TIP OF THE MONTH - June 2015

Check Credit Reports

Source: First-Time Landlord
             By Attorney Janet Portman, Marcia Stewart
                   and Michael Molinski (Nolo)

A handy way to check prospective tenants financial circumstances (in particular, their debt load) and on-time payment record is to get each person’s credit report from @ least one credit reporting agency.

A good credit report contains a gold mine of information, such as the person’s history of paying rent or bills late, past bankruptcies, some criminal convictions, and sometime past evictions. (Your legal right to get information on evictions, may vary from state to state.)  Credit reports may also give you a FICO score, which is a number between 300 ant 800 that purports to reflect the chances that the consumer will fulfill his or her future financial obligations.  A low number indicates a poor risk; most landlords will reject applicants with scores under 550-600.

Credit report usually cover the past 7 to 10 years.  You will need the prospective tenant’s name, address, and SS # or ITIN # (Individual Taxpayer ID).

(more on credit reports July 2015)

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This web page was updated on 05/30/2015.