Boom is an app-based rent payment system that offers rent an easy, inexpensive way to report rent payments to all three credit bureaus. Find out how it works in this Boom review!
Building credit isn’t easy. You need credit to build credit, and you can’t get credit without meeting credit score requirements. There are lots of credit-building products out there, but many of them require you to take on debt, buy things you don’t need, or pay steep fees.
Rent reporting services allow renters to report what is usually their largest monthly expense to the credit bureaus. The downside is that most rent reporting companies charge significant amounts for their services. Boom cuts the cost of rent reporting dramatically while offering other valuable services, all in a convenient app format.
Boom Review & Ratings
Boom is an app that allows renters to report rent payments to the three major credit bureaus. It also allows renters to break their rent payments up into several installments throughout the month.
Reports to all three credit bureaus
Report up to 24 months of history plus ongoing payments
Easy to use: just download the app
Landlord involvement not required
Fast impact on credit score
Excellent customer reviews
Only works with rental portals or bank-linked methods: cash payments are not reported.
If you have late payments in your history, they may be reported.
New company with limited operating history.
What is Boom?
Boom is a rent payment app that offers two services.
- BoomReport reports up to 24 months of rent history and your ongoing rent payments to all three credit bureaus.
- BoomSplit lets you break up your rent payment, making several payments each month. Boom will make a single payment to your landlord on the scheduled date.
Boom is a new company, founded in 2020 and based in Glen Cove, NY. It’s a venture capital-backed startup led by co-founders Rob Whiting and Kirill Moizik.
How Does Boom Work?
You can close your Boom account directly from the Boom app.
To use BoomReport you will need to meet four requirements.
- You must be over 18
- You must have a valid Social Security number
- You’ll need a formal rental agreement within the last 24 months.
- You’ll have to pay by a rental portal or a bank-linked payment system. Boom can’t report payments made in cash or by money order.
Your rental agreement can be a lease, sublease, or roommate agreement. It must state who you are renting from, your address, and the term of your lease.
You can report a prior lease, even if it has expired and you don’t live at that address anymore. You don’t need to use the BoomPay app to report past payments, but you will need to use it to report ongoing payments.
Boom will verify your lease and check your bank’s records to verify your payments. Once they are verified, they will report up to 24 months of rent payments to the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
Boom claims that in most cases, the new tradeline will appear on your credit report and become part of your credit score within 7-10 days after they verify your data and submit your record to the credit bureaus. Verification and submission will usually take four days, which means you could see a change in your credit score in as little as two weeks.
Your landlord doesn’t have to be involved at all, a substantial advantage.
As of July 2022, BoomReport offers an expanded tile system: tap on an address and you can instantly view your lease details, a list of verified months, and additional products available for purchase.
Boom also offers “issue cards” that will pop up on your app if there’s any issue preventing accurate reporting of your payments. You’ll be told what the issue is and what you need to do to resolve it.
Will Late Payments be Reported?
Credit bureaus do not consider a payment late until 30 days after the due date. Rent payments made less than 30 days after the due date will be reported as on-time payments.
Payments made over 30 days late will be reported as late payments and could harm your credit. Boom recommends that you only report past payments on leases where you had a 100% on-time payment record.
How Much Will You Build Your Credit
It’s impossible to predict this with any certainty, and the same is true of any credit-building method. Boom can place a tradeline with up to two years of payment history on your credit record. That will have a positive impact, but the size of the impact will depend on many factors. Boom says that they expect the increase to be between 10 and 100 points.
As with any credit-building method, the impact will be most visible for people who have a thin credit file with a short credit history and a limited number of tradelines. If you have no credit history or history without enough data to generate a score, it could mean the difference between having no score and having a score.
Your account will appear in your credit file, but some credit scores may not be affected: remember that you have many credit scores. All VantageScores and the most recent FICO credit scores will reflect rent data, but the popular FICO 8 score does not. Rent reporting cannot improve your FICO 8 score.
👉 If a lack of records is holding your score down the impact could be large. If you have a large number of records the impact is likely to be diluted and less visible.
BoomSplit allows you to break your rent payments into several smaller installments. It’s ideal for renters who are paid weekly or bi-weekly and would like to deduct a portion of their rent from each paycheck.
Boom will make a single on-time payment to your landlord. You can pay Boom back on any schedule that you set. If you fall behind, you can set up a payment plan with Boom and avoid late fees and the embarrassment of late payments.
Boom will not draw a payment from your account if you don’t have the funds to covert it, which protects you from costly overdraft fees.
The BoomSplit service does not require the consent or participation of your landlord.
☝️ BoomSplit is still in “early access” mode and can only accommodate a limited number of users.
Boom is one of the most affordable rent reporting services available. It’s also one of the few rent reporting services to report to all three credit bureaus, so you’re getting more impact for your payment.
These are Boom’s fees:
- Enrollment fee: $10
- Past rent reporting (up to 24 months): $25
- Ongoing rent reporting (one year subscription): $24
- Ongoing rent reporting (if paid monthly): $2/month
- BoomSplit monthly subscription: as low as $9
As of July 2022, you may now add a second address for $10 for past reporting and $24/year for ongoing reporting.
You can use BoomReport without using BoomSplit.
