Credit Check for Renters: What landlords look for

Are you or someone you know looking to rent a new home or apartment?

 

Did you know that potential landlords can request a “tenant credit report” using only an applicant’s name and email address?

 

Many landlords do in fact check a prospective tenant’s credit history with at least one credit reporting agency to see how responsible the applicant is with managing money.

 

Here is what they looking for?

 

A credit report contains a gold mine of information for a prospective landlord. Here are some of the things they can find out:

 

  • Has the person ever filed for bankruptcy
  • Are they late or delinquent in paying rent or bills, including student loans or car loans
  • Have they been convicted of a crime, or even arrested
  • Have they been evicted (legal rights to get information on evictions varies among states)
  • Are they involved in a lawsuit such as a personal injury claim
  • Are they financially active enough to establish a credit history
Information in credit reports covers the past seven to ten years and all 3 of the credit bureaus offer landlord tenant screening services. So, it is a simple process for any prospective landlord to screen potential tenants.

 

As a result of viewing these reports, landlords can either not rent to you because of negative information in a credit report or they can charge a higher rent because of such information.

 

How can THD Help?

 

THD can pull a rental credit report for you to see if there are any mistakes or discrepancies so you can be prepared before you apply for your next home or apartment rental.  It’s simple, just email us at asktheexpert@thdcreditconsulting.com and we can get started!

 

-Erik Kaplan

Does Experian Boost Work?

Boosting your credit score often requires months of ‘good’ financial behavior. But a new tool from Experian allows you to instantly add utility and cellphone payments to your credit report, potentially increasing your credit score and helping you pay less to borrow.
 
How it works?
 
You first give Experian permission to scan bank account transactions so it can identify utility and cell phone payments. Information about these payments will then appear in the Experian credit report and be used when certain credit scores are calculated from that data.
 
The idea is to help customers with thin credit files by incorporating signs of responsible financial behavior that traditionally aren’t seen by credit reporting bureaus. Boost also may help people who are rebuilding their credit after financial setbacks. Experian estimates the product could affect up to 100 million consumers’ scores.
 
Experian Boost works with the most commonly used credit scores by lenders: FICO 8, FICO 9, VantageScore 3 and VantageScore 4. The average increase was more than 10 points and 13% of users on average moved up a credit band.
 
If a lender relies on a TransUnion or Equifax credit report for its application process, the tool won’t help your approval chances.
 
Who will benefit?
 
Experian expects that two-thirds of consumers will see an improvement. Those with thin credit histories (defined as less than five accounts) and FICO credit scores between 580 and 669 will benefit the most, Experian said.
 
Ten percent of people who previously didn’t have enough information in their credit file will now have a score. Fourteen percent of those with scores of 579 or lower moved into the 620 to 679 range, enough to get better credit terms.
 
How Do I Sign Up for Experian Boost?
 
Signing up for Experian Boost is simple. Just go to the Experian Boost page and create a free Experian account to start the process. You’ll then connect your online bank accounts so Experian can search for any qualifying on-time payments. Once you verify that you want to add the accounts to your credit file, your credit scores will be calculated using the newly added payment information.
 
The process is simple, and if you receive a boost, you’ll see your FICO® Score increase in just a few minutes. If you have any questions about this product or process email us at asktheexpert@thdcreditconsulting.com.
 

-Erik Kaplan

Coming Soon!

What should I do if I think I may be a victim of identity theft?

The discovery of identity theft is bound to be a very anxious and stressful experience and it can certainly wreak havoc on your finances and credit. If you suspect identity theft, act quickly to minimize any negative consequences.

Here are 5 key steps to take to stop an identity thief in their tracks.

1) Put a fraud alert on your credit reports – To place a 90-day fraud alert on all three of your credit reports, you only need to contact one of the three credit reporting agencies (Experian,Equifax or TransUnion). When you place the initial alert, the agency will automatically notify the other two for you. Be sure to request a copy of your credit reports to ensure there aren’t any transactions you don’t recognize.

2) Call the fraud department at the companies and financial institutions where you know the identity thief used your personal information. Part of this step may include freezing your accounts that have been compromised. For example, If you know your credit card was stolen, report the theft to the credit card issuer. If your checkbook or debit card was stolen, contact your bank.

3) Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). File an Identity Theft Affidavit and create an Identity Theft Report. The FTC will provide you with information about what to do next, depending on what type of fraud was committed.

4) File a police report. Contact your local law enforcement office and report the theft. Be sure to get a copy of the police report and/or the report number. Both your police report and the FTC Identity Theft Affidavit combine to create your Identity Theft Report.

5) Report identity theft to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by submitting a complaint. Your complaint helps law enforcement officials across the country in their investigations. Visit the CFPB’s website to find out more information on submitting an identity theft complaint.

Remember, identity theft can have a negative effect on your credit score. For instance, if a thief opens three new credit cards in your name, the inquiries can each lower your score, the credit card balances will affect your utilization ratio, and the payment history (or failure to pay) can have a big impact on your credit rating.

