Pay your rent on time for a better credit rating

If you’re a tenant, your rent is the single most important payment you make each week or month - and often the most expensive. But even if you make every payment on time, this responsible financial management is not usually recognised in your credit score. And if you decide to buy a house, your bank won’t take it into account when they assess you for a mortgage.

But all that’s about to change. There are now a number of different ways your rental payments can be taken into account by credit reference agencies. We’ve rounded up a list to help you get started.

rent

The Rental Exchange

This might be suitable for you if...

...you rent from someone with a lot of properties, like a council, housing association or large managing agent.

The Rental Exchange was set up by Experian, the credit reference agency. Your landlord or managing agent can give them your rental payment data: i.e. whether you make all your payments on time. This will then be reflected in your credit report. You can ask your landlord or managing agent whether they’re taking part. Find out more on the Rental Exchange website.


RentalStep

This might be suitable for you if...

...you’re looking for a new property to rent.

RentalStep is a landlord-tenant matching service. If you have a good history of paying your rent on time, this record will be shared with potential landlords as well as with Experian via the Rental Exchange.


CreditLadder

This might be suitable for you if...

...you want to report your rental payments without having to involve your landlord.

CreditLadder works by connecting directly to your bank account. It doesn’t cost you anything, but it will ‘see’ your rent going out every month and report this to Experian. This is an example of Open Banking - you can read more about this here.


Bud

This might be suitable for you if...

...you use mobile banking apps (and have some patience!)

Bud is an open banking start-up. They are building an ‘AI-driven rental recognition tool’ which banks will be able to integrate into their apps. This tool isn’t available yet, but you can find out more on Bud's website.

Remember, all these tools and initiatives will only help you improve your credit score if you pay your rent on time - which is vital in any case to avoid the risk of eviction. Prioritise your rent payments and bolster up your credit history at the same time - it’s a win-win!

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