Fannie Mae to Include Rent Payment History as Part of Mortgage Approval Process

Housing Finance

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced today that Fannie Mae will consider rent payment history as part of its underwriting process so that buyers with limited credit histories can more easily obtain home loans.

“There is absolutely no reason timely payment of monthly housing expenses shouldn’t be included in underwriting calculations,” Acting FHFA Director Sandra Thompson said in an FHFA press release announcing this action.“With this update, Fannie Mae is taking another step toward understanding how rental payments can more broadly be included in a credit assessment, providing an additional opportunity for renters to achieve the dream of sustainable homeownership.”

Fannie Mae reports that beginning Sept. 18, 2021, its Desktop Underwriter will enable single-family lenders — with permission from mortgage applicants — to automatically identify recurring rent payments in the applicant’s bank statement data to deliver a more inclusive credit assessment.

Fannie Mae said that its underwriting process will provide qualified renters who may have limited credit history but a strong rent payment history with new opportunities for homeownership while promoting safe and sound lending.

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