Mortgage lenders should look more favourably on people who pay their rent on time, a Treasury minister has said. Stephen Barclay was responding to a petition calling for rent payments to be taken as proof people can meet mortgage payments. He said other factors should still be taken into account, but rent should be given more weight by credit agencies. Petition organiser Jamie Pogson said he had paid £70,000 in rent on time but was still struggling to get a mortgage.
He said: “Since living on my own I have paid £70,000+ in rent on time yet still struggle to get a mortgage. Unless you’re getting handouts, wealthy or in receipt of inheritance it’s almost impossible.” Mr Barclay, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, told MPs current regulations did not stop them from taking account of rental payments. “The government agrees that a history of paying rent on time is a factor that lenders can consider when assessing creditworthiness but it is a factor alongside other factors that they should take on board.
“Credit reference agencies being able to access data relating to histories of tenants paying rent will benefit both the buyer and the lender.”
Experian’s Rental Exchange scheme, delivered in partnership with the Big Issue, already allows a tenant’s rental payments to contribute to their credit score. Mr Barclay, who was taking part in the Westminster Hall debate on Monday, said the government “would like to see more models like the Experian model”.