Millions of renters with little or no credit record have long been shut out of the American dream of home ownership. For some, that’s about to change for the better. 

Starting September 18, mortgage giant Fannie Mae will consider the most recent 12-month rent payment histories when lenders run its automated creditworthiness check system. Aspiring homeowners must grant Fannie permission to examine rent-payment records from checking accounts or electronic services like PayPal or Venmo. 

Under the current system, landlords don’t report rent payments to the three big credit-ratings companies, so they aren’t included in calculating traditional consumer credit scores. Mortgage payments, however, are included. Advocates have long fought to change that disparity, which can effectively can lock out first-time buyers with a stellar record of responsibly paying

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