Fannie Mae wants to help renters build their credit history and improve their credit score.

To do so, the GSE announced the launch of the Multifamily Positive Rent Payment Reporting pilot program.

Beginning September 27, multifamily property owners can share timely rent payment data for a renter’s credit profile. Property owners would share info through a vendor network. The info would go to the three major credit bureaus.

This pilot program is part of a larger effort to “bolster equitable access to credit and remove unnecessary obstacles in a consumer’s housing journey, whether they choose to rent or aspire to own a home,” Fannie Mae said in a press release.

On-time rent payments are rarely included in credit reports. So, they aren’t contributing to credit scores. This is a problem for many people. Those include underserved populations who haven’t been able to get past homeownership barriers.

“Around 20% of the U.S. population has little to no established credit history, a group in which Black and Latino/Hispanic people are disproportionately represented. Of the consumers who do have a credit score, a disproportionate number of Black consumers have a subprime credit score. These imbalances reinforce racial disparities in access to credit and quality affordable housing among renters and homeowners,” said Michele Evans, executive vice president and head of Multifamily, Fannie Mae.

Positive Rent Payment Reporting is available to Fannie Mae Multifamily property owners. There’s no downside. Renters who miss a payment are automatically unenrolled. No negative reports will hit their scores. Renters can also opt out of the program.

Fannie Mae will cover the costs of collecting and disseminating rent payment data for a 12-month period for multifamily borrowers who leverage one of the three approved vendors to collect the data, the GSE said.  

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