Freddie Mac is helping renters build credit with a new initiative that encourages multifamily operators to report on-time rental payments to the three major credit reporting bureaus. According to the government-sponsored enterprise (GSE), less than 10% of renters see their on-time rental payment history reflected in their credit scores, which can hinder access to credit and competitive rates for a range of financial products.
Freddie Mac has partnered with Esusu, a leading financial technology platform, to deliver on-time rental payment data from property management software platforms to the credit bureaus. The initiative also will automatically unenroll renters when they miss a payment so not to harm the credit scores of those who struggle financially.
“Rent payments are often the single-largest monthly line item in a family’s budget, but paying your rent on time does not show up in a credit report like a mortgage payment,” said Freddie Mac CEO Michael DeVito. “That puts the 44 million households who rent at a significant disadvantage when they seek financing for a home, a car, or even an education. While there remains more to do, this is a meaningful step in addressing this age-old problem.”
The GSE will provide closing cost credits on multifamily loans for owners who agree to report on-time rental payments through Esusu’s platform. It also has negotiated discounted fees for the services. The platform manages the end-to-end process of reporting payments to the three major credit bureaus and ensures compliance with industry standards. According to Freddie Mac, this eliminates the administrative and compliance burden for owners, which has been a big hurdle for reporting rental data. Esusu also reports up to 24 months of past on-time payments, providing an immediate positive impact. In addition, the platform builds credit score awareness and helps renters verify their rental history.
“At present, the most common way for rents to be reported to the credit bureaus is when there is a missed payment that has gone to a collections agency,” said Alexis Sofyanos, senior director of equity in multifamily housing at Freddie Mac. “Freddie Mac wants to flip that script, so that renters who pay their rent on time and in full each month get credit for doing so, while also putting in safeguards for the most vulnerable.”
Founded in 2018, Esusu reaches over 2 million rental units across the nation.
“Working with Freddie Mac allows us to address credit invisibility, which is an essential first step toward addressing renter financial stability,” said Samir Goel and Abbey Wemimo, Esusu’s co-founders. “Where you come from, the color of your skin, and your financial identity should never determine where you end up in life. Today, there are over 45 million adults in America with no credit score, the vast majority of whom are immigrants, minorities, and low- to moderate-income households. The benefit of the Esusu platform is that everyone wins. It’s a win for renters, property owners, and society at large.”