Lord John Bird’s proposed Creditworthiness Assessment Bill – the plan to make rental payments a compulsory part of a good credit score – has received ringing cross-party endorsement during a key parliamentary debate.
The bill was hailed as ‘genius’ during a House of Commons petitions committee debate on October 23. The debate, on taking into account rental data during mortgage applications, was triggered by Plymouth dad Jamie Pogson’s 147,307 signature-strong petition on the subject.
During the debate, Jonathan Reynolds MP, Labour’s Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury, pledged that the opposition front bench was fully behind Lord Bird’s bill while his opposite number Stephen Barclay MP insisted that current regulations did not stop lenders from taking rental payments into account.
The rental exchange scheme by The Big Issue and Lord Bird I think is hugely positive. In fact, I think that it is a genius idea and I can’t believe that people haven’t thought of it sooner
The Big Issue’s rental exchange scheme, run in collaboration with credit reference agency Experian, helps to build up a positive credit file for tenants based on this idea – and has already seen more than one million social housing tenants sign up to the initiative.
This will mean fairer access to more affordable credit, for things as simple as white goods, so borrowers won’t be forced towards rapacious lenders.
The scheme has led to a move to help many more renters, not just those in social housing. Big Issue founder and cross-bench peer Lord Bird has been actively pushing for his Creditworthiness Assessment Bill which is making its way through the Lords. It aims to make it compulsory for lenders to take rental payment and council tax payment into account when assessing potential borrowers. At present this is not mandatory.