MPs debate Creditworthiness Assessment Bill
The second reading of the Creditworthiness Assessment Bill is to take place in the House of Commons on November 23 – just over a year after it was first introduced into the House of Lords.
The Creditworthiness Assessment Bill is proposed by Big Issue founder Lord Bird and has widespread all-party support. It aims to make it a requirement for credit providers to take into account of both rental and council tax payment history.
Bird – a cross-bench peer – says the rental payments of the UK’s 11m private and social renters are not recorded and so do not count towards, for example, an individual’s application to secure a mortgage.
It means many of the country’s least well-off tenants may be obliged – despite excellent rental payment records – to have repayment contracts on hire purchase schemes which are more expensive than those offered to owner occupiers.
The Creditworthiness Assessment Bill already has the backing of the Residential Landlords Association; it surveyed almost 3,000 landlords with 61 per cent of respondents supporting such a move. Including rent payment would also support landlords, the RLA says, providing them with a more accurate assessment of a prospective tenant’s credit and rent payment history.
And credit scoring company Experian says 1.2m tenants already have their rents counted towards their creditworthiness as a result of its new systems.