SingleKey partners with Nova Credit to help Canadian newcomers

Ellie Duncan
27 Mar 2024

Toronto-based residential leasing solutions provider SingleKey has partnered with credit bureau Nova Credit to enable newcomers to Canada to secure affordable housing by accessing their international credit history.

Many new-to-country Canadians typically find it difficult to secure a lease on a rental property without a local credit history, which remains a requirement for most housing providers during the rental application process.

With Canada expected to welcome nearly 1.5 million permanent residents over the next three years, the new partnership between Nova Credit and SingleKey is designed to help individuals get approved for a home faster.

The ‘International Credit Check’ initiative is powered by Nova Credit’s ‘Credit Passport’ solution, enabling access to credit history data from more than 1.5 billion credit profiles globally.

While 43% of new Canadians cited increasing rental prices as the biggest barrier when applying for housing in a survey by SingleKey, lack of credit history was the second-biggest challenge for 30% of respondents.

Viler Lika, founder and chief executive officer of SingleKey said the partnership could not have come at a more crucial time, pointing to a low vacancy rental market and “soaring” immigration rates, which means that “newcomers face unprecedented hurdles in securing affordable housing”.

“Our partnership with Nova Credit addresses these obstacles by allowing lenders and financial service providers in Canada to access ‘lost’ credit histories worldwide,” Lika added.

“This allows housing providers to screen and approve international applicants confidently, which increases accessibility to housing for all.”

The research by SingleKey also found that nearly 40% of Canadian housing providers reported an increase in interest from newcomers to the country, with more than 20% of rental applications coming from new-to-country individuals.

“Every year, hundreds of thousands of creditworthy individuals immigrate to Canada, leaving years of credit history behind them in their home country,” said Collin Galster, Nova Credit’s chief operations officer.

“As a result, newcomers struggle to access fairly priced credit-based products – and access to affordable housing is a fundamental aspect of successful integration for new Canadians.”

Galster added: “By providing immigrants with access to their international credit history, we’re helping them take the first step towards building their new lives in Canada.”

The partnership follows a similar one between Nova Credit and HSBC UK announced last year, which enables newcomers to the UK to include their international credit history digitally and free of charge as part of their application for an HSBC credit card.