Many of our customers find it difficult to access financial services such as affordable loans, bank accounts and credit cards. Often, this is because insufficient information is held on their credit file. We believe our customers should receive the same recognition for paying their rent as those who pay their mortgage do. So we have teamed up with Big Issue Invest and leading credit reference agency Experian, to bring you an exciting new scheme, the Rental Exchange. This means that customers with little or no credit history can build up a credit score.
The scheme involves us transferring your tenancy information to Experian, including your track record for paying your rent and any service charges to us.
All existing customers received a letter explaining the benefits of the scheme and giving them the option to opt out if they wish. All new customers will be informed when they agree to a new tenancy with Gentoo.
As you pay your rent, you will now be able to build up a credit score, the same way people with a mortgage do. The scheme involves us sharing your rental payment history with Experian, to help create you an online proof of identity, proving you are who you say you are and that you live where you say you live. By providing this, you are simply proving g that you are a more reliable potential customer to lenders. Being able to prove your identity and show a track record of paying your rent can give you fairer access to services such as: bank accounts, credit cards, loans, online shopping and better gas and electricity rates.
We understand that some of our customers are in rent arrears, if this is the case we will work with you to address it.
Different organisations use credit scoring to decide whether to give you access to their services, and not having a good credit score means that people often get high interest rates and end up paying more for things such as electricity or loans.
Gentoo will ensure your information is treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, ensuring your information is secure and confidential. It will only be made available to a company or organisation if your tenancy information is relevant and you have agreed to them doing a check against your credit file, or where it is strictly necessary for them to check information about your tenancy. Your information will not be used for marketing purposes.
Not only will we be able to work with you more closely to manage your existing tenancy agreement, your track record as a tenant will enable Experian to use the information supplied to them to assist other landlords and organisations to:
If you would like to see more information on these, and to understand how the credit reference agencies each use and share rental data as bureau data (including the legitimate interests each pursues) this information is provided in this link: www.experian.co.uk/crain