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Find out what they know ... check your credit report before renting!

To get a credit report, go to:  

As part of your rental housing application, you may need to agree for the landlord to run a credit check. The credit check normally uses one of the major credit bureaus which collect information about you from banks, companies you do business with, and other sources.

The information gathered about you normally includes the following:
  • your name and social security number
  • current and former addresses
  • jobs and income
  • spousal information
  • if you have owned or rented a home
  • dates you opened credit accounts
  • loans your made and the terms of those loans
  • purchases such as autos, insurance, mortgages, etc
  • late payments on credit cards
  • lawsuits, bankruptcies, limits on accounts
If a credit report results in denying you housing, you can usually get a free copy yourself by requesting it in writing within 30 days.
Before you accept paying charges for a credit report or tenant screening fee, ask the landlord for the criteria he/she will need to rent to you. Often, they can access records regarding divorces, evictions, small court claims and related matters. The landlord should have you sign a written agreement if you are to be charged for the screening fee, specifying the criteria. If you know you don't meet the criteria, save your money, or work something out with the landlord such as an additional deposit to cover addition risk. Be sure you ask the landlord the name of the screening company in case you want to get your own copy later.

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