We’ve teamed up with Experian, the credit reference agency, to launch a brand new scheme called The Rental Exchange.

Some people find it difficult to get bank accounts, credit cards and affordable loans because they don’t have a credit score (or there’s not enough information on their file). Not having a credit score means people can end up paying more for things like electricity and loans.

We think people who pay rent should be able to use it to get and improve their credit scores. This scheme means we’ll share your rent payment history with Experian which will create an online proof of identity (providing you are who you say you are and that you live where you say you live). This makes you a more reliable potential customer to companies.

What are the benefits?

You’ll be able to build a credit score which could give you better rates for:

  • Bank accounts
  • Credit cards and loans
  • Online shopping, and better gas and electricity rates

What do you need to do?

You don’t need to do anything.  We’ll share the information about your rent payments with Experian, including your track record for paying your rent and service charges unless you tell us not to. We will not share other information about your tenancy such as repair history or bank details.

If you owe us money for your rent we’ll be in touch to help you. Paying your rent on time could help you access cheaper products and services in the future.

Independent research among social tenants shows that there is wide support for this scheme partnership. The benefits include proof of financial reliability, access to cheaper credit and automated evidence of identity and proof of address. Many social landlords are going to share information with Experian for the benefit of their tenants.

How do I find out what’s on my credit file?

Sharing your tenancy record through the Rental Exchange Scheme not only allows us to work with you more closely to manage your existing tenancy agreement, but will also allow Experian to help other landlords and organisations to:

• Assess and manage any new tenancy agreements you may enter into.
• Assess how strong your financial standing is for products and services.
• Manage any accounts you may already hold, for example reviewing suitable products or adjusting your current product in light of your current circumstances.
• Contact you in relation to any other accounts you may have and recovering debts you may owe.
• Verify your identity and address to help them make decisions about services they offer.
• Help prevent crime, fraud and any money laundering.
• Undertake research, development and statistical analysis and system testing.

Experian will make sure that your information is treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act, so you can have peace of mind it will be kept secure and confidential. It will only be made available to a company or organisation if your tenancy information is relevant and you have agreed to them doing a check about your tenancy.

If you’d like further information you can visit Experian.co.uk/rental-exchange. If you’d like advice on how to improve your credit history you can access independent and impartial advice from the Money Advice Service.