Business and consumer insights specialist, Equifax had announced a partnership with Canopy, a fintech platform focused on the financial wellbeing of tenants, to include rental payment data in its credit assessments.

The collaboration is positive news for millions of tenants in the UK market who can now boost their credit score by reporting their rental payments data to Equifax through the Canopy RentTracking platform. Tenants will also have access to Canopy’s free Open Banking-based rental budgeting app, designed to help them reduce their household bills.

Historically, rental payments haven’t been recorded in consumer credit files which can restrict a tenant’s access to affordable financial products, especially for those with little credit history. The ongoing pandemic has worsened the situation for thousands of tenants, with their financial resilience pushed to the limit. Canopy’s RentTracking feature promotes a more inclusive financial society by allowing potential lenders to get a more informed and up-to-date view of an individual renter’s affordability.

Janice Rudd, Data Director at Equifax UK, said “We’re very pleased to partner with the Canopy team given their commitment to financially empower millions of rental households. The inclusion of rental data in credit assessments is a welcome and progressive move. Just like individuals with a mortgage, renters who make full and timely monthly payments should also see a noticeable benefit in proving their ability to repay a financial commitment.”

Tahir Farooqui, CEO and Founder at Canopy, said “The Canopy team is focused on enhancing tenants’ access to affordable financial products and accelerating a path to homeownership. Our partnership with Equifax is a significant milestone, enabling millions of renters in the UK market to use their monthly rental payments to improve their credit score – completely for free. There is no charge involved for tracking or reporting rental payments to the credit bureaus. This is especially pertinent with the pandemic bringing financial upheaval and uncertainty to huge numbers of households and renters.”