As a landlord, property manager or leasing agent, the decision of whether or not to rent to a potential tenant can bring up many questions. The main question is whether a new tenant will pay their rent on time, but you will also wonder whether they could pose any other potential risk.
*You always want to obtain the credit reports yourself and never accept a copy of reports by hand.
Intellirent's online tenant screening includes credit, and eviction reports from a trusted source. Criminal reports are not initial returns for your protection but if you ever feel you need the criminal reports, simply reach out to Intellirent support and request the criminal records be released.
There are five basic components of a TransUnion credit report. Use this data to help make an informed decision about a potential tenant.
1. Basic Information. Determine at a glance whether the applicant information (name, current address, recent employment history) is the same information included on their application form. This section helps you validate that your applicant is who they say they are, so you can be confident that you know who you are renting to.
*It's possible not all information has been reported to the bureau. For example, Employers do not always report data and the current employment may not be present on the credit report.
2. Fraud Indicators. These can appear if, for example, a social security number has been reported as a deceased person (or never issued) by the Social Security Administration, or if a phone number is invalid. Other reasons for alert messages might include the use of a commercial/institutional address, the use of a social security number or surname does not match what is on file, or a minimum of four inquiries that have been made against the file within the last 60 days. Of course, the reason for the alert might be something as simple as an invalid zip code, but to you as a landlord any fraud indicators require extra attention
3. The Tradeline Summary provides a snapshot of active accounts such as credit cards, auto loans, and student loans. Comprehensive details are listed below, but in short, here you can get a good idea if a potential tenant meets their monthly payment commitments.
Paying close attention to a potential tenant’s active tradelines will help you determine if they have enough income to comfortably cover rent. These tradelines help you determine whether an applicant has a history of late payments, whether the applicant carries a high debt load, and how leveraged an applicant is.
4. The TransUnion Credit Score is based on TransUnion’s proprietary credit-based score model and also takes payment history into consideration to provide better renter outcomes. Using the powerful data and analytics of TransUnion, the score analyzes pieces of an applicant’s credit data that are most indicative of evictions.
Of course, you’ll want to consider all of the information included in an applicant’s credit report (as well as other decision-making factors). The score is designed to score an applicant’s credit using a specific analytic model geared toward lowering tenant risk factors: eviction, 3+ late payments, and/or insufficient funds.
Applicants are awarded a score from 350-850, with 850 being the best score possible, and fall into categories of decline, conditional, low accept or accept. Using this range, which is similar to other credit scores in the marketplace, it’s easy to determine an applicant’s risk level.
5. The Inquiry Details section displays which companies have viewed the consumer’s credit file during the last two years. This helps you get a sense of the applicant’s credit activity and inquiries.
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