Get recognised for paying your rent on time

In the past some shops have been reluctant to give housing tenants credit as they were unable to check on their payment history. This would often pose a problem for people when trying to buy large items such as fridges, washing machines and three-piece suites.

Some stores do offer credit without making any checks but these often come with a very high rate of interest. To help our residents, we are looking at a formal data sharing agreement with the UK’s largest credit rating company, Experian. This should make it easier for the majority of our tenants to get the credit they need to buy larger items.

By paying your rent on time every month your credit rating will grow. This will benefit people who have been denied credit by high street stores in the past although they have always paid the rent on time.

What is happening?

We believe that you should get credit for paying your rent on time. That’s why we have joined the Experian Rental Exchange, a way to enhance your credit report without needing to take on new credit agreements. To do this, we will provide your rental payment record to Experian on a regular basis. You will therefore be recognised for paying your rent on time, similar to homeowners being recognised for paying their mortgage each month.

How will I benefit?

Sharing your rental payment history will help create an online proof of identity, proving you are who you say you are and that you live where you say you live. Proving this makes you a more reliable potential customer to companies.

A higher credit score means it may become easier for you to:

  • Open a bank account
  • Get a new credit card
  • Have a loan application approved
  • Shop online
  • Receive better gas and electricity rates
  • Receive better mobile phone rates

So how does it work?

You don’t need to do anything, we simply share your rent account details. When an application you make requires a credit or identity check, a higher score will increase the chance of application approval.

What is a credit report?

It is a history of all credit you have used in the past six years and how you paid it back. Credit cards, loans, mobile phone contracts and catalogues all add to your credit report, as do utility contracts in your name. Your credit score suggests how likely you are to repay any credit you get and lenders use this to help decide whether to lend to you.

Who are Experian?

Experian is one of the main organisations that provide lenders with credit reports in order to make lending decisions.

Can I opt out?

Those who not wish to participate can opt out and there will be information about this as part of the rent increase process in January. We are looking to implement this from April 2015 and would like to hear your views.

For more information please visit www.experian.co.uk/rental-exchange