Landlords and Credit Checks

You found a wonderful home to rent, and now the landlord wants you to show them your credit check - oh no. Whether you have great credit, bad credit, or no credit, credit checks usually make you a little uneasy. What if there’s an issue? To help you feel less anxious, some common questions about landlord credit checks can be answered.

Can a Landlord See Everything On My Credit?
Yes and no. Landlords can issue a credit check if you are a potential renter. However, you must give your permission in writing. Signing a document for a credit screening is allowing the landlord permission to review your credit report. 


Be prepared to give your landlord the following information:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Social security number
  • Date of birth


What’s Included in a Rental Credit Check?
Some landlords only check for your credit score. Others may want more information or details such as:

  • Standard credit reports
  • Credit scores and ratings
  • Criminal and sex offender background checks
  • Residence and eviction histories
  • Employment history


Some landlords can go the extra mile and check your social media to find out if there is anything they find unacceptable. 
What a landlord most likely will see when doing a standard credit check:

  • Loans 
  • Bankruptcies
  • Foreclosures
  • Minimum payment amount for debt accounts
  • Late payment histories
  • Credit histories
  • Credit scores

With a rental application, you will most likely be responsible to pay the credit check. If you feel that you won’t pass the rental credit check, there are a few things you can do that will help you improve your chances.

  1. Find someone to cosign for you so that the landlord has a guarantee that they will get monthly payments. 
  2. Be honest with your potential landlord about your credit and show them the progress you have made to better your credit score.
  3. Offer to pay the rent in advance or to pay a higher security deposit amount.
  4. Show the landlord proof of your monthly income over the last year and offer to let them take the rent via direct deposit.

Just like a landlord is looking for the perfect tenant that will make their life easier by paying rent on time and taking care of their home, you should look for the perfect landlord. Do research on the landlord that you are going to sign a lease with and make sure they meet your standard as well. (