A small number of letting agents are pioneering a product designed to help private tenants boost their credit histories.
Experian, in partnership with the Big Issue Invest, is rolling out the Rental Exchange in the private rented sector.
It works simply by recording rental payments.
Experian will not say how many letting agents are currently involved in the project, but says it is speaking to letting agents and private landlords around the country.
It launched the product some years ago in the social housing sector, where it works with some 80 housing associations.
One of the first letting agents using Rental Exchange is Karl Tatler, which operates across Wirral and Liverpool.
Head of lettings Dave Seed said: “We are delighted to have teamed up with Experian to be one of the first agents in the UK – and the only one in the north-west so far – to introduce the Rental Exchange for our clients.
“The initiative is a way to strengthen your credit report without needing to take on new credit or debt, just by paying your rent on time each month. People should not be at a financial disadvantage for renting and deserve equal access to services many of us frequently use.”
Mark Goodfellow, Rental Exchange partner at Experian, said: “What many people don’t realise is that you need a good credit rating to access mainstream financial services, from bank accounts, credit cards, personal loans and mortgages, to mobile phone and utilities contracts.
“In the past, building a good credit rating has been easier for home owners than for tenants, because mortgage payments are factored in, but with the Rental Exchange we want to help level the credit rating playing field.”