Determining Tenant Worthiness

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As a landlord, deciding who will be a good tenant for your property can prove to be and extremely challenging process. There are several key factors in making a tenant decision, but the most important one is determining whether or not the potential renter will be able to consistently pay their rent in a timely fashion.  There are several determination factors to consider when making this final decision (the most important one being their credit score).

 

What is your applicant’s age?

FICO scores vary based on the consumer’s age. When you’re considering younger applicants as renters, it’s important to keep in mind that they may not have enough credit history to possess a higher score.

 

What has impacted the applicant’s score?

Take the time to review the credit report. Some factors that might have negatively impacted a score might not be relevant to you as a landlord (ie: the number of credit inquiries they’ve had.)

 

Is there a guarantor willing to cosign?

Maybe you feel the applicant would be a great fit but their previous credit history isn’t ideal.  Considering a cosigner for the lease, which will provide a backup source of payment if your tenant does not follow through on their payments.

 

Whether you’re a landlord looking to rent your property, or a tenant searching for your next apartment, a person’s credit score is vital to any rental agreement. A landlord will likely infer the worthiness of a potential tenant through their credit score, which shows someone’s financial stability. Ideally, as stated in homeguides.com, a FICO score of 660 and up is the optimal credit score for a potential tenant to a property but can vary based on landlord preference. In a situation where an applicant has poor credit, a landlord might suggest a month to month lease agreement, a higher rental payment, or automatic payments.

 

What is a Credit Score?

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Used as a basis in determination for loans, credit cards and mortgages, credit scores play a vital role in any person’s credentials. Your credit score can literally mean the difference between being approved for a mortgage on your first home and being denied. Credit scores also plays a significant part in determining interest rates.

Your credit score is a generated mathematical algorithm that uses information from your credit report, as depicted on bankrate.com. Although there are various credit score models, most lenders use an applicant’s FICO score to determine their eligibility. According to FICO, “90 percent of all financial institutions in the U.S. use FICO scores in their decision-making process.”

There are 5 primary aspects in determining someone’s credit score: payment history, debts owed, length of credit history, new credit, and types of credit used. Each metric is weighted in different percentages against your score, with payment history and debts owed making up for more than half of your total score. Whether you are new to building credit or have a substantial number of years with credit also works as a factor in your credit score. Those who are new to credit have a different formula used than those who are not. Consumers with similar credit profiles have a formula designed for their category.

Although some lenders may have their own spectrum of what  “a good credit score” is, creditkarma.com suggest a good score is anywhere between 700 and 850. Knowing your credit score is a crucial aspect in planning your financial success. Prior to applying for credit you should always review your score and know where you stand. There are various sites you can visit that specialize in managing your credit score. By doing so you have the opportunity to build your score and make yourself a more favorable applicant, thus setting yourself up for future financial success.