Helping Consumers Increase Credit Scores with Rental Payments #ExperianStories
The opportunity being unlocked is removing some of the barriers to financial inclusion for millions of tenants in the UK. My name’s Tina. The worry is basically making sure I’ve got food in the house to feed my child, a roof over our head. I’m Vicki McNab, my role at Experian is to lead project called the Rental Exchange. So a lender will use your credit file information anytime you make an application. If your file is thin or there’s not much information you will tend to have to pay more to access those services than somebody who’s file is thick. The Rental Exchange is an initiative working with the Big Issue Invest to incorporate people’s rental payment history into their credit files. I’ve got family to look after, got my son to look after. He’s studying music production so I had to buy equipment, I couldn’t get a loan from my bank because I had a low credit score. So I went to ahigh street shop to get loans which I kept renewing all the time which got me into big debt. Buying a new washing machine for example, if you get a low-cost loan to buy it, that would cost you £300 where as if they went to a payday lender, that washing machine could turn out to hard to cost them something like £900 or even a thousand pounds. Even though you’re working you’re not earning enough money to cover everything, so you’re worrying about where the next meal is coming from, and there was times where he would eat and I wouldn’t. Three years ago I was nominated to go onto Family Mosaic. Family Mosaic is a social housing landlord to people on low income. When we were given the opportunity to join the Rental Exchange we thought that it was the easiest way we could enable our tenants to be more financially included. Millions of renters in the UK are making significant monthly payments, that currently don’t get recognised on their credit file, so the Rental Exchange aims to create a record of those payments. The majority of people pay their rent on time, so, in most cases those people involved will see an improvement to their credit score. All we have to do is provide Experian with rental payment information and our tenants would have nothing to do other than pay their rent on time, for them to be more financially included. How would it make a difference to me? I pay my rent every week without fail. I’d probably wouldn’t be in the debt that I am in now. There are 10 million renters in the UK currently. Over the next five years I hope that the Rental Exchange will be impacting four to five million of those. Experian are the first in the UK to do this and it is market changing. I’m now in this situation where I can think, I can breathe, and I think that’s what it is – I can breathe now.