What is a Bad Credit Score and How This Could Impact Your Rental Application

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Just as renters want to be sure the apartments they’re leasing is in good shape and the landlord is trustworthy, landlords want to know their prospective tenants are responsible and financially stable. One of the most common ways the landlords can ascertain this information is by performing a credit check. But exactly, what is a bad credit score? It can have a big impact on your rental application so you definitely want to know what your credit score is.

How Does Credit Score Work?

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 — Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian — that determine your score, and they all have different formulas. Most likely, your landlord will likely pick the middle score. So if you get scores of 690, 710, and 730 – they’ll go with 710.

What is a Bad Credit Score?

The general rule of thumb is that anything over 700 is considered a good credit score. Landlords often consider a score below 700 somewhat risky. If you’re score is below 700, don’t panic. There are ways to make your application more appealing. For example, you can offer to pay a few months of rent upfront. Some renters with low credit scores may also chose to pay a larger security deposit. These are all tactics you can use to prove your financial stability to landlords.

How to Get your Credit Score

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.