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Neil Fjellestad's Blog

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By Neil Fjellestad | Property Manager in San Diego County, CA

Rent Sense: Credit Considerations

By Neil Fjellestad and Chris De Marco

Fjellestad, Barrett & Short

If you’re looking for a rental home, condo or apartment you know what is acceptable or not about the location, condition and rental rate. What you might not know what is acceptable or not about your credit report when your rental application is considered. You probably have only applied for rental home a handful of times.  Your past experience might vary depending upon the rentals standards of different landlords.

Here are some guidelines that we apply to the credit reports we review.

Low Risk (726-830): Excellent credit rating, pay their bills on time, no collections or negative notations on credit history. We like these applications.

Medium-Low Risk (700-725): Very good credit rating, pay their bills on time, no collections or negative notations on credit history, may have a couple of aged slow pays or applied for a loan or credit recently that dropped the score a bit. We like these applications.

Medium Risk (626-699): Decent credit rating, pay most bills on time, no collections or negative notation on the credit history, may have a couple of aged slow pays or applied for a loan or credit recently that dropped the score a bit. They probably have a couple of disputable items on the credit report, old medical bills, student loans, or defaults in the past. Close check of rental references and length of employment can keep this application doable but will probably need co-signer or additional deposit.

Medium- High Risk (551-626): Marginal credit rating, slow to pay on some bills and on time on some bills. Probably have a collections or negative notations on the credit history. Additional explanation is required.  Generally have applied for a loan or credit recently, as well as multiple credit inquires, that dropped the score a bit. They probably have a couple disputable items on credit report, old medical bills, student loans, or defaults from the past. Check for aliases, or abbreviated names, check and verify social security, check rental references closely, length of employment and outlook for continues employment. These applications need a co-signor and/or additional deposit to be considered at all.

High Risk (330-550): Poor credit rating; do not pay bills on time, multiple collection activity and negative notations on file. These conditions will usually not allow consideration of this application.  Rental and employment references might allow consideration if roommates demonstrate very strong credit and are willing and able to take financial responsibility with co-signers and by depositing additional funds.  

Our advice to renters:

Be straight forward and upfront. If there is a problem, explain it before we run the report. If the report gives us a reason to not accept your rental application be prepared to give us business reasons why we should.

Ask a qualified property manager in advance.  If you have questions about this Rent Sense topic or you have another renter question please email melissa@fbs-pm.com. 

Comments

By David Chiles,  Mon Feb 13 2012, 22:36
Great post. This information is something that many people ask about. Your awesome!
By Carmen Brodeur- Top 1% Realtor,  Tue Feb 14 2012, 08:24
Many prospective tenants are shocked when their rental applications are turned down due to bad credit! Good information.

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