Potential Impacts of Credit Reporting Public Housing Rental Payment Data

This first of its kind joint-study by PERC and U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) investigates the impacts of reporting public housing authority (PHA) tenant rental payment data to credit bureaus. Credit invisibility affects 1 out of every 5 Americans, but in the lowest-income census tracks, almost 1 out of every 2 Americans (45%) are credit invisible. This report found that including full-file (both positive and negative) payment data eradicated credit invisibility and increased twice as many scores as it decreased. The system would become more inclusive and fairer, as mortgages are currently reported but rent is not. Seattle, Cook County, & Louisville PHAs participated, and HUD is now planning discussions around pilot programs for reporting PHA rental payment data.