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FoxSamual

Credit Repair For Apartment Rental

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I have an actual goal now for my credit repair, beyond the generic, "Improve my credit."

 

Posted a thread in the general forum about my apartment woes. My lease is up April 2018. I'd like to have my credit repair journey far enough along to start looking in Feb/March of that year. April 30th isn't a hard date to move, my landlady is easy going and will probably let me go month-to-month, but given the nonsense I'm dealing with I'd rather not get held up longer than necessary.

 

With that in mind, what steps (if any) can I take to improve my credit from a potential landlord's perspective? My Chapter 7 will be >5 years in the past by then. I'd imagine with low utilization that a FICO >720 is achievable; at approx 670 now. My reports won't be INQ free by then, but the INQs from my recent application spree will all be ~18 months old. Anything to do here besides let accounts age and keep utilization low?

 

My rental history is mostly positive, never late, with any landlord, but I did use my Chapter 7 to escape a lease after my divorce. Surrendered the apartment to management, without having gone late on rent, and returned the unit in good enough shape to be immediately re-rented; I'm not certain if the complex would have reported this to any CRAs or not, it's not on my "big three", but are there rental CRAs I need to check? I had a good relationship with them, ended it as best I could under the circumstances, but it was a management company and I wouldn't bet against them having reported this. They retained my security deposit, all $200 of it, it was a reduced deposit based on good credit.

 

As far as references, well, my current landlady would offer a glowing one. I have another one that I rented from for eight years that would do the same, assuming she's still alive when I move; she was 79 when I moved out, so no promises there. :)

 

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I never got a nibble on this thread so here's a bump.

 

Smoke situation at current apartment has become unlivable. I need to move when the current lease expires, April 30th, and would like to begin looking in January/February.

 

The FICO side of the house is in as good of a shape as it can be; not sure what I can do there that I'm not already doing. I am working on some basic clean up of my major CRAs, getting old addresses and my ex-wife's name off them, nothing major, all the TLs are properly reporting.

 

Still have the concern regarding rental CRAs from the surrendered apartment in PA. I used my Chapter 7 to escape a lease. Never went late on rent, just needed to move after my divorce and had to file the 7 anyway. Left the keys and a surrender letter in their mail drop and filed the 7 a few days later. If I had to guess that management company wouldn't have gone out of their way to report anything, they were kind of hands off that way, and I left the place ready for immediate re-rent, but I don't want any rude surprises. Their address is off my "big three" reports, so the only way a new company would find them would be through another CRA I'm not familiar with.

 

Rest of my rental history is positive, although all with private landlords, and not likely to be on any CRAs. I can (and will) get letters of reference from them when the time comes.

 

So, which rental/property CRAs do I need to request reports from to avoid surprises?

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I would get those letters of reference sooner rather than later, just in case. Also do all you can to start saving up funds so you have them available if needed when the time comes. A couple of extra months deposit or pre-paying a few months rent goes a lot further than a few extra points on your FICO.

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As a landlord and property manager, I am always interested in what the previous landlord has to offer, as they have nothing to gain or lose. I don't give as much weight to current landlords as they will give tenants a great review just to get them out of the property.

 

Try to make sure the previous management company will give a good review. Maybe do a trial application somewhere.

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I remember years ago when my credit was insufficient to rent an apartment. It was really discouraging. I ended up paying 6 months in advance.

What I would look for is small, individual type places, like mother-in-law houses rented out by people instead of corporations.

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I had the same landlady for 10+ years and she will give a good reference. My current landlady (2 years) will also give a good reference. I'm not overly worried about getting rejected, just trying to get all my ducks in a row so I'm ready when the time comes.

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Got back my Leasing Desk report; no records found, as I suspected. I think they helpfully created a blank file for me with the information I submitted with the request, lol. Only one other (FADV) had a provision for e-mail/online requests but I haven't heard back from them yet. The rest I had to request the old fashioned way, via snail mail, so we'll see what comes back. Requested them all from the CFPB document, except for Experian; waiting to finish cleaning up my underlying file before I request that.

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Why are you focusing so much energy on rental records? Almost a year in advance, you're not open to purchasing a condo, townhome, or small home? Your FICO's will take you a long way farther than any rental records might....and many home purchases are going to save you money.

 

Just listening to what you are saying, wondering.....

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Because it costs me nothing other than postage to request them and there's no reason not to exercise my right to a free copy of the reports? No reason to allow a rude surprise to happen.

 

Purchase vs. renting, well, part of that is personal preference, not wanting to deal with maintenance/repair; when you rent and it breaks you make a phone call and it's fixed. Part is already having a foot out the door of my current city, not seeing myself here more than five or six years......

 

Finally, it's New Orleans, below sea level, hurricanes and all that. Third floor apartment means no chance of flooding and no attachment/investment in the structure. If it's condemned I pack up my stuff and move somewhere else.

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