Q&A: Seller financing and credit reporting

Dear Liz: I bought a home and the seller financed the sale. I have made all payments on time, but that’s not reflected on my reports at the three credit bureaus. What can I do to get my mortgage payments acknowledged on my credit reports?

Answer: One of the advantages of seller financing — where the person selling the home is your lender — is that getting a mortgage can be easier than if you were to apply to a bank or business. Individuals, however, typically can’t report payments to the credit bureaus, so your payments won’t show up on credit reports.

If you’re trying to improve troubled credit, you can use other methods such as being added as an authorized user to someone’s credit card, getting a secured credit card or applying for a credit-builder loan from a credit bureau or online lender. If you were a renter, you also could subscribe to a rent-reporting service that would transmit your rent payment history to the bureaus for inclusion in your credit reports.

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