Let’s compare that to the cost of Esusu Rent Report, one of the only other rent reporting services to report to all three credit bureaus.
|Signup Fee||Monthly fee (one year)||24 Months Past Rent Reporting||Total*|
* Total for 24 months past reporting and one year of ongoing payments.
👉 Many rent reporting services that report to only one or two credit bureaus are more expensive than Boom, making this an outstanding value in the rent reporting market.
Boom Customer Reviews
Boom is a new company with a limited operating history. The number of customer reviews available is limited, but they are still worth a look.
⚠️ Customer reviews have to be taken with caution. Review sites try to assure authenticity, but some companies do seed positive reviews and some negative reviews may be from customers who failed to understand the product or how it works.
On Google Play Boom has 71 reviews with an average of 4.1 of 5 stars. The bulk of the reviews are five-star:
Most of the positive reviews say that Boom does exactly what it says it does. For example:
Negative reviews typically involve procedural and setup problems. For example:
Reviews on Apple’s App Store are very similar: 54 reviews with an average of 3.2 of 5 stars, broken into a large number of positive reviews praising the app and a smaller number of frustrated complaints about setup issues. There are also a small number of early reviews from users who claimed that payments were made late or returned.
It is normal for a new company and a new app to have some setup issues. Over time we’ll see whether they are able to settle those issues and resolve the setup problems. In the meantime, we see nothing in these reviews to suggest that the app does not perform as indicated. Just be aware that some people have had some issues getting it set up.
⚠️ Issues with late or returned payments are more serious since they may produce late fees and affect your credibility as a tenant. Some potential users may wish to wait and see how reviews emerge in the future to see if the Company has resolved these problems. They don’t seem common, but you don’t want that to happen to you.
Rent reporting companies have been available for some time, and we have reviewed 12 of the best rent reporting services. These services have traditionally charged fairly high prices for their services and have often reported to only one or two credit bureaus, limiting their appeal to renters who want to build their credit.
New companies like Boom and Esusu Rent are offering flexible, user-friendly rent reporting services that report to all three major credit bureaus at much more reasonable costs.
It’s smart to review several options before selecting any financial service. The older rent reporting companies are still worth a look, and if you prefer to deal with a company that has an established track record you may prefer to use one of them. If you’re willing to take a chance on a new player, Boom can place a two-year tradeline on your credit record in only two weeks at a minimal cost.
We’re not generally fans of paying to build credit, but if you’re trying to start building credit this is a fairly compelling value proposition.
Other Ways to Build Credit
There are many ways to build credit if you have no score or a thin file, and there are many ways to rebuild a bad credit score. Rent reporting is one of them, and it’s a way to use an existing expense to build credit. It can also be a way to put up to 2 years of past payments on your credit history, an advantage if your credit history is short or nonexistent.
Before you decide on rent reporting, consider these alternatives.
- Become an authorized user. Asking a friend or relative to add you as an authorized user on their credit card is a fast and free way to build credit.
- Use a secured credit card. Secured credit cards are easily available and offer the convenience of a credit card. Many have no fees.
- Use a credit-builder loan. Credit-builder loans put an affordable installment loan on your record and are easy to get, but there will be a cost.
- Use a credit-building debit card. Companies like Extra, Sequin, and Sesame Cash offer debit cards that can build credit.
- Use your bill payments. Services like Experian Boost and eCredable Lift can put your bill payments on your credit reports.
All of these can help you build your credit history. Rent reporting can help too. You’ll have to decide which combination suits you best and how much you are willing to spend to build credit.
Is Boom Worth It?
Boom can put up to two years of rent history on your credit report in as little as two weeks, and follow it up with continuing rent reporting. There is a cost, but it’s substantially lower than that of most competitors. If rent reporting is going to be part of your credit building strategy, it’s one of the most cost-effective rent reporting services we’ve seen.
There are some downsides. You won’t get a discount for adding a spouse, partner, or roommate to your account, though the low cost compensates for that. Late payments will be reported and could hurt your credit.
This review is designed to help you decide whether Boom is the right rent reporting service and the right credit repair tool for you. All decisions on these questions are subjective and there’s no solution that’s right for everyone!
If you are looking for ways to build credit, examine the various types of credit building tools and decide which types of tools will work best for you. If you’re considering rent reporting, we hope this review will help you decide whether Boom is a service you’d like to use.
The ratings we applied above are built on comparisons to other rent reporting services that compete with Boom. They are not intended to compare Boom to other types of credit building tools.
Here’s an explanation of the rating criteria.
We compared the initial fee, monthly reporting fee, and past rent reporting fees with those of similar services. Boom’s costs are markedly lower than those of any competitor we looked at, hence the high score.
The primary criteria here are the number of credit bureaus reported to and the length of the credit history reported. Most rent reporting services will report up to two years of back rent, but only two in our database (Boom and Esusu Rent) report to all three credit bureaus.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is a measure of how easy the service is to set up and use. Boom is an app, and it’s extremely easy to download. If everything goes smoothly, setup and use are just as simple as downloading it. We dropped this score slightly because of the reports of setup glitches in the user reviews. That is a common issue in new services, and if Boom can resolve these issues this score will rise.
No service goes right all the time, and when problems do arise you want to be able to get them addressed. Boom has an excellent record of responding to reviews that report problems and issues, and many customer reviews note that customer service is fast and responsive.