Announcement marks industry shift as nation’s largest multi-family owners, including AvalonBay, GID Windsor-Communities, Equity Residential can now help renters build credit through rent payment reporting
Renters in more than two million apartments will now be eligible for free rent payment reporting through a partnership between TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) and Bilt Rewards, the largest rewards platform for renters.
Starting today, renters at GID Windsor-Communities, Veritas Investments, AvalonBay, Equity Residential and other multifamily properties within the Bilt Alliance network will be the first to receive access to free rent reporting. This practice may enable these renters to build their credit scores and, in turn, qualify for lower borrowing rates and greater financial opportunities when they look to buy a future home.
“We know that young renters are increasingly seeking rent reporting services to build their credit, and we fully expect this practice to become an industry standard. Through this partnership, we are helping to meet that market demand and fulfil TransUnion’s commitment to financial inclusion.” Said Maitri Johnson, vice president of tenant and employment screening at TransUnion
A recent TransUnion study, showed that when rent payments were included in a credit file, consumers experienced an average increase of nearly 60 points to their credit score, which can make a significant difference in access to loans and mortgage rates. Additionally, a recent TransUnion consumer survey found that rent reporting may be most appealing to the youngest generations. Whereas 15% of the overall population stated that they’ve had their rent payments reported, this percentage rose to 27% for Gen Z.
“We know that young renters are increasingly seeking rent reporting services to build their credit, and we fully expect this practice to become an industry standard, said Maitri Johnson, vice president of tenant and employment screening at TransUnion. “Through this partnership, we are helping to meet that market demand and fulfil TransUnion’s commitment to financial inclusion.”
While the U.S. counts over 109 million renters across nearly 45 million rental units today, it’s estimated that less than 10% of those renters currently see their on-time rental history reflected in their credit scores, according to iProperty Management. This can be a disadvantage particularly for Gen Z and Millennial renters, many of whom carry “thin files” due to their short credit histories, making it difficult for lenders to see them as strong borrowers.
“Offering free rent reporting is a huge step forward in breaking down the barriers to establishing credit for millions of Americans,” says Jonathan Lawless, director of homeownership at Bilt. “By taking advantage of this service, renters will have the opportunity to boost their credit scores, gain access to lower interest rates, and approve their ability to qualify for a mortgage when they are ready to buy a home.”
Aligned with Bilt’s mission to improve the financial outcomes of renters, TransUnion will work with Bilt to include tenant rent payments within their consumer credit files, free of charge for both residents and landlords.
“Rent reporting is a needed component of the homebuying process,” says Marcia Griffin, Founder and President of HomeFree-USA, an organization that helps renters prepare for homeownership. “Bilt’s easy and free of charge reporting is advantageous to both residents and landlords. Building good credit is important for renters, and reporting rent provides an opportunity for hard working renters to greatly increase their credit and improve their financial wellness for the future.”
To enrol in free TransUnion rent reporting, Bilt Rewards members living in Bilt Alliance properties can opt-in through the Bilt mobile app starting today. Rent payments will then be included on renters’ TransUnion credit files, with on-time payments earning additional Bilt rewards.
For more information on TransUnion, Bilt Rewards and the Bilt Alliance, visit BiltRewards.com.
About Bilt Rewards
Launched by Kairos HQ in June 2021, Bilt Rewards is the first-ever loyalty program that allows renters to earn points on rent with no fees and builds a path towards homeownership. Through a partnership with the country’s largest owners including AvalonBay Communities, Equity Residential, Related, Starwood Capital Group and more, Bilt Rewards enables renters in more than two million units across the country to earn points just by paying rent. Bilt Rewards boasts one of the highest value rewards programs on the market today, including one-to-one point transfers to 11 loyalty programs allowing travel across over 100 major airlines and hotel partners; fitness classes at the country’s top boutique studios including SoulCycle, Solidcore, Rumble and Y7; limited-edition and exclusive collections of art and home decor through the Bilt Collection, and the ability to use Bilt points for rent credits or towards a future downpayment. Bilt has also partnered with Mastercard and Wells Fargo to issue the Bilt Mastercard – the first and only credit card that can be used to pay rent with no fees. Bilt is a Kairos company. For more information, visit BiltRewards.com.
Source: TransUnion Press Release