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The Rental Exchange

Published: Fri, 14 Jul 2017
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Many social housing tenants find it difficult to get safe, affordable credit
High rise flats in Belvoir Estate, Belfast
Giving tenants credit where it’s due
In the past many of our tenants found it difficult to get safe, affordable credit because they had little or no credit history. We thought this was unfair.
So since July 2015 we have worked with Big Issue Invest and Experian on a project called ‘the Rental Exchange’ to address this.

What is the Rental Exchange?

It is a secure database which holds rent information supplied by social housing landlords.
This information helps build a person’s credit file with Experian

How does it benefit me?

  • The more positive financial information included on your personal credit report, the more likely you are to be accepted for affordable finance services.
  • If you pay your rent (part or full) to us on time this will be shown on the credit report. Your score will improve and you should be able to access mainstream credit options, bank accounts, home contents insurance, car/bike insurance, mobile phone contracts, etc more easily. Giving you lots of options to get the best finance deal for you.
  • If you’re on full Housing Benefit you can still benefit from Rental Exchange as it helps prove identity and address electronically – a requirement for access to many online goods and services these days

How does it work?

  • Each month, through a secure network, we supply Experian with details of payments to tenants’ rent accounts.
  • Experian updates their records to reflect the payment which in turn improve your financial profile.
  • This scheme supports responsible borrowing and lending and helps people avoid becoming over-indebted

What do I need to do?

  • If you’re on full Housing Benefit, there’s nothing for you to do.
  • If you pay all or part of your rent you just need to continue doing so without missing a payment, we will do the rest.

Has it really helped?

Experian has confirmed that since we started participating in the Rental Exchange scheme, approximately 80% of our tenants who pay rent have had their credit score improved.

Can I opt out?

Most tenants have agreed to allow their rent information to be shared with Experian and have been experiencing the benefits.  However you can opt out of the scheme at any stage.

More information

If you are a tenant and have any questions or queries about the Rental Exchange please contact:
Media enquiries should be made to 028 9598 2761