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How do I check a renter's credit?

How do I check a person's credit before I would rent a room to him/her?  What else should I find out him/her, and how?
  • February 25 2013 - Oceanside
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Answers (8)

Profile picture for mariakuip1
Just checking a person's credit is not enough, however it is a must. You should also do a national criminal background check and a national eviction check. Even if a person has a good credit history you would not want a drug dealer living in your property. A credit check you can do with one of the 3 credit bureaus. [Promotion and website removed by Zillow moderator. See our Good Neighbor Policy.]
  • December 05 2014
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Profile picture for nbstacy
Screening prospective tenants before they move in is incredibly important.  I recommend most people  use a professional property manager/management company to handle tenant screening and management. 

If, however, you choose to handle it yourself, make sure you start out with:    (1) A completely filled out Tenant Application for every adult over the age of 18.    (2) A current Credit Report (free from www.annualcreditreport.com) or better yet, a trimerge credit report (www.CreditScore.com).    (3) If you have any hesitation about a prospect, you can check a renter's background at (www.myrental.com and/or www.experian.com/connect).

You might also insist your chosen tenant(s) carry Renters Insurance.  Good luck!

  • March 20 2013
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Profile picture for user4391750

Definitely having a professional assist in the process is always a good thing in any situation. Hiring people that know the industry, field, or trade is very important. Property managers usually are well equiped to get you a good headache free tenant.

However if you elect not to use a property management company, then I would get any inside tips from other Landlord's...also, to check their credit, I would have a local lender do that. Depending what state you're in, you can collect for Application fee's and or credit report checks to cover the cost. The Lender will help give explanation to the credit report with of course written authorization. Good luck to you. I strongly believe with two thumbs to being a Landlord, especailly if the numbers are right! Go out get you about 10 properties around $25K to $50k get them paid off with the rents and rent them for $1000+/- rent...you can do that in TEXAS!

  • March 20 2013
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I'll find you a good tenant, and run their credit. We have an extensive application process. Email me if you're interested. Good Neighbor Policy

  • March 20 2013
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Profile picture for JoshBarnettREIB
Call a local Property Manager that is a Realtor and ask them for their professional opinion on your soon to be tenant, it may cost you 150 dollars but that is cheaper then having to evict someone.  
  • February 26 2013
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Profile picture for Tony Cannon
A rental application to be completed by the prospective tenant will give you residence history, employment history, and references plus maybe some information about bank accounts and credit. It is then up to you to verify this information and ask pertinent questions of employers, references, and landlords.
I've found the easiest way to get the credit report is to have the applicant go to www.annualcreditreport.com and get their free report from Experian. Once I have the 10 digit Experian report number, I can check the credit report online. There it is good to look for payment history, residence history, and monthly debt. If the person has a relatively unique name, you can do an Internet search on them and come up with some interesting information.
  • February 26 2013
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There are a few services offered by the major credit bureaus that you can use:
http://www.experian.com/screening-services/tenant-screening-services.html
http://www.mysmartmove.com
I've used mysmartmove.com a few times over the last few years and the applicants who have we have vetted with that service have all turned out to be very good.  That service also provides criminal background checks and has no minimums so you can use it once a year if you just have one property or several times a month if you are a property manager.
  • February 25 2013
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Yikes. I would hire a professional property manager. I happen to be one, if you need help...
  • February 25 2013
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