Sharing rent payment information to help residents get a better credit rating.

We’ve teamed up with Big Issue Invest and Experian (the UK’s largest credit reference agency) to support The Rental Exchange initiative.

This scheme makes sure that customers who rent their homes are treated equally when it comes to applying for loans or buying goods and services.

Lenders use people’s credit ratings to decide whether to lend money, how much to let you borrow and in some cases, how much interest to charge you. If for example you want to buy something on credit such as furniture or kitchen appliances, it helps if you have a credit history. If you haven’t taken out a loan or had credit cards in the past, you will not have a credit history.

Having a strong and positive credit history helps demonstrate to lenders that you can be trusted to repay what you borrow, so it can help you get new credit when you want it and access the best deals.

How does it work?

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. We understand that in some circumstances there may be rent arrears and where this is the case, we will work with you to address this and paying your rent on time will help you to access cheaper products and services in the future. Please contact us if you wish to discuss rent arrears or any difficulties that you may have in paying your rent. If you do not wish to participate you can opt out.

Sharing customers' rental payment history will also help create an online proof of identity, proving you are who you say you are and that you live where you say you live. Proving this makes you a more reliable potential customer to companies.

Both Stonewater 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. It will only be made available to a company or organisation if the 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.

You will have been given information about the Rental Exchange Initiative when you signed up for your new home. If you no longer wish to take part, please contact us.

For more information, visit Experian's website.