Signing up to the Rental Exchange scheme will provide an opportunity to help boost your credit history as we will share details about your tenancy and rent payments with Experian, the credit score provider, each month.
All Cottsway customers with tenancies will be automatically entered into the scheme so you do not need to do anything further. However, if you would prefer us not to share your details with Experian, you simply need to let us know.
Your questions answered
What do Experian do?
Experian is one of the UK’s largest Credit Reference Agencies.
They collect and maintain your credit information and supply it to credit providers to help them quickly and easily assess credit applications and manage existing credit accounts.
What is the Rental Exchange?
Experian's Rental Exchange scheme is a secure database which holds rental payment information, allowing our customers with little or no history of credit to build or establish a credit profile.
The scheme allows Experian to:
- Incorporate your rental payment history into the credit file they hold for you.
- Collect and maintain your credit information and supply it to credit providers to help them quickly and easily assess credit applications and manage existing credit accounts.
- Share data with lenders and other service providers when you apply for a product or service that requires a credit check or proof of identity.
For more information see: The Rental Exchange
What is a credit rating?
Simply put, your credit rating is an indication of how a typical lender would assess you. It is based on your past payment history including applications you've made recently, how much you owe, what credit products you've had and whether you paid them all off on time. Not having a credit history can make it difficult to prove your identity and access credit.
Showing that you regularly pay your rent may help you get better credit at lower rates for goods and services such as loans, credit cards, bank accounts, mobile phones, TV and broadband or car insurance.
To find out your Experian credit rating and get a copy of your Statutory Credit Report:
- How can I improve my credit history?
How will my tenancy information be used?
Not only will we be able to work with you more closely to manage your existing tenancy agreement, your track record as a Cottsway customer will enable Experian to use the information supplied to them to assist other landlords and organisations to:
- Assess and manage any new tenancy agreements you may enter in to.
- Assess your financial standing to provide you with suitable products and services.
- Manage any accounts that you may already hold, for example reviewing suitable products or adjusting your product in light of your current circumstances.
- Contact you in relation to any accounts you may have and recovering debts that you may owe.
- Verify your identity, age and address to help other organisations make decisions about the services they offer.
- Help to prevent crime, fraud and money laundering.
- Screen marketing offers to make sure they are appropriate to your circumstances.
Experian also use your information to undertake statistical analysis, analytics and profiling, and to conduct system and product testing and database processing activities, such as data loading, data matching and data linkage.
For more information on how your tenancy information will be used, and to understand how the credit reference agencies each use and share rental data as bureau data (including the legitimate interests each pursues), see the:
Or for a paper copy, please contact us
What about if I’m in rent arrears?
If you fall into arrears or know that you will find it difficult to pay, let us know immediately. It is important that you speak to us as soon as possible. Please call 01993 890000
I want to opt out of the Rental Exchange Scheme. What do I need to do?
If you would like to withdraw from the scheme and do not want us to share your tenancy information with Experian, simply let us know:
Will my privacy be protected?
We and Experian will ensure that your information is treated in accordance with UK data protection law, so you can have peace of mind that it will be kept secure and confidential and your information will not be used for prospect marketing purposes.
A ‘lawful basis’ is required under the UK data protection laws for processing personal data. Cottsway’s purpose and legitimate interest in being able to make use of this data is to support digital and financial inclusion and support better informed tenancy decisions and help prevent crime, fraud and money laundering. This legitimate interest is our ‘lawful basis’ for processing your data by sharing it with Experian. Cottsway and Experian are both data controllers in respect of the information that they hold.
- Continue to exchange information about you with Experian while you have a relationship with us.
- Inform Experian when your tenancy has ended and, if you have outstanding rental arrears, Experian will record this outstanding debt.
Experian will hold your rental data for the time limits explained in the Credit Reference Agency Information Notice (section 7)
Rental data falls into:
- Identifiers eg. your name, address, date of birth; and
- Financial account categories ie. tenancy account, rental payment information.
Information Cottsway hold about you is stored securely on our computer systems and will be retained in line with our Retention Policy.
For more information see the: Credit Reference Agency Information Notice (CRAIN)
If you are unhappy with anything relating to Rental Exchange, or you have any issues regarding the processing of your personal data, please contact us:
- By post: Cottsway Housing, Heynes Place, Witney OX28 4YG
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call: 01993 890000
You can also get in touch with the Information Commissioner’s Office
For more information on how we process personal data, please see Protecting your privacy