Examining Rental History and Credit Score

rental history and credit scoreAs your long and possibly arduous apartment search comes to a close, it comes time to submit your applications and begin the wait for approval. One critical element of the rental application is your rental history, which could mean good or bad things for you. Your rental history is significant to your potential new landlords, as it is essentially a record of your prior rental experiences. Landlords will want to know what kind of tenant you were in the past, so they can minimize the risk of renting to someone with, for example, a history of consistently being late on rent.  While late rent payments do not directly affect your credit score, landlords requesting credit checks may also request data on your rental history from those credit agencies. Although late rent payments don’t affect your credit score the way a late mortgage payment would, late rent payments in your rental history will raise a red flag to prospective landlords.

What hurts your rental history?
When requesting a rental history for a potential renter, landlords will be provided with all kinds of information about you. Among the negative things they could learn about you are events such as bounced checks or late rent payments. Even worse, unpaid housing debts, eviction proceedings, and breaches of lease terms can also be reported to credit agencies for distribution to landlords. Financial irresponsibility aside, rental histories may also report on complaints about you or significant damages to your past apartments. All of these are huge red flags to potential landlords and probably weigh heavily in their decision to rent to you. Whether you’ve squared away your debts and kept your apartment in good shape are also factors in getting your deposit back.

What helps your rental history?
On the flip side, maintaining a good rental history and credit score is the best way to show potential landlords that you’re a good fit and a low-risk renter. Being a model tenant isn’t hard – so long as you pay rent on time, be a considerate neighbor, and take good care of your apartment. With no judgments or evictions against you, landlords can feel good about renting to you – possibly even at a lower deposit amount.

Learn more about apartment credit scores and renting successfully on the Apartment Search blog! Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter to learn more about apartment living.