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Equifax Canada testing use of rental payment data for credit scores

TORONTO — Equifax Canada says it’s exploring how rent data could factor in to credit scores to help make credit and financial services accessible to more people.

The agency says it’s been testing small volumes of rental payment data for a while, and has found that including “alternative data” could establish or enhance the credit scores of about five million more Canadians.

The federal government recently announced it wants to see rental payment history count toward credit scores. 

In its latest budget, the government said it’s calling on banks, fintechs and credit bureaus to prioritize launching tools that would allow renters to opt in to reporting their rent payment history.

The government says this could help more renters become homeowners as on-time rental payment history could strengthen credit scores and make it easier to qualify for a mortgage or a lower interest rate. 

Equifax says renters are a growing part of the Canadian economy and should be recognized for making rent payments on time. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 23, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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