Credit Reports and Renting an Apartment – What You Need to Know

The quest to find the perfect apartment in the right price range is no small feat. One thing you can do as a savvy apartment hunter to streamline the process is to obtain a copy of your credit report before you even start scanning the papers for the ideal apartment.

These days, most responsible landlords review the credit reports of all potential tenants. Understandably, they want to make sure the people they rent to have clean financial histories. Obviously, the better your credit report, the more likely you will be to pay the rent on time.

Obtaining a credit report before apartment shopping will help avoid any unwelcome surprises when it comes time to negotiate a lease. Knowing what’s in your credit report can help you address and explain any errors or glitches with a landlord before the landlord dismisses you as an unworthy tenant. You should also be prepared to explain any specific late payments on your credit report in case the landlord inquires about them.

Upon reviewing your credit report, if you discover that your credit is less than desirable, it may be a good idea for you to submit a letter of explanation along with your application to rent. The letter should address and explain any major issues in your credit report, such as:

  • Late payments
  • Exorbitant debt
  • Bankruptcies
  • Foreclosure

Obtaining and reviewing your credit report can help you land the apartment you really want, and it can get the tenant/landlord relationship off to a positive start.

Get a copy of your complete credit report online before you begin your apartment search!