Frequently asked questions

 

About us

What is CreditLadder?

We allow tenants to add rent payments to their credit history therefore allowing tenants to build up their credit score. This is similar to how home owners can build their credit score when they pay their mortgage on time.

Having an improved credit score can help tenants gain access to better finance deals. This can help when buying or leasing a mobile phone, household white goods, cars, holidays and ultimately their dream home.

What is the story behind CreditLadder?

After living in Manchester, UK, the founding team discovered that although utility bill payments were being recorded onto their credit history their biggest outgoing rent wasn’t. Millions of private renters who pay their rent on time each month were not being recognised and this needed to change. These individuals are also often working towards buying a home of their own, and building their credit history could assist in getting them in the best possible shape to get a mortgage.

Experian were at the same time establishing The Rental Exchange in partnership with The Big Issue Group. They were out to tackle the financial, digital and even social exclusion that rental tenants often face compared to homeowners.

Fast forward and after collaboration with Experian the UK’s first tenant credit rent rewarding service was launched. This service is CreditLadder. Tenants can join for free and have their rental payments recorded to their Experian credit history.

What's in the name?

We want to help people to take the right steps towards a better financial future. To help achieve their life goals and to recognise the efforts of those paying their rent on time.

How is CreditLadder established?

We are a limited company registered at Companies House established March last year. We are also registered with the Information Commisioner's Office (ICO) for data protection. We are also VAT registered for taxation purposes. We are privately backed with investment from PP Asset Management who have an interest in international real estate, property management and letting.

What is the Rental Exchange?

Big Issue Invest (the social investment arm of The Big Issue Group), in partnership with Experian, has developed The Rental Exchange to tackle the financial, digital and social exclusion challenges faced by rental tenants in the UK compared to homeowners.

How does it help me?

CreditLadder and Experian believe that you should get credit for paying your rent on time. CreditLadder reporting through the Rental Exchange is a way to enhance your credit report without needing to take on new credit agreements. To do this, CreditLadder can provide your rental payment record to Experian on a regular basis. You will then be recognised for paying your rent on time, in the same way that homeowners are recognised for paying their mortgage each month. Sharing your rental payment history will help companies to quickly check your identity online, as it’s important for companies to know who their customers are. In addition, enhancing your credit score with on-time rent payments means it may become easier for you to:

  • Open a bank account
  • Get a new credit card
  • Have a loan application approved
  • Shop online
  • Qualify to pay for gas/electricity via a non-prepay tariff
  • Receive better mobile phone rates

Rent payments

How do I set up automatic payments?

Once your application is approved we will send you details of where to set up your ongoing standing order to include a unique payment reference. You can set this up with your bank either by going into your branch or by using internet or telephone banking. We cannot set this up for you so please make sure you follow the instructions we send for you to set this up yourself. Once this has been done there should be nothing more you need to do. Pay your rent on time as you would normally be expected to and you will receive a credit score benefit.

When can I make a payment?

You can make a payment any time using the unique reference number that you have been provided with. Ensuring you use the correct code means that we can match your payment to the property much more quickly and get it to your landlord as fast we can.

How do I know my rent payment was made?

When your application is approved we will update the rent schedule in your account to show as “paid”. We will update you by email as well, and we are also due to release SMS notification soon which should be handy.

How do I know my rent payment is set up?

We will email you to confirm. You can always contact us on help@creditladder.co.uk and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

How do I pay rent through CreditLadder?

We always recommend using a standing order regular payment method. We will send you the instructions on how to set this up once your application is approved.

How do I cancel my recurring payment?

You would do this with your bank either in branch, on the telephone or via their site. Please also ensure that you inform us via email to help@creditladder.co.uk so that we know that you are no longer paying rent to us for that tenancy.

What payment methods can I use to pay my rent?

We only accept bank transfers, with a preference for standing orders due to their reliability. We do not currently support: credit card, debit card, cash, cheque or direct debit payments.

Accessing payment history

We will keep a record of your rental payment history in your account. We are due to launch an archive function which will keep any previous tenancies in your account as a reference point.

The balance due in my account is wrong

Please contact help@creditladder.co.uk and we will look into this for you.

I am moving out of the property - what do I do?

Please inform us of the move out date at help@creditladder.co.uk. We will archive the current tenancy after the last payment. If you are moving to a new rental, register those details and you can continue to build your credit for on time rent payments.

How do I change a payment due date?

Please email help@creditladder.co.uk and we will update the details in your account.

What if my tenancy goes onto a rolling contract?

Great news! Our system will automatically take your tenancy to rolling at the end of a fixed term assuming you have served no notice to end the tenancy. There is nothing for you to do to activate this.

Can I pay rent weekly or bi-monthly?

Currently we do not support these methods. If you think we should be supporting these methods then email help@creditladder.co.uk

How long do rent payments take to process?

Rent payments are made to your landlord (or agent) on the same working day that we receive it as long as the payment is received before 15:00pm GMT.

If payments are received over the weekend then they will be processed on the Monday unless there is a Bank Holiday. If so, the rent will be processed the next working day.

Your account

Why do I have to verify my identity?

When reporting data to Experian we have to ensure that the quality of the data is good. Therefore we run your details through an online ID checker. This is not the same as a credit score so will not leave a mark on your credit record. It also helps protect us from nasties such as fake accounts.

