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New partnership set to improve customers' credit

Please note: If you are a home owner, a resident in an almshouse, or a tenant on a 6 months Assured Shorthold Tenancy who has paid a deposit, this policy/ section may not apply to you.

A partnership between NCHA and credit experts Experian has been established to help tenants build good credit histories and improve their financial situation.

NCHA, after consulting with tenants, has agreed to share rental payment information with Experian, which will see NCHA submit regular information on how tenants pay their rent in a bid to help strengthen their credit histories.

The data compiled will be included in future credit decisions via the Rental Exchange, which means it will help tenants secure more affordable credit as their credit history improves. For example, those unable to open a bank account due to poor credit, the partnership will help change this.

Jonathan Westley, Managing Director of Consumer Information Services at Experian UK, said: "NCHA is clearly committed to combating the financial challenges faces by their tenants and now they have taken a step towards making a significant difference. Rent payment data will help improve the effectiveness and fairness of credit decisions and is one of the most sustainable ways in which we can have a positive impact on poverty."

Peter Cowley, Assistant Director of Housing at NCHA, said: "Social housing tenants do not currently have the benefit of using their rental payment history to build up a positive credit file. Those with a lower credit score have fewer choices available to them and may have to pay more to take out a loan. Sharing rental payment information will permit our tenants to qualify for a range of necessary basic services, such as current accounts."

Those tenants who have failed electronic identity checks will have the opportunity to pass them if rental data is included in their credit history, it has been claimed.

This document provides the answers to some commonly asked questions about the Experian Rental Exchange.

The attached letter has been sent to all NCHA tenants to inform them of this initiative.

Further information can also be found on Experian's website: http://www.experian.co.uk/rental-exchange/

April 2016 update

We wrote to tell you about the Experian Rental Exchange, under which NCHA gives Experian your rent payment record. This record is then used if you need a credit check when purchasing goods or services, such as a sofa on credit or purchasing a mobile phone contract.

One of the reasons we are doing this is to put to tenants on an even footing with owner occupiers, whose mortgage payments are taken into account, when they need a credit check.

Unfortunately the Rental Exchange has not started as planned, because of IT difficulties. When these have been sorted the Exchange will take place.

There is more information about the Rental Exchange on NCHA’s website; http://housing.ncha.org.uk/experianagreement  

If you do not want NCHA to share your rent payment records please telephone 0800 013 855 / 0115 844 3150 or email info@ncha.org.uk