Superior Solution to Mobile Check Deposit for Rent Payment

Mobile Check Deposit Rent Payment
Online rent payment is superior to mobile check deposit.

One of the conveniences of the smartphone revolution has been the introduction of “mobile check deposit“. With the help of an app, you can photograph a check for deposit while never leaving your home. For landlords and property managers, mobile check deposit for rent payment is an improvement over driving to the bank or ATM. It is convenient, but there are drawbacks making it not the best way for landlords to receive rent payment.

Downsides of Mobile Check Deposit

  1. Mobile deposit still relies on a paper check. Mailed checks take time to receive. In some cases, they get lost.
  2. Because mobile deposit is check-based, most banks put a hold on accessing funds until funds clear. In some cases, the first $200 may be available the next day, however, the delay can be much longer on larger amounts.
  3. Mobile check deposit for rent payment can still bounce. If the tenant does not have enough funds by the time you deposit the check, you will likely be charged an insufficient funds fee.

Online Rent Payment is the Superior Solution

Online rent payment eliminates paper. Rent payment is electronically withdrawn from the tenant’s bank account and then directly deposited to the landlord’s bank account. The beauty of online rent payment is that checks cannot get lost or delayed. Even if the landlord is on vacation, the deposit will still happen.

One of the oldest and most trusted online rent payment services is ClearNow. With ClearNow, landlords save time and collect rent faster. Rent is directly deposited three business days after the debit day. A landlord can enroll with ClearNow at www.ClearNow.com.

Redfin Article on Landlord Frauds and Scams

Redfin Tips to Avoid Landlord Fraud
Take a look at Redfin’s article on tips to avoid landlord fraud.

Making a large purchase can be a daunting experience. Naturally, you want to make sure the purchase is correct and legitimate. One of the largest expenses we face is for housing. So when it comes to renting a home, it is important to make sure you are renting to a legitimate landlord to avoid landlord frauds and scams.

With today’s technology, finding a place to rent is easy. For example, there are sites that can show you rentals available based on location and rent. You can peruse listings online at your leisure. In some cases with just a few clicks, you can schedule an appointment to view or even commit to a rental. While technology has made finding a rental easier, it has also, unfortunately, created opportunities for fraud. It is in these cases where spending the extra time and taking your time to research properties and landlords can be beneficial to you, especially in the long term.

Redfin asked ClearNow and other experts for tips on how to avoid landlord and rental fraud and has published them in their article: “Landlord Frauds and Scams: What to Watch Out For.”

ClearNow vs Venmo for Online Rent Payment

ClearNow vs Venmo
Among the options for online rent payment, ClearNow and Venmo are two.

Landlords have choice on how they want to collect rent. Cash and checks are still methods used today. More efficient methods like online rent payment can range from focused rent payment services to basic money transfer apps to full service property management software. There are pros and cons for each method, so landlords should consider things like fees and ease of use before committing. In this post, we will compare ClearNow to Venmo for online rent payment.

ClearNow for Online Rent Payment

ClearNow is a focused online rent payment service where payments are initiated by the landlord. Serving landlords and tenants since 2000, ClearNow directly deposits rent three banking days after the tenant’s debit day. For a monthly debit, ClearNow starts at $14.95/month. This fee includes the debit of one tenant. Additional tenants are $2/month.

Unique among all online rent payment services, ClearNow has an owner proceeds feature where property management companies can directly deposit tenant funds to the property owner’s bank account for just an additional $2/tenant.

In addition to online rent payment, ClearNow provides landlords with various reports including a Schedule E Helper report for tax time. With ClearNow, landlords can record income and expenses, screen tenants, and esign leases. In 2011, ClearNow was the first online rent payment service to allow tenants to report payments to Experian. So tenants can build a credit history with their ClearNow rent payments. Unlike other services, ClearNow provides telephone and email support, so you can talk with a person if you wish.

