The Rental Exchange – sharing information to get you a better deal
Customers renting social housing sometimes find it difficult to get affordable loans, a mortgage or credit cards or to open bank accounts. Often this is because they do not have a credit history.
If you want to buy something on credit, then it helps if you have a good credit history (a track record of paying off credit agreements). Companies use credit history to assess your creditworthiness before making a lending decision.
Having a good credit history also helps to provide proof of your identity, and where you live and have lived before. This can help you access a range of goods and services online, including getting the best deals on mobile phone contracts, TV and broadband packages and car insurance.
Homeowners with a mortgage have an advantage over renters as their mortgage payment history can count towards their credit history. Curo believes that your rent payment history should be used in the same way to help you access more affordable credit and get a better deal on loans and services.
Curo has teamed up with Big Issue Invest, part of the well-known Big Issue Group, and Experian to take part in the Rental Exchange. The Rental Exchange is a way to strengthen your credit report without you needing to take on new credit. The scheme enables us to share details about the rent you pay with Experian on a monthly basis. This is then included in your credit report, meaning you will then be recognised for paying your rent on time.
Frequently asked questions
What do I need to do?
You don’t need to do anything.
We will share your tenancy information with Experian, including your track record for paying your rent and service charges to us, unless you tell us not to. Paying your rent on time could help you to access cheaper goods and services in the future.
Not only will we be able to work with you more closely to manage your existing tenancy agreement, sharing your tenancy track record will enable Experian to assist other landlords and organisation to:
- assess and manage any new tenancy agreements you may enter into;
- assess your financial standing to provide you with suitable products and services;
- manage any accounts that you may already hold, for example reviewing suitable products or adjusting your current product in light of your current circumstances;
- contact you in relation to any accounts you may have and recovering debts that you may owe;
- verify your identity, age and address to help them make decisions about services they offer;
- help prevent crime, fraud and money laundering;
- screen marketing offers, where you have an existing relationship with a company to make sure they are appropriate to your circumstances;
- Experian to undertake statistical analysis, analytics and profiling;
- Experian to conduct system and product testing and database processing activities such as data loading, data matching and data linkage.
We, and Experian, will ensure that your information is treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act so you can have peace of mind that it will be kept secure and confidential and your information will not be used for marketing purposes.
Is Curo getting money from Experian for sharing my information?
No. We’re doing it as we think it will get customers a better deal.
I receive my housing costs from Housing Benefit or Universal Credit; will this adversely affect my credit score?
If your full rent is paid by Housing Benefit directly to us, your credit rating will not be affected, positively or negatively. This also applies if we get your rent in full from Universal Credit, directly through an alternative payment arrangement.
Remember that paying your rent is your responsibility, so if you begin to receive your benefits directly through Universal Credit or stop getting full Housing Benefit, you will need to make your rent payments directly to us. From that time onwards, you will automatically start to be included in this scheme having received this notice.
If you're not sure if or how this may affect you, please call our Customer Accounts team on 01225 366000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would prefer not to benefit from the scheme you can opt out. To do this, please contact us to tell us.