When do you ask for background/credit check for applicants?

7 Replies

At what point in the application process do you ask an applicant to submit a background and/or credit check? Is it in conjunction with the rental application? Or is it after you've reviewed the application, checked references, etc? Thanks in advance.

@Torrey McGraw

We usually pull the credit history up-front.   Chasing references can be time consuming, so if the credit history does not meet muster, we save ourselves time.

Originally posted by @Roy N. :

@Torrey McGraw

We usually pull the credit history up-front.   Chasing references can be time consuming, so if the credit history does not meet muster, we save ourselves time.

 And I assume you're asking the applicant to pay for the credit report. Or are you eating that cost? Thanks @Roy N.

Originally posted by @Torrey McGraw :
Originally posted by @Roy N.:

@Torrey McGraw

We usually pull the credit history up-front.   Chasing references can be time consuming, so if the credit history does not meet muster, we save ourselves time.

 And I assume you're asking the applicant to pay for the credit report. Or are you eating that cost? Thanks @Roy N.

We charge a modest application fee which defrays the cost of pulling credit histories

We always check references first. I try not to make anyone layout any money until I know for sure that I have no red flags otherwise that indicate that I would not accept them as a tenant. For me making a few phone calls to verify references is not that time consuming, but I can see how it could be if my portfolio continues to expand.

I have the tenant send me a pdf of their credit report, that they pull for free, when they submit their application. I can get a lot more from that then a company spitting a number at me. If they are a viable candidate after the showing, interview and references, I have them do a background check on Cozy. I reimburse them the $25 if they ultimately become a tenant.

I used to do it last, after doing my due dilligance on the application. But I'm not doing that any more - they are going to pay for the credit report up front from now on. Not worth my time making the calls, waiting for call backs, dealing with HR/theworknumber...

Originally posted by @Torrey McGraw :

At what point in the application process do you ask an applicant to submit a background and/or credit check? Is it in conjunction with the rental application? Or is it after you've reviewed the application, checked references, etc? Thanks in advance.

I do the aplication first and ask for prove of income. Without even checking references. Then if the income meets my requirements I do the credit and background check using MySmart move. If I have any doubts I do call for references. But in my experience they would give you sometimes numbers of their friends and colleagues to pretend to give me faulce information. I do use my gut feeling a lot.

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.

By signing up, you indicate that you agree to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions.