Mary Grace McCormick, Credit Writer
Yes. Most landlords will check your credit before renting to you. Before accepting a rental application, a landlord will want to gather as much information as possible regarding your ability to make your rental payments on time. Your credit history (which is used to calculate your credit score) can provide an indication of your financial responsibility, so landlords will typically check either your credit report or score before accepting you as a tenant.
While credit checks are a common part of rental applications, not all landlords will do one before renting to you. Even though a credit check can provide a sense of your creditworthiness, landlords care most about a potential tenant’s ability to pay rent on-time. This information is easy to gather through a rental application, with no credit check.
For example, a landlord could ask to see your most recent paystubs or request the names of your most recent landlords. Paystubs can show a landlord that you have the means to make monthly rental payments moving forward, while your previous landlords can speak to your history of paying on time. If this information is satisfactory to your potential landlord, they will be more likely to approve your application without checking your credit. Other landlords may not check your credit directly but could instead request a copy of your credit report or ask about your credit face-to-face.
Although you don’t need to have perfect credit to rent an apartment, negative items such as accounts in collections can make a landlord think twice about approving you. Fortunately, if you’re worried about a rental application getting denied due to your credit, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of approval.
How to Pass a Credit Check for a Rental Application (If a Landlord Checks)
- Get a co-signer
- Offer a higher security deposit or early payments
- Offer to pay more per month
- Explain your circumstances
- Provide documentation to support your income
Before applying for a new place, it’s a good idea to check out your credit report and credit score through your free WalletHub account to make sure everything looks correct. You can also take advantage of WalletHub’s custom advice to improve your credit score before submitting your rental application.
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