Credit checks are an important part of the rental process. In this blog, the CH Living team shares information on credit checks and answers commonly asked tenant questions during the pre-approval process!
Commonly Asked Questions for Credit Checks
Why do rental companies or landlords do a credit check?
Credit checks are performed to ensure that a prospective tenant can afford the rental fee. It’s important for both the tenant and the landlord. Financially overcommitting puts undue stress on the tenant, while recouping rent is how the landlord ensures their investment is viable and funds are available to maintain properties.
Will this credit check hurt my credit score?
At CH Living, we do soft credit checks rather than hard credit checks. What is the difference? Soft inquiries are when a rental company does a background check for pre-approval purposes. Hard inquiries are when you apply for credit from a financial institution. This may take the form of a loan, credit card, or mortgage.
Soft inquiries DO NOT damage your score.
CH Living’s rental department only performs soft credit checks, so prospective tenants can be verified without the individual having to worry about their credit score being affected.
What if I have poor credit?
There are risk factors involved for landlords and rental companies when an individual has a poor credit rating. An applicant’s credit history is an indicator as to whether the individual has the financial means to rent a property. However; once the credit rating is known, the rental team can decide whether there were factors that contributed to the poor rating and if steps have been taken to rectify the situation. So, a poor credit rating doesn’t necessarily mean that a tenant will be excluded from a rental opportunity. There are also other factors that are taken into account when CH Living’s rental team assesses a potential client. This can include checking an applicant’s rental references with previous landlords.
“Life happens and many landlords understand that. If you feel comfortable doing so, share your situation with the potential landlord, giving a brief explanation of why your credit is poor (e.g. relationship breakdown), but assure him or her that you will pay the rent. Be careful to not disclose too much personal information,” Community Services from the Region of Waterloo.
How do I know if I have good credit?
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) provides information on services that provide free online credit scores, plus additional useful information on credit reports including ways to improve your credit score. A simple way to build your credit score is to make monthly rent payments on time. This demonstrates the responsibility to pay rent consistently.
The CH Living team is always available to answer questions related to the rental process during regular business hours.
This blog is from the view of CH Living. Please note that various landlords and rental companies may conduct hard credit checks or adopt different procedures throughout the rental process.