What if I am on housing benefit?

You can sign up to CreditLadder. Input your landlords details on registration and set payments to go to us as instructed via email once your application is approved. You can then build your credit score assuming that you pay your rent on time.

How do I change my landlord’s payment details?

Please email help@creditladder.co.uk and include your full name and payment reference number. We may contact your for additional security so please don’t be alarmed if you receive a call from one of the team.

I failed online authentication - what should I do?

We will contact you with instructions on what we require to help your application. We will normally request you to provide a copy of a passport or driving licence as proof of ID. We reserve the right to refuse an application.

How do I make payments for deposits?

Deposits are paid to a separate client bank account from the one where we take the rent. You will received specific instructions on how to pay. We do not collect deposits in all cases. So where the landlord is collecting their own deposit or has done this already (as you are in mid-tenancy) then no deposit payment to us will be required.

Can I make a payment using a non-UK bank?

Currently we do not support this method of payment. There are challenges surrounding the timing and conversion of amounts to ensure accurate payment. Please email help@creditladder.co.uk if you think we should look at solutions to resolve this.

What if my parent pays my rent?

You are ultimately responsible for paying the rent. If your parents help you out the credit benefit will still build under your name.

Does rent reporting work for housemates?

Yes, the housemates need to sign up separately and they will each be rewarded individually with a credit benefit. Feel free to tell other housemates about CreditLadder and get the whole house on board.

My rent amount is changing

This typically occurs when landlords make changes to the rental amount. Please email help@creditladder.co.uk and we will update the details in your account.

Customer complaint procedure

We take great pride in providing the highest standard of service to all of our customers. If you have any complaints in relation to the CreditLadder services then please contact our customer services team at help@creditladder.co.uk and we will get back to you as soon as we can ensuring that any complaint is handled by someone with suitable experience.

Credit reporting

Will my rent payments affect my credit score?

Yes, in the same way that mortgage payers are rewarded for on-time payment. With an average of 42% of income being spent on rent you would want this to be recorded in your credit file. Just make sure you pay on time and your score should improve over time.

Can I submit my own rental payment information?

We do not support self-certification of payments. We have a strict data quality control process that meets Experian’s guidelines. Therefore, meeting such guidelines involves our independent verification and processing methods.

Can I report my previous rent payments?

Sadly not. We can only record payments where we as CreditLadder have collected and verified the payment.

Will my rent show up on my credit report?

In time, yes it will. Experian are updating credit reports to include rental data, but we think it’s important to start the ball rolling now so that over the next 12 months - as lenders start to use rental data in their decisions - you can be sure that you have already built a good history of rental payments. Your credit report typically includes information covering the last 6 years.

Why has my credit score not changed since I have reported rent?

It will take time for Experian, UK’s leading global information service company, to create a robust Experian Credit Score based on rental data. Until then, they will not use the data as part of this score. However just having your rental payments added to your report will help lenders make more informed decisions about you.

Understanding your Experian Credit Score and Report

Experian have developed this useful guide that should give you what you need.

Why Experian?

We have chosen Experian as they are the first Credit Bureau to offer this kind of service for tenants, whereby rental payments contribute to credit scores and reports through their ground breaking Rental Exchange. They are also the UK's largest credit reference agency.

Rental Exchange: Important Information

Rental accounts shared with credit reference agencies will stay on your report for six years after they are closed, whether settled by you or defaulted. Rental Exchange data is not used to add people onto marketing lists, and we do not use your rental payment information to create a list of people who shouldn’t be offered credit. Any or all of the data credit providers may be used within automated processes and from time to time Experian will perform internal statistical analysis and system testing using Rental Exchange data to ensure the accuracy of existing and future products and services. The Rental Exchange has been developed with advice from regulators and consumer groups to ensure that we fully comply with all relevant laws, including the Data Protection Act. Your information will be kept secure and confidential, only available to a company or organisation if your tenancy information is relevant or where it is strictly necessary for them to check information about your tenancy, and when you have agreed to them doing a check. Your data may also be used for other purposes for which you give your specific permission or, in very limited circumstances, when required by law or where permitted by the Data Protection Act 1998.

How will organisations use my data?

If you apply to open a new bank account, for example, the bank will get your permission to check your credit report, with Experian or another credit reference agency. Experian will then supply them with information on your credit history, including any current credit and rental agreements you have, and how you have managed them. Your credit report usually stretches back six years and will include your payment history over this period of time. Your credit report also includes details taken from your local council’s electoral roll and other public information, such as bankruptcies, court judgments and insolvency records. The bank can then use this to assess your current credit worthiness, to help them make the most appropriate decision when offering products and services. Any check of your credit report will leave a record or “footprint” which becomes part of your report and may be seen by you and lenders in the future. This will be left regardless of whether your request for credit is approved. Credit providers cannot see the names of other organisations on your report – only you see this information. The decision to provide credit, goods or services is always made by the bank, lender or other organisation, not the credit reference agency.

Do you sell my data to other companies?

The information sent to Experian is purely to record your on-time rental payments in order to build your credit score. CreditLadder may suggest a range of products and services that we may feel are suitable for you.