s core offering of reporting payments is worthwhile if you're confident in your ability to consistently pay the monthly bills you've linked to your StellarFi account.

Key Features

  • Offers a variety of membership plans that reports similar to a traditional line of credit
  • Wide range of payments can be linked and reported: streaming services, utilities, and rent payments

Price

  • Membership plans range from $4.99 to $9.99/mo (their Prime plan offers a $0.99 trial and a Premium plan at $29.99/mo is coming soon)

Pros

  • Reports bill payments to Experian and Equifax
  • No credit check and easy approval
  • Credit monitoring included
  • StellarFi accounts are typically set up in under 3 minutes
  • Pause or cancel at anytime

Cons

  • Credit score could be damaged due to missed payments
  • When pausing a StellarFi membership, you must continue to pay monthly bills to avoid missed or late payments
  • Doesn't work with all three credit bureaus (TransUnion not supported)

2) Grow Credit

Best for reporting on-time payments to subscription services

growcredit app logo

Grow Credit offers a similar approach to StellarFi with its Mastercard, provided by Sutton Bank. By making payments on your eligible monthly subscription bills with your Grow MasterCard, Grow Credit helps build your credit through how it reports payments to the bureaus. No credit history is required; to get started, you only need to verify your identity and have a bank account or a bank-issued debit card in your name.

Key Features

  • Using Plaid, Grow Credit takes a look at your recent banking activity to determine the spending limit and plan you're eligible for
  • While some portions of the service are free, fees may be required for higher-risk users, secured and premium-tier accounts
  • Built primarily for monthly subscription payments like Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify

Price

  • Plans range from a free, basic plan to their unlimited at $9.99/mo

Pros

  • Eligibility is based on bank activity not credit history
  • Reports to all three major credit bureaus
  • Low-effort way to start building more credit history

Cons

  • Limited spending limits on lower tiers
  • Only subscription payments are eligible

3) Boom Pay

Lowest cost option for go-forward monthly rent reporting

boom pay app logo

On average, housing is the largest monthly expense for most Americans, but for renters, most don't get credit for positive rent payment history – it doesn't appear on their credit reports. If mortgages help homeowners build positive credit history, why can't renters enjoy the same benefit? Boom Pay felt inspired to level the playing field by creating a service that reports rental payment history through a special rental tradeline. It's helping its users get credit where credit is due.

Key Features

  • No landlord involvement is required to get started
  • Only reports positive rent payment history
  • Updates your credit report as fast as 10 days from the time of checkout but credit bureaus may not reflect changes until up to 30 days

Price

  • $3/month for ongoing reporting; $25 one-time fee for past rent reporting

Pros

  • Reports to all three major bureaus
  • Option to report up to 24 months of past rent payments
  • Enables secure transactions with Plaid

Cons

  • Only rents paid via a bank account or bank-linked method are eligible for reporting. Cash or money order payments are not able to be reported
  • BoomPay only focuses on rental history. Stellarfi & Grow Credit are options to consider when reporting subscriptions or other types of monthly bills

4) Rent Reporters

Option for go-forward and past rent payments with 1:1 support

rent reporters app logo

Like Boom Pay, Rent Reporters is a company that specializes in reporting a user's rental history to the credit bureaus. Rent Reporters can substantially increase a renter's credit score by reporting go-forward and up to 24 months of past rental history.

Keep in mind that Rent Reporters requires landlord verification as part of its rental history reporting process – so if you're landlord is not participating, you are not going to be able to use this service.

Key Features

  • Both go-forward and 24 months of rent payment history
  • Personal Credit Specialist support offered to help in your credit journey
  • Your recent TransUnion credit score is provided alongside a Credit Dashboard to track progress

Price

  • $9.95/mo when paid monthly or $7.94 per month if paid annually

Pros

  • It works: thousands of RentReporter customers had an average credit score increase of 40 points
  • Allows reporting of past rent
  • RentReporters can verify paper check rent history and, in some cases, even cash payments
  • 7-day Money Back Guarantee

Cons

  • Requires verification by the renter’s landlord
  • Only two of three credit bureaus are included: Equifax and TransUnion (Rent Reporters is working on integrating with Experian)

5) Cushion.ai

Reports buy now, pay later (BNPL) payments for $4.99/mo

cushion.ai app logo

Cushion.ai is a slick app focused on purchases made using Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) companies like Klarna, Afterpay, and Affirm. It consolidates them all into a single view in one app, and it reports payments to the credit bureaus to build credit history.

