A good score means that you have a good credit history. But even if you have a good credit history, there are some facts about credit reporting that may alter your chances or improve your score.
Credit Reporting Agencies
A credit reporting agency or credit bureau maintains and sells information about consumers’ credit histories. It collects information about consumers’ payment habits from credit grantors, stores the information on a database, then sells the information to other credit grantors in the form of a credit report. When you apply to rent (or buy) a house or to get a loan, the owner or the bank will order your credit report and analyze the information. What is contained in your credit report can greatly impact their decision.
There are three consumer credit bureaus:
Although many national lending institutions report to all three agencies, many smaller banks or retail lenders report to only one. Your score can be different at any credit agency. When looking for a housing rental, it is important to be familiar with your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies.
A consumer credit report contains a factual record of an individual's credit payment history. Credit grantors are permitted by law to review your credit report to determine whether to grant you credit or not. Every time you have opened a credit account, your credit report has been reviewed. As you pay your bills, most lenders report credit payment information to credit bureaus. So most of the information in your consumer credit report comes directly from the companies you do business with.
What’s in a Credit Report?
A consumer credit report contains four types of information: identity information, credit information, public record information and inquiries.
Identity information includes:
· Your name
· Your current and previous addresses
· Your Social Security number
· Your date of birth
· Your current and previous employers
· Your spouse's name (if married)
Credit information includes credit accounts or loans you have with:
· Credit card issuers
· Other lenders
Public record information includes any information that's contained in the state and county court records, like:
· Tax liens
· Monetary judgments
Landlords and Credit Reports
Each owner has their own way of evaluating credit reports. The main objective, however, is to establish your creditworthiness. The landlord wants to be sure that you can be trusted to pay your rent on time. It is important that you know what is on your credit report so that you can address his questions and concerns accordingly. If you don’t have a good score, consider submitting a letter providing some explanation with your application.