October 24, 2022 — Issue Brief

Rent payment data is aggressively promoted as a form of alternative data that can help consumers who are either credit invisible or have poor credit histories. But it could cause serious harm to struggling renters, because landlords also use credit reports and reject renters with negative rent information. This Policy Brief discussed three measures to minimize those risks: (1) Rent reporting should be positive info only; (2) Rent reporting should always be opt-in, not automatic (opt-out); and (3) for mortgage underwriting, there’s a better way to obtain rent payment data – by using bank account transaction data to supply it.