Utility Payments can be more valuable than Rent
There have been numerous articles that describe the benefits of reporting your rent payment to the credit bureaus. This article in the Wall Street Journal talks about a study that was done that shows how people in public housing benefited from having their rent reported.
It's true that in almost all cases having your rent reported will increase your credit score, but it's not easy to pay your rent - and not cheap. Most rent payments that get reported to credit bureaus are as a result of your landlord reporting to the credit bureaus on your behalf. If you live in a large apartment complex that uses sophisticated tenant management and payment software, chances are you can opt-in to have your rent payment reported. About 35-40% of the rental population of the U.S. can take advantage of this, but most of those people are already really creditworthy - otherwise, they wouldn't be living in high dollar apartments.
That leaves the other 60-65% of the population that can't use this capability. They rely on their landlord to participate in a rent reporting arrangement, which is something most landlords just don't want to do. Furthermore, many of these services charge anywhere from $9.95 per month, to $29.95 per month.
Utility Bills vs. Rent
Reporting two utility bills is more valuable than reporting one rent payment, and much easier - and cheaper - to do. eCredable Lift allows you to report up to 9 different types of utility bills (Power, Gas, Water, Waste, Mobile Phone, Cable TV, Satellite TV, Internet, and Landline Phone) for only $19.95 per year. There's quite a bit more value in this approach.