Owner Landlord looking for potential renter Credit report

3 Replies

I have a rental that is kind of unique so it is a little hard to rent. I have had what I thought was a great potential renter complete the application. The problem is both the husband and wife have terrible credit ( in the 530's). I get all the information on the application verified before I run credit. I hate charging people if I have no intention of renting to them. I called the current landlord and she says they have paid on time for 6 years and is sad to see them move. He is retired military and has a pension. When I ask about it they said it was a family member who committed identity theft. Is there a way to verify that? Should I ask for a higher deposit? I guess my big issue I don't know how to read credit reports. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

What is the identity theft of ???

What brought their credit down so much?

Can you verify their income or pension or anything else.  

I’m used to having people with bad credit but the reason for the bad credit matters more to me then the score itself.  

Is it home related?  If so that’s a no go. 

Medical or some minor credit card.  Then I don’t care.  

I care about what are the odds they will pay ME on time and every time.  

Then it goes how hard will this tenant be to train?  

If it isn’t worth the effort then I pass

@Dax Gurr there are articles about how to read credit reports. Try this one.

I don't think fraud alerts show up on a credit report. If fraud did take place and the individual reported it to the credit reporting company, the credit reporting company will typically lock down the card so no activity can take place. This includes running a credit background check. If you are unable to run the credit check, then it may be locked down for that reason.

The reality is, tons of people claim their bad credit is due to identity theft but that's typically not true. You can look at their accounts and see that they've over-extended, not paid on time, etc. You want to look at how many open accounts they have and how well they're paying. You want to see how many credit inquiries they've had in the past 1-2 years because that could indicate they're opening a lot of charge accounts or buying cars. You want to look for bankruptcies, judgments, or collections. You definitely don't want to rent to anyone with a pending bankruptcy!

Do a little reading and practice. The credit score is one of the best indicators of financial responsibility which is why lenders rely on it so heavily. I personally run the credit/criminal first because that's the quickest way to eliminate someone. I also make it clear that the application fee is non-refundable under any circumstances so there's no question of "wasting their money" because it's already spent the second they hand it to me.