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Rental payments to be included in tenants’ credit score

Lana Clements
Written By:
Lana Clements

Tenants will now be able to use rental payments to build up their credit score, as reference agency Experian starts to count the information towards its credit reports.

Around 1.2m tenants are to have their rent recognised, with more than 150 social housing providers, local authorities and letting agents reporting data into the Rental Exchange initiative – a partnership between Experian and the Big Issue’s social investment arm.

It comes after a petition that called for paying rent to be used as proof people could afford a mortgage gathered nearly 150,000 signatures last year.

Almost eight out of ten tenants would have seen a noticeable improvement in their credit score when lenders take rental data into account, according to Experian.

The credit reference agency said by adding rental data to credit reports, the proportion of tenants who can prove their identity online increases from 39% to 84%, broadening the range of financial services available to them.

Clive Lawson, managing director of Experian consumer services, said: “We’re proud Experian is the first credit reference agency to add rental payment data to credit reports, leading the way in helping people understand their financial health.

“Tenants pay a significant amount of money each month for the roofs over their heads, so it’s right to recognise these regular payments in a similar way as mortgages.

“Adding rental payment data to credit reports would help millions of people prove their identity so they can access online services and mainstream finance.

“We’re already working with a range of lenders who want to use rental data to improve their understanding of a person’s financial situation so they can make higher quality decisions.”

Many lenders have outlined their interest in adding rental payment data to their credit decision-making process, while a number are already testing the data in their systems, Experian said.