Lauren Smith, WalletHub Staff Writer
A landlord credit check shows certain public records, prior evictions, your credit score and the contents of your credit report, including your personal information, payment history, and inquiries. Landlords use your credit score and report to assess your financial health and overall trustworthiness.
What a Landlord Credit Check Shows
- Personal Information: Your name, address, Social Security number, date of birth and employment information.
- Account Payment History: The history of on-time or late payments on each of your reported accounts.
- Public Records: Includes tax liens, bankruptcies, and judgements (even if they’re not on your credit report).
- Prior Evictions: Available to your prospective landlord via public records.
- Inquiries: Applications for credit cards, lines of credit or loans.
- Credit Score: Calculation predicting your ability to repay debt and other financial obligations.
Even though the majority of your credit profile is available to landlords, payment history is the primary factor used to evaluate your application for tenancy. Ideally, all of your tradelines should be in good standing for at least 24 months before you apply.
Landlord credit checks do not show your previous rent payments. However, this information is usually available from your former landlords by request. If you have a history of on-time payments, it is in your best interest to make this information available to prospective landlords. You can sign up for a rent-reporting service to list your payments on your credit report.
Finally, if you have rent payments outstanding from a previous landlord, the account may be sent to a collection agency. A collection is its own negative entry on your credit report, and a prospective landlord’s credit check will have that information listed. Note, if the debt remains unpaid, the agency may also take legal action against you.
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