Equifax UK is teaming up with credit builder app, Bits, to allow Equifax customers to report their monthly rent payments on their credit files, improving their credit score and making it easier to buy their own homes in future.
The collaboration is the latest example of Equifax’s commitment to ensuring the credit system is fair and transparent, allowing tenants to access some of the same benefits enjoyed by those with mortgages - which have historically been included in credit files.
The Bits app was launched in 2019 by founder Faisal Khalid who moved to London from the US in 2012. When he arrived, he found himself unable to open a bank account, start a mobile phone contract, or get approved for a credit card due to his lack of credit history in the UK.
Bits launched as a digital store card but has long sought to develop products that help people boost their credit scores. Their latest product is a rent-reporting service that has been launched in partnership with Equifax.
By registering monthly rent payments on their credit file, any of the UK’s 13 million tenants can now boost their Equifax credit score by using the Bits app, meaning that lenders will have sight of regular payments and a more complete view of their financial status.
Faisal Khalid, CEO and founder at Bits, commented: “When I arrived in the UK, I couldn’t believe it. Banks treated me like I didn’t exist. I had a job, and I had years and years of credit history in the US. But as far as they were concerned, none of that mattered. I felt trapped. My lack of credit score was impacting my life, but how was I meant to build up my credit history if I couldn’t even open a bank account? The service we’re launching today, with Equifax, will help people who find themselves in the situation I was in, and offer them a solution. It’s understandable that lenders want to know you’re responsible with money, but it shouldn’t be so difficult to prove it.”
Janice Rudd, Data Director at Equifax UK, said: “At Equifax we believe in financial inclusion and finding ways to help credit providers lend with greater confidence so that people across the UK can get access to the credit that they need. At its most basic level, people should be able to access suitable credit that takes account of their ability to pay it back. The more data we have, the more complete the picture we can share with lenders. I’m pleased that with today’s announcement we’re now able to help more of our customers share a more complete picture of their financial history and build stronger credit scores.”