What is Rental Exchange and how can you join?
The Rental Exchange scheme was launched in March 2016 as a way of allowing tenants to build up a credit history and ultimately improve their credit rating by paying their rent on time each month.
But now for the first time borrowers and lenders can see this built-up rental payment information on credit reports. Building up a credit history can make it easier for people to access credit products – and a better credit rating can be key to getting the right mortgage.
Before Rental Exchange, some renters were unable to show they could meet regular payments, particularly if they didn’t already have a traditional credit product.
How to join if you’re in social housing
- Ask your landlord if they’re already part of the scheme. If they are, your rental payment information should be automatically recorded. Experian told us you will need to opt out if you don’t want this data to be stored (though you should have been told if you were added). If they’re not, you can use Credit Ladder to self-report, as long as you’re making regular rent payments from your bank account. This is because Credit Ladder uses Open Banking to monitor rent payments.
How to join as a private tenant
- Ask your landlord or letting agent if they are part of the scheme. If they are, request for your information to be added. If they’re not, you can self-report your payment data through one of Experian’s partners such as Credit Ladder or Canopy.
You can’t add your monthly payment data retrospectively as it’s only collected from the point you sign up and it starts to be shared – so the sooner you join the scheme, the better. However, the account will show the start date of your tenancy, which, if you’ve been in the property a while, could show longevity and stability – two big positives for lenders.
It’s worth noting that so far, Experian is the only credit agency to record rental payments. The other two, Equifax and Callcredit, don’t currently take them into account, which means that if you’ve joined the Rental Exchange, your score may differ significantly between these agencies’ credit reports.