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Many housing association tenants find it difficult to access financial services such as affordable loans, bank accounts and credit cards often because not enough information is held on their credit file.
A credit file or score is a personal history of the credit an individual has had. Different organisations use this information to decide whether to give someone access to their services. Not having a credit score means that people often get worse rates and can end up paying more for things like electricity and loans.
We believe Swan tenants should get recognition
for paying their rent, the same way people who pay their mortgage
do. So we've teamed up with Big Issue Invest and credit reference
agency Experian to introduce the Rental Exchange.
The scheme involves sharing rental payment history with Experian, to allow tenants with a history of little or no credit, to build a credit score and an online identity.
Being able to prove your identity and show a track record of paying your rent, will open up new channels and services, giving fairer access to services such as: bank accounts, credit cards, loans, online shopping, and better gas and electricity rates.
Many social landlords share information with Experian for the benefit of their tenants. Sharing tenancy records through the Rental Exchange scheme enables Experian to assist landlords and organisations to:
Information is treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act, and kept secure and confidential. It is only made available to a company or organisation if the information is relevant and not for marketing purposes.
If you would like advice on how to improve your credit history, you can access independent and impartial advice from the Money Advice Service.