Fintech is about to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder, with Rent Recognition Challenge for startups

Lynsey Barber
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Home Ownership Falls To Its Lowest Level In 30 Years
Rent payments could soon count when you apply for a mortgage (Source: Getty)

You spend years paying rent, every month and on time, and yet when it comes to getting a mortgage, that all means nothing.

Banks and other lenders do not take this record of prudent financial behaviour into account when considering first-time buyers, but efforts to change that just came a step closer.

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A new competition has been launched to get innovative startups using technology to help renters use this payments history as a record of credit worthiness. The idea is that a tool or service can be used by lenders and credit reference agencies as part of an assessment for a mortgage.

First announced in the Autumn Budget, the Rent Recognition Challenge is now open for entries, with a potential prize of £2m for fintechs working on this idea.

Six proposals will get £100,000 each to get started on a prototype between March and October, after which that will be narrowed down to three by a panel of judges with more cash up for grabs.

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Wider efforts to get first-time buyers on to the property ladder have included a cut to stamp duty, though the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors yesterday said the policy was having little impact.

It's estimated that by 2027 a deposit of £250,000 will be needed to buy a first home.

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