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KIRO Radio's Tom Kelly digs deep into the Puget Sound real estate market

Real Estate

Rental records to hold more punch in credit scores

Renters who have never been late with a rent payment often find that their stellar record does nothing to lift their credit scores when it comes time to shop for a mortgage.

However, that, along with the "non-reporting" of other key records, may soon change: Two of the main credit reporting agencies, Experian and TransUnion, reportedly are starting to incorporate verified rental payment data into credit files and using it to compute the consumers' credit scores when they apply for a mortgage.

The move is expected to help many first-time buyers who are missing in action in the home-purchase market because their credit scores don't make the grade.

Some companies also are stepping in to ensure renters get their on-time payment histories included when applying for a mortgage. ECredable, an alternative credit data company, says it will verify renters' payment histories that haven't been reported to the major credit bureaus, and then generate a credit report and score.

Potential home buyers are then urged to present the report to mortgage loan officers and ask that the information be considered in their application for a mortgage (which the lender is required to do under federal credit regulations).

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