RENTING & CREDIT >>

Concerned about how your credit will affect your rental app?  We can help!

CONCERNED ABOUT HOW YOUR CREDIT WILL AFFECT YOUR RENTAL APP? 

CREDIT 101

Credit is an important part of renting.  If your credit isn’t so hot or your don’t have any credit it can hurt your chances of getting the apartment you want.

What is 'Credit'?

For the total newbies, credit is when a company will give your goods or services before you have paid for them. Some examples include:

  1.  credit cards
  2.  credit lines
  3.  rental leases
  4.  mortgages
  5.  car payments

But, when people, or more imiportantly apartments, refer to your ‘credit’, they are actually referring to your credit score. More on that below…

What is a Credit Score?

Your ‘credit score’, also referred to as your ‘FICO score’ is an objective way for a company to tell if you are likely to pay for the goods or services that they are providing you on credit.   It is a number between 300 and 850.  The lower your score the less likely you are deemed to pay for the goods or services they are providing.  The higher, the more likely.

What goes into my 'credit score' and who calculates it?

Equifax, TransUnion and Experian are the three companies that currently calculate credit scores in the US.

They use factors like:

1) How much credit is available to you

2) How long you have had that credit

3) How much of the total credit available to you are you using? (meaning how much you owe vs. your total credit line)

4) Your payment history including late payments and non-payments

5) Any collections history (if creditors have had to send your balance to a collections agency to try to get repayment)

What is a 'good' and 'bad' credit score?

The majority of landlords, leanders and companies view credit scores in these ranges:

Below 550 – Bad

550 to 649 – Poor

650 to 699 – Fair

700 to 749 – Good

750 & Above – Excellent

What credit score do apartments usually want?

Well…that varies significantly between apartments.  That’s why its good to have our apartment locators on your side.  We know the qualifying credit scores for most apartments and can help you quickly find the ones that will work for you!

Can I improve my credit score?

Absolutely!  Paying your rent on time every month is a good way to do it too!  Adversely, NOT paying your rent on time very month can tank your credit score very quickly and make it hard to rent in the future.  Also…

1) Have credit that you don’t use.  Lenders like to see that you don’t need all the credit that you have a availalbe to you.

2) Keep your credit lines open.  Even if you aren’t using a credit line on the regular, try to keep it open.  If you get a notice that they are about to close a line due to non-use, charge something small to it, then pay it off, to maintain that line.  How long your credit lines have been available to you matters in your score.

3) Pay on time, even if its the minimum.  Late payments cause late charges and hurt your credit score.

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