Ultimately the goal is twofold: to help provide more visibility into your finances and keep multiple payments on track, and, of course to get all monthly payments reported to the credit bureaus. It's a nice win-win for anyone who uses multiple BNPL services and is looking to boost their credit scores.

Key Features

  • Turns BNPL loan payments into credit building opportunities
  • Calendar to organize what BNPL bills have been paid and which are due next
  • Cushion Virtual Card activity is reported monthly

Price

  • $4.99/mo (BNPL only) or $12.99/mo (BNPL + other bill payments)

Pros

  • Helps keep payments on track by syncing your bill due dates to your Google Calendar with one click
  • Consolidates all BNPL lender payments into one app
  • Turns BNPL payments into positive marks on your credit report

Cons

  • Does not report rental payment history
  • The basic $4.99 service reports BNPL payments only. It will cost more to report other bills, and Stellarfi may be a better option for those

How These Companies Are Helping Access to Credit

The services we've discussed here are helping reshape the world of credit by helping you get credit for what you've already been doing anyway: paying your bills, subscriptions, and rent on time. This is a smart and mostly effortless way to boost positive payment history and credit utilization scores -- which are the keys to building credit and expanding access to more credit in the future.

By reporting these activities to major credit bureaus, these services help maximize the visibility of your on-time payments – maintaining a more robust credit file. The added data will help build your credit so that when the next business is obtaining your credit report, they have a better record of prior debt you've successfully paid.

How They Work: Step-by-Step

Most companies follow a process like this:

  1. Create an account by linking your email and bank account
  2. Verify your identity using your Social Security Number and state-issued identification
  3. Enable the company to scan your bank history for payments history to analyze payment history
  4. The company begins reporting eligible monthly payments to the credit bureaus

No matter your current credit status, whether you’re a beginner or seeking to enhance your score, these credit boosters can help highlight your consistent financial responsibility.

How To Find The Right Tool To Get Credit For Positive Payment History

Selecting the right tool can help unlock new opportunities and make the difference between getting a future application approved. You’ll want to consider several factors, such as:

  • The types of monthly bills you're most consistent with paying
  • Identity verification process to ensure you qualify
  • Total cost
  • Customer support
  • Business reputation & user satisfaction
  • Whether the services and features offered are worth the cost to you

Consider your budget carefully. Pay close attention to the following factors when choosing a service and look out for:

  • Hidden fees
  • Monthly costs
  • Late payment charges

A good rule of thumb is to consider the total costs of a service and weigh them against your goals and the value of the specific features and benefits offered. You should choose the service that offers the most benefits aligned to your unique goals at the lowest total cost.

The Bottom Line

Building credit doesn’t have to be daunting. With the right tools, you can establish and improve your credit score using bills and subscriptions you already pay today. Whether it’s through Grow Credit, StellarFi, Boom Pay, Rent Reporters, or Cushion.ai, there have never been more options to build credit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What bills can I add to StellarFi?

You can add bills such as rent, utilities, streaming subscriptions, and more to StellarFi.

What does RentReporters do?

RentReporters can add up to 2 years of rent payment history to your credit report and continue to report your ongoing monthly payments to help strengthen your credit. They verify rental payments and report them to TransUnion and Equifax.

What does StellarFi do?

StellarFi is a public benefit corporation that helps Americans build their credit scores by reporting payments to major credit bureaus and offering a high credit limit that can grow to $25,000 for Prime members.

Which credit-building service is best for managing subscription payments?

StellarFi and Grow Credit are at the top of our list for reporting subscription payments to the bureaus.


By
Zach Robbins

Zach has over ten years of experience in financial services, recognized on Inc. 500 lists & recently featured in ConsumerAffairs, Forbes, GoBankingRates, Huffington Post, and U.S. News & World Report.

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Editor
Editorial Staff

The editorial team applies their decades of experience in financial services & customer experience to develop research aligned with our editorial pillars of Integrity, Transparency, & User-centricity.

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