Credit History and Apartment Rentals

by Tom Simplot

Mar 5, 2017

Getting into a new home always requires some documentation and applications, whether buying or selling. When applying for a rental unit, it’s likely that the management company will conduct a consumer credit check. They will also verify employment and may ask for rental history or other references.


If you’ve been renting in the past, positive, on-time payments may help you secure another lease as they like to see good rental histories. Some apartment operators do report rental history to these major credit reporting companies and if you want it to be included, you can ask your manager if they can send this information to the rating agencies.


The three major credit reporting companies – TransUnion, Equifax and Experian – will only include your rental payments in your score if they receive the information. Certain credit score companies like FICO9 and Vantage Score include rental payments in their credit reports so those payments may affect your scores.


If you have unpaid rent that is sent to a collection agency, this will almost certainly hurt your credit score. Eviction information because of unpaid rent may be included in your credit report as well.


As you have likely seen in television commercials, everyone is entitled to a free copy of their own credit report annually from the three largest agencies. If you are planning to apply for a new lease or more credit, you should ask for a copy of these reports and review them for inaccuracies and consistency. With reports of identity theft on the rise, it’s smart to review these reports regularly and see if anyone has made inquiries without your knowledge, opened accounts or if there are errors. Requesting these free reports directly from those agencies should not negatively impact your credit score.