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  • Writer's pictureJose Gustavo Salcedo

Cautious Optimism Surrounds Federal Plan to Include Rent in Credit Scores

Cautious optimism for federal plan to let rent count toward credit scores
Photograph taken from website:

In a recent announcement, the federal government expressed its commitment to allowing rent payments to contribute to individuals' credit scores. This move has garnered mixed reactions, with some companies and experts welcoming the initiative while others voice concerns.

Andrew Graham, CEO of Borrowell, hailed the decision as a positive step forward, emphasizing the importance of including rental payments in credit histories to benefit consumers, particularly young first-time buyers.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau highlighted the disparity between renters and homeowners, noting the inequity of renters not building equity through their monthly payments. The government aims to address this by encouraging landlords, banks, and credit bureaus to consider rental history when assessing creditworthiness.

Equifax Canada CEO Sue Hutchison expressed excitement about the government's announcement, emphasizing the importance of responsibly implementing this evolution in Canada's credit infrastructure.

However, Elizabeth Mulholland, CEO of charity Prosper Canada, cautioned that while including rent payments in credit scores could be beneficial, it may also exacerbate financial strain for individuals struggling with rising living costs.

Furthermore, concerns were raised about privacy and coercion. Some worry that landlords may exploit the system to pressure tenants, particularly those already facing disputes, by threatening to report late payments to credit bureaus.

Despite these concerns, companies like FrontLobby, which have been reporting rent payments to credit bureaus since 2018, have seen positive outcomes for users. However, they stress the importance of ensuring timely and accurate reporting to avoid unintended consequences for tenants.

As the government refines its plan, details on implementation and safeguards are eagerly awaited. The Canadian Bankers Association and credit agencies like TransUnion Canada have pledged to assess the impact of the policy and collaborate with the government to ensure its effectiveness and fairness.

While the inclusion of rent payments in credit scores holds promise for many Canadians, it's crucial to navigate potential pitfalls carefully to safeguard the financial well-being of all individuals involved. As more information becomes available, it will be essential to strike a balance between financial inclusion and protecting consumer rights.

Source From: Wealth Professional
Adapted by Jose Gustavo


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