Rental Scoring & Your Rental Application
Many landlords rely upon “Rental Scores” to estimate the relative financial risk of leasing an apartment to you. In addition to estimating risk, rental scores are an objective and consistent way of reviewing relevant applicant information, and help speed the application approval process.
How is my rental score determined?
Rental scoring systems assign points to certain factors identified as having a statistical correlation to future financial lease performance. Your rental score results from a mathematical analysis of information found in your credit report, application, and previous rental history. Such information may include your bill-paying history, the number and type of accounts you have, collection actions, outstanding debt, income, and the number of inquiries in your consumer report. The final number, or rental score, represents an estimated level of risk as compared to the performance of other consumers in a range of scores.
Because your rental score is based upon real data and statistics, it is more reliable than subjective methods of evaluating your information. Rental scoring treats all applicants consistently and impartially. Additionally, your rental score never uses certain characteristics like-- race, color, sex, familial status, handicap, national origin, or religion-- as factors.
How is my rental score used?
Rental decisions are based upon how much risk a landlord is prepared to accept. Each landlord, therefore, sets the minimum score required for approval of an application. It is possible for your rental score to yield different results depending upon where you apply. Your rental score might mean a denial at one property, while the same score might be approved at another. It all depends upon the risk a landlord is prepared to accept.
What can I do to improve my rental score?
Your rental score may change if the underlying information it is based upon changes. The total improvement, however, generally depends on how that factor relates to other factors considered by the scoring system. Nevertheless, to improve your rental score, concentrate on paying your bills on time, paying down outstanding balances, and not taking on new debt. Your chances of approval should also improve if you apply for an apartment with lower monthly rent.
Where can I have my score explained?
Should your application be denied based upon your rental score, you can learn which factors most negatively influenced your score by contacting the consumer reporting agency listed below. Additionally, you can obtain a free copy of your consumer report, if you make the request to the consumer reporting agency within 60 days of the denial.