TORONTO, Sept. 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — FrontLobby and Equifax® Canada joined forces in 2018 to start a rent reporting program. Today, the two organizations are releasing multi-year findings that indicate rent reporting through FrontLobby can substantially benefit the financial well-being of Canada’s 5+ million renting households.
According to Equifax, in Canada it is estimated that more than 3 million people aged 18+ are “credit invisible” meaning these individuals either do not have a credit file or the credit information on file is insufficient to generate credit scores. An additional 7 million may have 2 or less credit accounts on their credit file, meaning they are considered to have limited credit history or are classified as a “thin” credit file. Individuals that are credit invisible or have limited credit information on their file may have difficulty accessing credit products and housing and may pay higher interest rates which can perpetuate a cycle of financial stress.
According to findings by Equifax Canada looking at a subset of consumers who use the FrontLobby platform, 48 per cent of the renters who reported through this platform are currently scoreable based solely on the rental data reported into Equifax. This means that nearly half of renters with FrontLobby have only rental information and no other credit accounts listed in their Equifax credit report. If these individuals stopped reporting through FrontLobby, they could become credit invisible over time unless additional credit is procured and reported to Equifax.
Credit payment history on a renter’s credit profile is often one of the most important factors that determines credit scores. Financial institutions and housing providers commonly use credit scores to verify a renters’ creditworthiness. Renters with low credit scores may be less likely to qualify for credit cards, mortgages, and loans at competitive rates or be selected for the rental property of their choosing.
“By reporting rent information to Equifax with FrontLobby, 48 per cent of these renters were able to establish an Equifax credit score based only on the reported rental information. When renters can provide a clear rent payment history, lenders may be better able to evaluate a consumer’s financial opportunities,” states Sandy Kyriakatos, Equifax Canada’s Chief Data Officer. “This could result in potentially life-changing benefits for these consumers when applying for credit at pivotal moments such as applying for a mortgage, financing an education, or buying a car.”
The study also showed that consumers may see an increase to their credit score as a result of reporting rent through FrontLobby and that this can happen within the first six months.
The co-founder of FrontLobby, Zac Killam, said, “The individual and broader economic benefits of rent reporting are monumental, and FrontLobby is proud to have been a trailblazer with this solution for housing providers and renters to help deliver financial wellness, inclusion and equal opportunity for all stakeholders in the rental community.”
Equifax is a global data, analytics, and technology organization. FrontLobby is a fast-growing fintech company that gives renters and housing providers the opportunity to report monthly rental payment data to credit bureaus like Equifax. Together, FrontLobby and Equifax aim to assist renters and housing providers in achieving greater financial wellness. Interested consumers can sign up here.
FrontLobby’s mission is to empower the businesses and lives of housing providers while enriching the lives of renters. FrontLobby provides the means and tools for housing providers to attract great tenants, reduce the frequency and impact of delinquencies, and drive operating efficiencies, while providing renters—seeking to establish or rebuild credit—with a liberating way to improve their credit and access the financial benefits for themselves and their loved ones. http://frontlobby.com
At Equifax (NYSE: EFX), we believe knowledge drives progress. As a global data, analytics, and technology company, we play an essential role in the global economy by helping financial institutions, companies, employers, and government agencies make critical decisions with greater confidence. Our unique blend of differentiated data, analytics, and cloud technology drives insights to power decisions to move people forward. Headquartered in Atlanta and supported by more than 13,000 employees worldwide, Equifax operates or has investments in 24 countries in North America, Central and South America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region. For more information, visit Equifax.ca.
Heather Aggarwal | Equifax Canada Media Relations