In September 2022, the United States Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), commonly known as Fannie Mae, launched a new program to help renters build credit history and improve their credit score.
The new program, which is called The Multifamily Positive Rent Payment Reporting Program, is a pilot program where eligible multifamily property owners can report timely rent payment data into a vendor network. The data will reach major credit bureaus and be incorporated into the renter´s credit profile.
For many renters that aspire to one day own their own home, this new program can be an important help along the way, as timely rent payments can bring up their credit score – and a higher credit score puts a prospective lender in a much better position when applying for a mortgage loan to purchase a home.
Prior to the launch of this program, rent payments were normally not included in credit reports and paying your rent on time would, therefore, not help bring up your credit score. It should be noted, however, that even before the launch of the new program, Fannie Mae was helping lenders incorporate timely rent payments into their single-family mortgage credit evaluation through the Desktop Underwriter.
One of the large property owners that have already announced that they will begin using the new program is the New York real estate firm Related Companies,. With over 8,000 residential rental units, Related Companies is one of the largest landlords in New York City.
“Related Affordable has seen firsthand what on-time credit reporting can do for our residents to help improve their financial health,” says Jeffrey I. Brodsky, Vice Chairman of Related Companies. “We are excited to work with Fannie Mae’s Multifamily Positive Rent Payment pilot and to see programs like these expand to impact even more residents.”
Having little to no established credit history is a problem when applying for a mortgage loan
Not having built up a high credit score is a problem when applying for a mortgage loan to purchase a home, and not having ones timely rent payments included in ones consumer credit score is especially problematic for persons who do not have much else to help boost those credit scores.
“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,” says Michele Evans, Executive Vice President and Head of Multifamily at Fannie Mae.
“The absence of sufficient credit history reduces a renter’s ability to access housing in higher-opportunity neighborhoods, obtain a mortgage, and attain lower-cost credit, such as auto loans and education financing. By enabling easier and more expansive adoption of positive rent payment reporting, we can knock down this longstanding barrier to building credit and help more consumers begin to establish a strong financial and credit foundation.”
Which are the approved vendors for the new program?
The approved vendors that will receive the reports from the property owners are Esusu Financial, Jetty Credit, and Rent Dynamics. They will collect the information and send it on to credit bureaus.
What happens to renters who do not pay their rent on time?
A renter who misses a payment will be automatically removed from the program to preserve their credit standing.
Can renters opt out of the program?
Yes, renters can elect to opt-out from the program.