We believe that you should be rewarded for paying your rent on time. This is why we’ve joined the Rental Exchange to help you enhance your credit rating.
Why has St Leger Homes joined the Rental Exchange?
Many of our tenants have difficulty accessing financial services such as loans, bank accounts and credit cards. This is often because they don’t have a credit rating or have no information on their credit file. The Rental Exchange allows you to access these financial services by building a positive credit rating if you pay your rent on time. We believe that you should have access to the same services that people who pay a mortgage do.
What is a credit rating?
Anyone who is over 18 and has ever taken out credit or even a mobile phone contract is likely to have a credit file and a rating. A credit file is a personal history of the credit an individual has had and the payments they've made. It includes mortgages, credit cards, mobile phone contracts and utility bills. Credit files are held by Credit Reference Agencies, such as Experian.
Big Issue Invest developed the concept of the Rental Exchange and teamed up with Experian, the leading global information service, to create and manage it.
I don't want to apply for credit, why should I care about my credit rating?
Organisations will use your credit rating to decide whether to give you access to their services. This includes things like mobile phones contracts and subscription TV services. Not having a credit rating means you will often pay more for things like electricity & gas and loans.
The Rental Exchange involves us sharing your rent payment information with Experian to help you create an online proof of identity, which proves who you are and where you live, and to enhance your credit rating.
What are the benefits?
Being able to prove your identity and show a track record of paying your rent will open up new channels and services, giving you access to services such as bank accounts, credit cards, loans, broadband, subscription TV services, online shopping and better gas & electric rates. If you already have a poor credit rating the Rental Exchange can help you get it back on track.
What if I claim Housing Benefit?
If Housing Benefit pays your whole rent then your credit rating will remain unchanged. However by sharing your rent payment data it ensures that a credit file has been created for you, which proves who are you are and where you live.
If Housing Benefit pays part of your rent and you pay the rest, your credit rating will be enhanced.
I pay my rent in arrears, how will I be affected?
If you pay your rent in arrears every week, fortnight or month your credit rating will be positively affected as long as your rent balance doesn't exceed 1 month.
What if I'm in rent arrears of more than 1 month?
If your rent balance is between 1 and 2 months your credit rating will remain unchanged.
If your rent balance exceeds 2 months your credit rating will be negatively affected.
If you claim Universal Credit and are waiting for your first payment, it won't affect your credit rating.
If you fall in to arrears we aim to agree a manageable payment arrangement with you and advise on the benefits you may be entitled to.
What do I need to do?
You don’t need to do anything. We will share your tenancy information with Experian, including your current and on-going rent payment data, unless you tell us not to. You can opt-out at any time.
St Leger Homes and Experian will ensure your information is treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act. Your information will not be used for marketing purposes.
If you wish to opt-out of the Rental Exchange or you have any further questions, contact us on 01302 736355.
Where can I find out more?
Visit the Experian website for more information on Rental Exchange: https://www.experian.co.uk/rental-exchange/tenants.html