What Bills Help Build Credit?

Have you missed a few payments or made a poor financial decision? If so, you may need to find ways to rebuild your credit – especially if you want favorable terms and interest rates on future loans.

While there are several ways to rebuild credit, simply paying your bills on time is one of the easiest.

How do bills impact credit?

Whether you pay your bills on time has a huge impact on your credit score. Late payments on certain bills might be reported to the three major credit bureaus, causing your credit score to drop.

Because potential lenders check credit reports before issuing loans, your credit history and payment history will determine whether you qualify for certain loans. If you’re planning to finance a vehicle or buy a house within the next few years, boosting your credit score is key.

5 bills that help build credit

Certain bills affect credit scores more than others. In general, late payments on loans – from personal loans to student loans – can have a big impact on your credit score.

On the other hand, rent payments and similar monthly bills have little to no impact. Let's dig deeper into what bills build credit, so you can focus on those first!

Credit card payments

Your credit card accounts have one of the biggest impacts on your credit score. In fact, a single missed payment on your credit card bill can drop your score significantly, whereas frequent on-time payments will boost it.

The best way to build credit with credit cards is to pay every bill on time and in full each month. While making minimum payments will help, it's better to pay off the balance before accumulating interest.

Keeping your balances low also contributes to a low credit utilization ratio, which reflects positively on your credit report.

Auto loan payments

Whether you finance your purchase through an auto dealer, bank, or credit union, making (or missing) your car payments will likely have a significant impact on your credit score. The good news? Making on-time monthly car payments can be a great way to build credit!

Mortgage payments

Just like with auto loans, on-time mortgage payments can go a long way in boosting your credit score, while late payments will hurt it.

Personal loan payments

Many types of personal loans can impact your credit score, but loans financed by banks and credit unions are more likely to be reported to credit bureaus compared to personal loans from alternative lenders.

Student loans

Both private and public student loan payments are reported to the credit bureaus, which means each monthly payment could impact your credit. Even if your loans are in deferment, they will still show up on your credit report, contributing to your overall total debt.

Utility bills

Not all utility companies notify credit reporting agencies about payment activity, but those that do can make a strong impact on your credit. If your on-time utility payments aren’t reported, consider using a service like Experian Boost to report your payments.

4 bills with limited or no impact on credit

While many bills help build credit, others have little to no impact on it, including:


Rent payments usually do not impact your credit score because most landlords and property management companies don’t automatically report payment activity. There are, however, third-party companies your landlord can hire that allows them to report late payments (although they’re less likely to report on-time ones). Regardless, paying your rent on-time is always a good idea to avoid potential credit and housing problems.

Payday Loan payments

While most traditional personal loans are reported to credit bureaus, Payday Loans are an exception to the rule. Also known as Cash Advances, Payday Loans have a very short repayment window, often just two to four weeks, so there aren’t any monthly payments to report. This can make Payday Loans a good option when you need emergency cash, but not if you want to take out a loan to build credit.

However, if you fail to repay the Payday Loan, your lender might report the missed payments or send the debt to collections, which will hurt your score.

Insurance payments

Even if you make consistent on-time insurance payments, they typically won’t improve your credit score. Companies that provide life, auto, renters, homeowners, and medical insurance don't report regular payment activity to credit bureaus. Late payments, on the other hand, may get reported.

Medical bills

Medical debt is a complex issue when it comes to credit reporting, and the laws can change frequently. At the time of this writing, legislation allows extended time to pay, negotiate, or dispute medical debt compared to other types of debt. And, if you have a medical bill under $500, it may not show up on your credit report at all.

Strategies to help build your credit

Now that we’ve discussed what bills help build credit, let’s break down other credit-building strategies. When working to rebuild your credit score, you might:

  • Set up automatic payments for all your bills, auto loans, and any other monthly payments.
  • Monitor your credit report so you can notify the credit bureaus of any errors.
  • Maintain a low credit utilization ratio.
  • Apply for a secured credit card or credit-builder loan.
  • Diversify your credit mix to include different types of credit accounts.
  • Reduce hard inquiries by not applying for more credit than you need.

Protect your credit with safe online loans from Advance America

There are plenty of great ways to build your credit. From knowing what bills build credit and paying them on time to enrolling in programs that report your rental payments and utilities.

You can also protect and maintain your credit by borrowing responsibly. If you need extra money to cover an important bill, we can help. Apply for an online loan with Advance America today!

About the Author

Jalin Coblentz has contributed to Advance America since 2023. His experiences as a parent, full-time traveler, and skilled tradesman give him fresh insight into every personal finance topic he explores.

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