A lot of people “accidentally” become a landlord, and finding reliable tenants can be a challenge. A tenant credit report can help — getting a sense of an applicant’s financial situation can help you determine whether or not they’ll be able to pay rent on time every month.
There are a few things to look for when reading a credit report:
First, the score. While the scale varies based on the service, the higher the better. Cozy uses Experian’s VantageScore, which ranges from 501-990.
Second, take a look at the credit summary, which includes data about outstanding debt and the monthly payments the applicant is making.
After that, take a look at the payment history, so you can be sure the tenant has a history of making the required payments every month.
Then there’s the account history, which gives you a detailed look at each account, the timeliness of payments, and the type of debt. (For example, student loans are common, sometimes quite large, and probably not a major factor for most landlords looking for a reliable tenant.)
Finally, take a look at the score factors, which summarizes the different reasons an applicant’s credit score might be less than perfect.
With all that information, you should have a more complete picture of your potential tenants.