Venmo for Rent Payment

Venmo is similar to Zelle in that it is a money transfer app. Tenants can use Venmo to transfer rent payment directly to the landlord’s bank account. To send and receive funds via Venmo, tenants and landlords have to have the Venmo app. Unlike Zelle, Venmo does not require both parties to have a bank account that is part of a specified network of banks. Generally speaking, money transfers occur within minutes, even though it can take a few days for funds to clear. Venmo charges businesses who receive funds a transaction fee of 1.9% + $0.10 of the payment. This fee is a consideration for landlords who operate as a business entity.

One of the biggest considerations for landlords accepting Venmo for rent payment is the issue of partial payments. Because tenants initiate the Venmo payment, tenants may not pay rent in full thus making it difficult to recoup the full amount due or even evict if necessary. Some states prevent eviction if partial payments are made.

Summary of ClearNow vs Venmo for Online Rent Payment

ServicePros and Cons
ClearNow+ Focused online rent payment service
+ In business since 2000 with an “A+” BBB rating
+ $14.95/mo for one tenant. $2/mo each additional tenant. Rent payments received in 3 business days.
+ Reports for landlords such as Schedule E helper and P&L
+ Email and phone customer support
+ Tenants can build credit history for paying rent
+Automatic income & expense tracking for landlords
+ Enroll at www.ClearNow.com
Venmo+ General money transfer service
+ Landlord and tenant need to have the Venmo app
+ Tenants initiate payment and can make partial payments
+ Pricing is generally free. There is a transaction fee for businesses to receive funds.
+ No reports specifically for landlording activity
+ Set up account at Venmo.com or download the Venmo app

Build Credit History with Online Rent Payment

rent payments can build credit
Your Credit is Important. Your Online Rent Payment Can Help.

Credit history is pretty important. In today’s world, a good credit score can lead to lower cost loans – whether that be a car loan or a credit card interest rate. Additionally, many employers are now checking credit scores as part of background checks on potential employees. Most people know that a good credit history is important, but much less well known is that you can build credit history with online rent payment.

Credit Reports Include Rent Payment

In the 2000s, the big 3 US credit bureaus started to add rent payment information to an individual’s credit history. Initially, they offered this only to some people who rented from the largest apartment companies.

In 2012, Experian through its Experian RentBureau subsidiary, made a revolutionary step by allowing tenants in the ClearNow online rent payment service to report their payments. Later on, Experian worked with other online rent payment service providers to also start reporting rent payments.

How to Build Credit History with Online Rent Payment

There are a number of services that help tenants get their rent payment information added to their credit history. Unfortunately, some of them appear to be a little expensive. RentReporters charges a $94.95 sign-up fee and then $9.95/mo. Rental Kharma similarly charges a $50 setup fee and then $8.95/mo per renter.

If you can get your landlord to use ClearNow’s online rent payment service, there is no fee for you as a tenant to have your payments furnished to Experian. Landlords using ClearNow pay $14.95/mo for the first tenant and just $2/mo for each additional tenant.

Rent on Autopilot with Online Rent Payment

Rent on Autopilot
Make rent payment and collection easy when it’s on autopilot with ClearNow.

One of the most important obligations tenants have is paying rent.  And one of the most important tasks landlords have is collecting rent.  With any chore, completing it with the least amount of work and time is the goal.  So putting rent on autopilot with online rent payment is the answer for landlords and tenants. The convenience of online rent payment is difficult to dispute. As long as tenants have funds in their bank account, rent will always be paid, and it will be paid on time.  So the only thing tenants have to do is ensure they have sufficient funds in their bank account. Most online rent payment services, like ClearNow, automate the entire rent payment and collection process.  This means once a tenant is enrolled and they have sufficient funds in their bank account, then rent payment is made.

For landlords, rent on autopilot with online rent payment means they simply need to wait to see the rent deposited to their bank account.  Rent on autopilot eliminates waiting for checks in the mail and making trips to the bank. Online rent payment makes life easy, and services like ClearNow are the answer for many landlords and tenants.

Does ClearNow’s Online Rent Payment Service Integrate with Accounting Software?

Integrate w Accounting Software
The variety of accounting software make it challenging to integrate with all.

ClearNow is an online rent payment service that has been serving landlords and tenants since 2000. Its focus is on the transfer of rent from the tenant’s bank account to the landlord’s bank account. ClearNow makes the rent collection and payment process easy and efficient for both parties. On occasion, landlords will ask us, “Does ClearNow’s online rent payment service integrate with accounting software?”

