Credit Risk

How Rental Data Can Transform Consumer Credit

How Rental Data Can Transform Consumer Credit

February 19, 2020 | Flor Santiesteban

Did you know that 35% of U.S. households live in rental housing? It's true. [1]

But most renters’ on-time housing payments are not reflected on their credit reports or in their credit scores – even though it is often one of the largest and most consistent bills consumers pay.

That’s a missed opportunity for consumers, rent aggregators and the credit industry as a whole. Equifax is committed to changing that – but only with your help. Whether working with a property management company (PMC) or directly with consumers, rent aggregators who contribute rental data to a credit reporting agency (CRA) create a domino effect of financial wellness. Here’s how:

1. Consumers can live their financial best.

According to research from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), 26 million Americans are credit invisible. That means they have no credit history or are living with subprime credit (scores below 668).[2] However, rent reporting gives consumers the chance to build a credit history based on something they already do – without added debt or payments to shoulder. So far, the results of rent reporting are promising. For example, a pilot rent reporting study conducted by Credit Builders Alliance and Citi Foundation, found that 79% of participants experienced an increase in credit score, with an average increase of 23 points.[3] Furthermore, those without a credit score at the start of the study reached either a high nonprime or prime score once their rental payment history had been incorporated.

That’s the difference between owning a home, buying a car – and struggling to get ahead.

2. You do better business – and business to business.

Before you contribute rental data to Equifax or another CRA, you have to collect it. Providing rent reporting as a service opens a new revenue stream for your business. Furthermore, you have the possibility of selling additional credit insights down the line. And if you work with a PMC, then you’ll enhance the quality of your partnership by helping property managers incentivize on-time rent payments, as well as deliver an in-demand service to residents.

3. You make the credit ecosystem stronger.

Before you make a decision, you want all the facts. Quality data from a variety of sources creates the strongest, most reliable basis for assessing consumer risk. The rental data you collect represents more than a third of available housing payment information. So why isn’t it informing credit decisions? Your contributions can open up a broader potential customer base. Additionally, they can help PMCs accurately assess risk – and accept more customers.

Are you contributing rental data… or are you missing out?

In conclusion, good credit is the gateway to everyday ease for consumers. Will you unlock the door? Collecting and reporting rental data to Equifax opens new revenue opportunities for your business, enhances the decisioning base for credit and changes lives. The rental industry is changing. Read how property managers can modernize the application process.  



[1] “The State of the Nation’s Housing 2018.” Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. 2018.

[2] “Who are the credit invisibles? How to help people with limited credit histories.” CFPB. December 2016.

[3] Chenven, Sarah and Carolyn Schulte. “The Power of Rent Reporting Pilot: A Credit Building Strategy.” Credit Builders Alliance and Citi Foundation. 2015.

Flor Santiesteban

Flor Santiesteban

Product Marketing Manager

Flor leads marketing strategy and execution for the Banking & Lending vertical at Equifax. In this role, she is responsible for developing and implementing integrated marketing campaigns, including thought leadership, sales enablement and demand generation. For more than 20 years, Flor has focused on the financial ser[...]