Credit Reports Print E-mail

Planning a move is no small task. There are numerous details to consider. One of the most important things you must do before you apply for tenancy in an apartment or house is to become familiar with your credit report. Do you know that the owner or landlord will run a credit check? You need to understand the basics of credit reporting, know your rights, and know what is in your credit file. Knowing what is in your personal credit report will allow you to be prepared to address any issues or questions the landlord may have.

You are probably already familiar with the concept of “credit history.” A good credit history is the reputation for paying your bills on time that will allow you to purchase goods or services with the understanding that you will pay for them at a later time. Even if you use your credit every day, there are some facts about credit reporting that may impact your chances of getting chosen as a tenant.

Credit Reporting Agencies

A credit reporting agency or credit bureau gathers, maintains and sells information about consumers’ credit histories. It collects information about consumers’ payment habits from credit grantors, stores the information in a database, then sells the information to other credit grantors in the form of a “credit report.” When you apply to rent an apartment of house, the owner or landlord will order your credit report and analyze the information. What is contained in your credit report can greatly impact the landlord’s decision whether to accept you as a tenant or not.

There are three consumer credit bureaus:



Trans Union

Although many national lending institutions report to all three agencies, many smaller banks or retail lenders report to only one. Your credit report from one credit bureau may not necessarily be the same as that of another one of the credit bureaus. When looking for a housing rental, it is important to be familiar with your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies.

Credit Reports

A consumer credit report contains a factual record of an individual's credit payment history. Credit grantors are permitted by law to review your credit report to determine whether to grant you credit or not. Every time you have opened a credit account, your credit report has been reviewed. As you pay your bills, most lenders report credit payment information to credit bureaus. So most of the information in your consumer credit report comes directly from the companies you do business with.

What’s in a Credit Report?

A consumer credit report contains four types of information: identifying information, credit information, public record information, and inquiries.

Identifying information includes:

·   Your name

·   Your current and previous addresses

·   Your Social Security number

·   Your year of birth

·   Your current and previous employers

·   If you're married, your spouse's name

Credit information includes credit accounts or loans you have with:

·   Banks

·   Retailers

·   Credit card issuers

·   Other lenders

Public record information includes any information that's contained in state and county court records, like:

·  Bankruptcies

·   Tax liens

·   Monetary judgments

Landlords and Credit Reports
Each owner has their own way of evaluating credit reports. The main objective, however, is to establish your creditworthiness. Before a landlord rents to you, they want to be as sure as possible that you can be trusted to pay the rent on time. For this reason, it is important that you know what is in your credit report so that you can address it accordingly. If you have had one or two late payments on some accounts, the owner may or may not ask you about them. In the event that he or she asks about them, you can be prepared with an answer. If your credit history is less than desirable, consider submitting a letter of explanation with your application.
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