ClearNow’s online rent payment service integrates only with RentalIncomeExpense.com. Created by ClearNow, RentalIncomeExpense.com is a free tool that enables landlords to track income and expenses for their rental property. ClearNow automatically records rents collected and service fees paid in the built in income and expense tracking tool.

Landlords have a lot of choice when it comes to accounting software. The variety of such software makes it difficult for ClearNow’s online rent payment service to integrate with all of them. For ClearNow landlords using a tool other than RentalIncomeExpense.com, they can download a CSV or PDF file that can be used to help populate their data in whatever tool they use.

Landlords who use ClearNow can easily add additional income and expenses from within their ClearNow accounts. The built in income expense tracking tool within the landlord’s ClearNow account makes it easy to run reports. Landlords who do not use ClearNow for online rent payment can still track income and expenses by setting up a free account at RentalIncomeExpense.com. Hopefully after reading this post, you now know the answer to “Does ClearNow’s Online Rent Payment Service Integrate with Accounting Software?”

Online Rent Collection for the New Year!

Online Rent Collection For the New Year
Start the New Year better by using Online Rent Collection in your landlording!

January is a time of reflection and commitment. Traditionally, we set goals for the New Year. For landlords, why not improve the way you do business? Many landlords still wait for a rent check in the mail. Improve your landlording by making it your goal to use online rent collection for the New Year!

The Many Benefits of Online Rent Collection

The obvious benefit of online rent collection is less work for the landlord. There is no check to collect, no deposit activity that takes your time (even with mobile deposit you need to sign the back, take pictures, etc.).

But, from 20 years in the business, ClearNow can list some additional benefits:

  • Younger Renters love online rent payment. Many of them have expressed that they no longer receive checks when they open a bank account!
  • Your recordkeeping is better! Online rent payment services like ClearNow allow you to see any historical payment activity in a report by time or address.
  • You get your rent faster from renters who procrastinate or are travelling (or involved in an emergency). The name of the game of property management is collecting rent.

It is Easy to Get Started

ClearNow is a service that has helped landlords collect rent online for over twenty years! ClearNow makes it super-easy to sign up and then email all your tenants so that they can sign up. Learn more at www.ClearNow.com and get started on a positive change for the New Year!

Late Rent Check Payment? Fix It!

late rent check payment
Late rent is annoying! Eliminate it.

As a landlord, there are things as stressful as a late rent check. Sometimes, the cause is tenants being forgetful. Other times, the delay can be with the postal system. Rather than just waiting, a successful landlord gets rid of late rent check payment altogether.

Tenants Are Forgetful

Tenants are human. And, unfortunately, humans are forgetful. Even the best intentioned tenant can forget what day it is. If you are depending on the tenant to write and mail a check, or even initiate a payment through Venmo, you are at the mercy of their memory.

Mail is Slow. And Getting Slower.

Unfortunately, the US postal service is getting slower. The headline screams: “Mail delivery slowdown: USPS to slow delivery“. First class mail will now take up to five days to arrive, rather than three days previously. As landlords know, late rent check payment is a big problem if they need those funds to pay a mortgage or other property expenses.

Eliminate Late Rent Check Payment

The best solution to late rent check payment is to not receive checks in the mail, or any type of payment that requires the tenant to remember to pay rent. Collect rent electronically and on auto-pilot. Fortunately, there are many services that are easy to setup. One of the the most experienced (in business since 2000) and most trusted (BBB A+ rating) service is ClearNow (sign up at www.ClearNow.com). With ClearNow, rent payments are automatically withdrawn through the bank system from a tenant’s bank account and are always deposited to you three business days later by direct deposit. The price of ClearNow is reasonable ($14.95/mo for the first tenant; just $2/mo for each additional tenant) compared to the price of missing rent payment.

ClearNow vs Zelle for Rent Payment

ClearNow vs. Zelle for rent payment
ClearNow and Zelle are online rent payment choices for landlords to consider.

