Last month we shared a new way to improve your credit score called ‘Pinch‘. The service claimed that they were able to improve users credit scores by having rent payments recorded on your credit report as an installment loan. This helps people without an installment loan (car loan/mortgage normally) as 10% of your FICO score is based on your credit mix. FICO & other score issuers like to see a mix of both installment and revolving loans (credit cards). When I first saw it I was a bit surprised that they’d be allowed to report rental payments as an installment loan, because they aren’t really one and the credit bureaus themselves have tried more or less unsuccessfully to collect rental data in the past (e.g TransUnion’s MySmartMove).
It looks like this was the case as Pinch has sent out the following e-mail to users (emphasis mine):
Thank you for sharing your documents and trusting us to report your rental payments.
It is with sincere regret that we inform you that Pinch will be permanently shutting down.
As of now, the credit bureaus will no longer accept the information you shared with us.
We are proud that while Pinch was operating, we were able to report most of our active customers’ rental payments to the credit bureaus. We feel passionately that your strong rental history should be reflected on your credit report and are very disappointed that we weren’t able to provide this service for you. We have deep gratitude for your trust and support, and sincerely apologize that we weren’t able to pull through.
We take your privacy and your trust very seriously and have permanently destroyed your sensitive information to or above industry standards.
Our last effective date of business was June 27th, 2018. The Pinch app is no longer available for use. If you have concerns, please respond to this email or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you still want to report your rent, check out this article from Nerdwallet. They list some great resources!
We are honored to have been a part of your journey. We wish you the best of luck and thank you again for joining our movement to creating a more accurate and fair financial system for renters.
– The Pinch Team
They do mention that personal data has been destroyed, but the only mention of Pinch no longer operating is a small note in the footer of the homepage. They have also deleted the Twitter account associated with Pinch as well. I would have thought it would make more sense to use the Twitter account to inform users that the service is no longer being operated and making the homepage clearly state it’s been discontinued would be a good idea as well. For readers that still want to improve their credit score by adding an installment load, your best chance will be doing something similar to the shared secured loan installment trick we’ve discussed before. I hope to write a dedicated post to a working method with a new credit institution sometime next month.