Renters from Harlem to Hollywood want to become homeowners but worry about their credit history.
It’s important they know that rent payments now can help people qualify for a mortgage.
The issue: Rent is the largest monthly expense for many households, but very few landlords report tenants’ timely payments to the credit bureaus.
This puts renters at a serious disadvantage when it comes to building their credit profile and qualifying for a mortgage.
Roughly 20% of the U.S. population has little to no established credit history – a group in which Black and Latino consumers are disproportionately represented – and many consumers identify insufficient credit as their single biggest obstacle to getting a mortgage.
The solution: In an industry first, Fannie Mae has made it possible for lenders to factor in a consumer’s timely rent payment history when they apply for a mortgage.
This means aspiring homebuyers can finally get credit for paying their rent on time each month, even if those payments don’t appear on their credit report.
Since we introduced this innovation last September, more than 2,000 loan applications have become eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae that otherwise would not have been.
Of these, approximately 41% of the borrowers identified themselves as Black or Latino/Hispanic.
We want all prospective first-time homebuyers to know this new option is available.
- We encourage them to talk to their preferred lender or use our Find a Lender resource to search for lenders in their area who offer this option.
- They can access the lender lookup tool and other free resources on Fannie Mae’s Make Rent Count webpage www.fanniemae.com/MakeRentCount. The site is translatable in six languages: Spanish, Chinese (traditional), Filipino, Korean, Vietnamese, and English.
- Our free online homebuyer prep course, HomeView, also is a great resource for those interested in homeownership. It’s available at www.fanniemae.com/Education.
Speak with Fannie Mae to learn more about how applying rent payments can open doors for many first-time homebuyers.
For more information:
- Fannie Mae press release: Fannie Mae Introduces New Underwriting Innovation to Help More Renters Become Homeowners
- Fannie Mae executive blog (from our then-CEO): Helping Renters Unlock the Door to Homeownership
- Urban Institute analysis: Fannie Mae’s Decision to Incorporate Rental Payments into the Mortgage Origination Process Will Expand Access to Homeownership Over Time
Find out more information regarding renters here.