Landlords have a lot of choices today when it comes to collecting rent online. Choices include focused online rent payment services to basic money transfer apps to full service property management software. They are not all created equal, so landlords should consider things like fees and initiating party before committing to a payment method. In this blog post, we will compare ClearNow vs Zelle for rent payment.

ClearNow for Online Rent Payment

ClearNow is a focused online rent payment service where payments are initiated by the landlord. Serving landlords and tenants since 2000, ClearNow directly deposits funds three banking days after the tenant’s debit day. For a monthly debit, ClearNow starts at $14.95/month. This fee includes the debit of one tenant. Additional tenants are $2/month.

Unique among all online rent payment services, ClearNow has an owner proceeds feature where property management companies can directly deposit tenant funds to the property owner’s bank account for just an additional $2/tenant.

Beyond online rent payment, ClearNow provides landlords with various reports including a Schedule E Helper report for tax time. With ClearNow, landlords can record income and expenses, screen tenants, and esign leases. In 2011, ClearNow was the first online rent payment service to allow tenants to report payments to Experian. So tenants can build a credit history with their ClearNow rent payments. Unlike other services, ClearNow provides telephone and email support, so you can talk with a person if you wish.

Zelle for Online Rent Payment

Zelle is a money transfer app that enables tenants to transfer rent payment directly to the landlord’s bank account. It requires both landlord and tenant to have a bank account that is part of the Zelle network. Generally speaking, money transfers occur within minutes, and generally Zelle does not charge sender or receiver (some Zelle banks do charge small businesses).

While fast and free, some landlords may not prefer Zelle as a method of rent payment. Tenants initiate the payment and may not pay rent in full thus making it difficult to recoup the full amount due or even evict if necessary. Some states prevent eviction if partial payments are made.

Additionally, depending on your bank, Zelle may limit transfers to $1,000/day or $5,000/mo.

Summary of ClearNow vs Zelle for Rent Payment

ServicePros and Cons
ClearNow+ Focused online rent payment service
+ In business since 2000 with an “A+” BBB rating
+ $14.95/mo for one tenant. $2/mo each additional tenant. Rent payments received in 3 business days.
+ Email and phone customer support
+ Tenants can build credit history for paying rent
+Automatic income & expense tracking for landlords
+ Enroll at www.ClearNow.com
Zelle+ General money transfer service
+ Same day transfer times
+ Tenant and landlord have to have bank accounts on the Zelle network.
+ Tenants initiate rent payment and can make partial payments.
+ Pricing is free for users with Zelle accounts. Zelle may limit total amounts that can be transferred.
+ Enroll through a bank that is part of the Zelle network.

How to Report Your Rent to a Credit Bureau for Free

Report Rent to Credit Bureau For Free
You can report your rent payments to the Experian credit bureau for free if you and your landlord use ClearNow for online rent payment.

Did you know that you can get credit for the rent you pay if your landlord uses a certain online rent payment service? Better yet, the use of the service to pay your landlord and to report your rent to a credit bureau will be free to you as a tenant (your landlord pays a small service fee for automatic rent collection)! If your landlord does not already use ClearNow (www.ClearNow.com) have them sign up for the service and use it to debit your rent each month automatically.

Credit Scores Are Important

As you are probably aware, a good credit score nowadays has countless benefits. Whether it is a credit card or an auto loan, a higher credit score means lower interest rate on a loan. Additionally, nowadays everyone from landlords to employers may run a credit check on you when you applying for a new apartment or a new job.

Rent Payments Can Build Credit History

Since 2011, Experian, one of the “Big 3 Credit Bureaus”, has allowed tenants to build credit by reporting rent payments. ClearNow was the first service to partner with Experian to offer this service to renters who use a small landlord. To this day, ClearNow (unlike other services!) does not charge the tenant for this benefit.

Ask Your Landlord To Use ClearNow

It is a no brainer for you as a tenant to have your rent reported to a credit bureau for free! Will your landlord be willing to sign up for ClearNow so that this can happen? If you ask, most landlords are willing to pay the small service fee ClearNow charges when they realize that rent will be automatically debited from your bank account and sent to their bank account, reducing the work for both of you. So text them a link to www.ClearNow.com and ask if they can debit you for rent automatically!