Tenants and credit scores

What Your Credit Score Means to Potential Landlords


A credit score is a three-digit number that essentially determines everything from where a consumer can live to where they can work. Prospective landlords will have their own application criteria when it comes to a new tenant and one of the biggest items on that list will be the tenant’s credit score. Even though a landlord will run your credit, it does not mean you are rejected from the get-go for a low FICO score. That being said, if you don’t have a reasonable explanation for poor credit or you have not made an attempt to improve it, you might find your application rejected when applying to future rental properties.


What Your Credit Score Means to a Landlord

Credit reports are run as a way for a landlord to determine how likely you are to default on your monthly rental payments. If you have a long history of defaulting on payments or you have a long list of negative credit items, a landlord is likely to reject your application simply because you have not proven you can pay your debts.


Credit Scores are Not Part of the Fair Housing Act

Though landlords have to exercise specific precautions about selecting their tenants, especially under the Fair Housing Act, credit scores do not fall under that category. That means a landlord is within their rights to reject you due to poor credit history. That being said, landlords cannot have a varying scale when it comes to credit score acceptance. Landlords must have an established credit score and history guideline and follow it for all applicants.

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