Helping Renters Unlock the Door to Homeownership

Fannie Mae
Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Owning a home has long been one of the most effective ways to build wealth. But for many lower-income renters – especially for Black families and other people of color – the leap from renting to owning can seem nearly impossible. For many, one of the biggest obstacles to qualifying for a mortgage is insufficient credit history. Today, Fannie Mae is taking an important step forward to change that. We are making a groundbreaking update to our automated mortgage underwriting system, Desktop Underwriter®, to allow lenders to consider a history of recurring rent payments in assessing eligibility. It seems obvious that if someone is paying rent consistently it's likely they could and would pay their mortgage consistently, too. Yet we believe this will be the first time any large-scale automated mortgage underwriting system will leverage electronic bank statement data to consider positive rent payment history.