The Credit Check

What is a credit check?

Bringing on a new tenant is always a risk for landlords, and one way they assess this risk is through a Credit Check. By "running your credit", a landlord is getting a credit score, which is a number between 300 and 850 that represents how likely you are to pay your bills on time. There are three credit bureaus that determine your score, and they all have different formulas, but your landlord will likely pick the middle score. So if you get scores of 690, 710, and 730 - they'll go with 710.

What's a bad score?

Anything under 700 will concern most landlords; they might reject you or require that you pay a few months rent upfront, or pay more months as a security deposit, to minimize the risk that you don't pay your rent on time.

Get your credit report - for FREE

By law, you're entitled to check your credit report every twelve months from the three reporting bureaus. Use Annualcreditreport.com to pull your free report.

credit score ranges
740+ Excellent
680-739 Good
620-679 Average
560-619 Poor
< 559 Bad
FIG 4.3: Know your credit? Check it here for free
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