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Experian to include rental payments in credit reports

Experian is to include consumers’ rental payment history in credit reports for the first time.

The firm is launching Rental Exchange, which it says will strengthen tenants’ credit rating by taking into account their rental payment history with their permission.

Paul Vescovi, UK & Ireland managing director at Experian Credit Services, says: “With several million people living in privately rented accommodation, a significant percentage of the population could be missing out on mainstream, low-cost credit because lenders do not currently have a comprehensive picture of their financial track record.”

Sian Williams, head of Transact, the National Forum for Financial Inclusion, says the move is a very welcome development for those living in private rented accommodation who have until now found it difficult to build a credit history.

She says: “If used well, this could be a very effective tool for allowing them to access a wider range of services at a more affordable cost.

“Key to its success will be ensuring that consumers are well educated about the service. This will include making clear the impact that missing a rental payment could have on their credit rating, especially if it is paid via housing benefit, which is often out of their hands.”

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  • Nick 16th March 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Jools I was thinking the same. How do they get the info? Must be through letting agents I guess but that’s probably even worse!

  • Stuart 16th March 2012 at 5:24 pm

    this is a great idea for 2 reasons
    1) Tenant’s can build themselves a good credit history to buy goods on credit(sofa’s or property) in the future
    2) Those bad tenants that get away with rent arrears will no have it recorded on the credit report and will be less likely to go into arrears again

  • Laurie 16th March 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Dispute with landlord over the boiler not getting fixed – end result trashed credit rating. Now where do I sign up for this ?

  • jools 16th March 2012 at 4:07 pm

    …and the information is gathered from where exactly? The highly regulated world of private landlords and rental agencies????!!!!!!!!
    Good luck with that one

  • Shaks 16th March 2012 at 3:40 pm

    sounds like a partnership with Big Brother. More snooping on people who want to mainatin their privacy and pesonal sovereignty.