CHN has been part of a national two-year pilot called The Power of Rent Reporting. Led by Credit Builders Alliance, the pilot enrolled 1,255 individuals from 8 affordable housing organizations to test whether rent reporting to Experian Rent Bureau can be successful as a credit-building strategy for low-income families. CHN enrolled over 500 of its own lease purchase residents in the pilot. The results of the study have been quite promising. Key findings:
• 79% of participants experienced an increase in credit score, averaging 23 points.
• All unscoreable residents became scorable at either nonprime (avg. 646) or prime (avg. 688) credit tiers.
• Of the 690 who initially had subprime scores, 90% experienced an avg. increase of 32 points.
• Overall, individuals with fewer trade lines on their credit reports and longer rental payment histories saw the greatest improvements.
With over 39 million U.S. renters– 41% earning less than $20,000 annually–the implications of this study are significant. Rent reporting offers a significant credit building opportunity to residents living in affordable housing. In combination with financial counseling, rent reporting can incentivize residents to increase rates of paying rent on time.
CHN has had great response from its residents, most who are interested in taking advantage of this offering. If you are interested in this effort, read the full study.