All hail Lord Bird! If you don’t know who he is, here’s why he should be celebrated by renters. As well as founding the Big Issue magazine, Lord Bird thinks a tenant’s monthly rentalpayment should count towards their credit report - currently they don’t while mortgage repayments do.
It’s something we couldn’t agree with more. We’re thrilled Lord Bird has recently steered his Creditworthiness Assessment Bill through Committee Stage, having gained widespread cross-party support in the House of Lords. The Bill will be heard in the House of Commons later this year, on its way to potentially becoming law.
Renters, however, don’t have to wait for this to be legally adopted to benefit. Sign up to Canopy and be rewarded for paying your rent from day one, thanks to RentTracking - our initiative with Experian that allows your rent to improve your credit report. Our service is so highly rated that The Telegraph chose to feature Canopy’s RentTracking and one of our happy renters in its recent article advising Millennials on how to build a credit score.
Lord Bird’s Bill comes at the same time as the Government’s Rent Recognition Challenge – an invitation for providers to develop products that will enable tenants’ rental payment to be shared with lenders and credit agencies. Canopy’s RentPassport product was a first round winner, and we are now in the second round after the judges recognized our passion and commitment to renters.
Canopy Founder, Tahir Farooqui says: “We’ve pre-empted Lord Bird’s wishes by already rewarding renters and taking part in the Rent Recognition Challenge shows we’re dedicated to developing our RentPassport. Paying the rent promptly every month should count for something as it demonstrates responsibility and financial prudence, especially when you consider some rents surpass mortgage repayments in value. Our renters are already building a better credit report every time they pay and any renter can benefit, even if their landlord or letting agent isn’t using Canopy.
What is a credit report?
Your credit report is a summary of your financial reliability, and details your history of paying debts, credit cards, loans and other bills. Your report will also show missed payments, outstanding debts, the number and type of accounts you hold, every time you have applied for credit and debt collection actions.
Why is it important to build a good credit report?
Lending money to someone or giving them credit is seen as a financial risk, so banks and financial organisations assess each applicant based on their financial history and repayment habits. A negative report can stop people getting a loan, finance for a car, a mortgage and even a job – as employers are increasingly requesting credit reports before hiring. Landlords can also refuse a tenant based on the contents of their report. A good credit report also helps secure better rates of interest on loans and mortgages, and even cheaper utility tariffs.
Canopy already rewards rent payments
Tahir adds: “It is simply crazy that many of the UK’s 11 million renters pay a huge sum every month – showing they can budget and manage their money – only to have their reliability unrecognised by credit agencies. We’re pleased Lord Bird shares our view and hopefully the initiative will become more widespread in the future.
Sadly, there are several hurdles to jump in the House of Commons and the bill could still be defeated. Luckily, RentTracking with Canopy will remain unaffected and renters can build a better credit report with us, starting today,”