Green Deal applicants to face credit checks

In response to guidance from the Office of Fair Trading, the Green Deal Finance Company, who will provide 80% of the scheme’s funding, will carry out credit checks on applications. This may exclude tenants with a poor-credit history from being able to benefit from the initiative and so restrict their ability to make energy efficiency improvements.

Pippa Read, Policy Leader on sustainable environments at National Housing Federation said:

“This must not be done at the expense of very low-income and vulnerable groups that should be encouraged to access the green deal.” Nigel Banks, Head of Energy at Keepmoat, Housing Contractor warned that he is “nervous of the prospect of credit-checks. We do not want to throw up another problem with the Green Deal but we want to make sure everyone can access this.” Paul Davies, a chief figure in the GDFC said that they will “approach the credit check with a brain. We have to do a credit check but the threshold for getting a green deal should be lower than if they were getting a loan for the same value.” The OFT has advised that loans under the Green Deal should be treated as if they were an unsecured personal loan and as such they would usually require a credit check. A spokesperson for the Office said:

“The Office of Fair Trading guidelines state that green deal providers will need to carry out an affordability assessment on consumers before they can sign up to a green deal plan. It is up to individual green deal providers how they meet this requirement.”

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