The key thing to remember is that identity theft hurts your credit the most when it goes unnoticed. Once you catch on, you can take steps to shut down fraudulent accounts and clean up your credit.

If you have questions or were a victim of identity theft and need help cleaning up your credit report, THD Credit Consulting can help. Click here to schedule a free consultation today.

-Erik Kaplan

What is the difference between a credit freeze and a fraud alert?

Should you apply a credit freeze to your accounts, a fraud alert, or both? To make the right choice for you, you must understand how each one operates and how it effects your accounts.
 
A fraud alert requires that any lenders or creditors take reasonable steps to verify your identity before issuing new credit in your name. You certainly don’t have to be a victim of fraud to initiate a fraud alert. Rather, you can use this as a protective measure. A fraud alert lasts for 90 days; however, you can extend this. If you are a victim of identify theft and have filed the appropriate report, you can extend the fraud report for up to seven years.
 
To place a free fraud alert, contact one of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion) either online or by phone. The bureau that you contact is required to share the information with the other two bureaus. You can still open new accounts during a fraud alert as long as you provide suitable proof of your identity.
 
Compared to a fraud alert, a credit freeze offers more extensive protection. With a credit freeze, potential new creditors cannot access your credit report at all; therefore, they will not issue credit in your name. In most states a credit freeze is indefinite, but some states allow the freeze to expire after 7 years.
 
You cannot open any new accounts during the credit freeze nor can anyone access your credit report (including you). You must lift the freeze prior to applying for new credit. It is possible to re-establish the credit freeze, or to specify a period during which it should temporarily be lifted. Neither a credit freeze nor a fraud alert affects your current accounts; they only concern the opening of new lines of credit.
 
Use these tools in whatever way best fits your situation and comfort level, but make sure you understand how to use these tools, before you do, to avoid any credit surprises.
 
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, click here.

Credit Consolidation vs. Debt Settlement: What is the best option for you?

 

Finding the right debt relief option can be tricky. Given that using the wrong debt solution can lead to even greater financial distress, it’s important to familiarize with these concepts so you can make an informed decision.

 

What is Debt Consolidation?
 

 

This financial process rolls multiple debts into a single, consolidated monthly payment.  The goal being to reduce the interest rate, which allows you to get out of debt faster, even though you pay less each month.

 

 

However, debt consolidation is not a one-stop fix for all of your financial worries.  
When is it NOT A Good Option?
 
  • If you have bad money habits or issues maintaining a healthy budget, debt consolidation will only delay your financial problems.
  • If you have out-of-control credit card bills, it may be appealing to roll those debts into your mortgage and deal with that new fixed payment every month. Just remember – if you fail to pay your credit cards it could go to collections or you could be sued. If you default on your new combined mortgage payment then you could lose your house.
  • When you consolidate your debts, old accounts are closed and replaced by one new account. If you are concerned about your credit score then this might not be in your best interest.  
What is Debt Settlement?
Is a process where you pay back a portion of what you owe in exchange for a full discharge of the remaining balance. Simply put, you settle your debt for a percentage of what you owe. The settlement is usually made in a single lump-sum payment
What are the Advantages of Debt Settlement
  • Settling your loans can mean paying a lower overall interest rate on your debt which will save you money.
  • Unlike a debt consolidation or credit counseling plan, debt settlement can help you pay a much lower amount than what you originally owed. 
  • Debt Settlement allows you to pay off what you can without having to destroy your credit like a bankruptcy can. 
  • Debt Settlement also offers a greater level of privacy, putting you the consumer more in control of the process and a lower overall cost than other debt relief options.
If Debt Settlement is the best option for you, contact 
THD Credit Consulting.

 

We help settle credit card debt, home equity lines of credit, collection accounts and charged off accounts. In most cases we can save you up to 75-80% on the amount that was owed and stop all the harassing phone calls.  
Give us a call (800) 822-7120 or email us today at asktheexpert@thdcreditconsulting.com.

When Should I Ask for a Credit Limit Increase?

It is not always in your best interest to request a higher credit limit, or credit line increase, mostly because there are consequences. A credit line increase request can trigger a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can have a negative impact on your credit score by a few points.

On the other hand, there are situations where it can be quite helpful to request an increase. 

Here are guidelines:

  • Your credit score is strong: If you have a higher credit score than when you first got the line of credit and you’ve been repaying it on time each month, it is a good time to ask for a credit limit increase.
  • You have good repayment history with the issuer: When you have shown the ability to repay debt and payments are on time you are demonstrating responsible behavior with the card issuer.
  • When your income increases: Showing an increase in income can help get approved when requesting a credit limit increase. 

The best reason to increase your credit limit on your credit card is so you can maintain a low credit utilization rate, which can help increase your credit score. If you can be purposeful with the increase, another good reason is to have a higher credit limit for unexpected expenses such as an emergency.

If you have questions about when to increase your credit line or how to improve your credit score then reach out to our team of experts at asktheexpert@thdcreditconsulting.com.

-Erik Kaplan