Below is a sample credit check.
If you order a credit check, you get to pick a star rating (0-5 Stars).
Each star rating has a FICO Score range and has an allowable number of reportable Bankruptcies and Judgments.
In this sample "Joe Landlord" selected a 4 star rating.
This means to pass (or be "Approved" for) a 4 Star Rating, the applicant needs to pass each of the following:
- Applicant needs at least a 650 FICO Score
- Applicant can't have more than 1 reportable Bankruptcy
- Applicant can't have any reportable Judgments
Look over the sample and we will discuss in further detail below.
What does "reportable" mean?
You will notice we use the term "reportable" in a few places.
This is because laws governed by the FCRA limit what information can and can't be used for screening prospective tenants. A bankruptcy from 11 years ago cannot be used as part of your screening criteria and thus is not "reportable." We hire and train FCRA Certified Screeners to make sure you're not looking at data that is not FCRA compliant. This helps protect the landlord or property manager reading our screening reports.
What do the credit codes actually mean?
You can see the sample applicant was "Declined" and you can see the codes that affected their score negatively.
You can see the "010" means "Proportion of balances to credit limits is too high on bank revolving or other revolving accounts"
Sometimes credit lingo can be a little confusing so we have a support article for each code in this knowledge base.
You can go to the home screen of our knowledge base at https://support.rentprep.com/ or click the RentPrep logo in the upper left.
You will see a search bar. Just enter the code number to find the corresponding article.
Then the "Credit Check Code 010" article will provide further clarification of that code.
In this particular case you get this expanded explanation:
Will I see all credit codes that negatively impacted their credit score?
If the applicant fails, according to your star rating, you will see all the credit codes that negatively impacted their credit.
If the applicant is approved, you will not see the credit codes that may have still had a negative impact.
This Pass/Fail model helps protect landlords in that you're truly selecting a criteria (0-5 stars) and basing your decision on that data. You want to keep your screening consistent and having a Pass/Fail option allows you to simplify your decision making on the credit check. If you're looking at too much data, you may decide not to rent to someone who still passed your initial criteria. Discrimination lawsuits occur when landlords change or alter their criteria from applicant to applicant. You want to be consistent with your screening and a Pass/Fail credit check allows you to do this.
What if I still have questions?
This support service you're reading is a "Knowledge Base" we've put together to answer commonly asked questions. It's filled with helpful articles.
As mentioned earlier, we have an office of FCRA Certified Screeners to help you interpret your report.
We're not legally allowed to steer your decision making but we can provide support to answer your questions.
You can reach us by Phone, Email or Live Chat during our office ours. Just look in the footer of our website for details or the chat box itself. You can chat with an FCRA Screener.
Our office is open 55+ hours a week.
If you reach us after hours, we will get back to you once the office is open again.