Could late rent payments or problems with a landlord be in my credit report?

Answer:

Yes. At least one of the big three consumer reporting agencies, Experian, uses rental payment and collection information in its credit reports. But Experian’s data currently only covers a small portion of rental properties.

There are also specialty consumer reporting agencies that compile information just for landlords to help them decide who they rent to. These agencies collect information such as your name, previous addresses, amount of time at each residence, and payment history records from your past landlords.

Just like with the big three consumer reporting agencies, you can get free copies of your reports every 12 months from many of the specialty consumer reporting agencies. Other specialty consumer reporting agencies may be able to charge you a fee for your report. Keep in mind that not every agency will have information about everyone.

You have to request the reports individually from each reporting agency. We’ve put together a list of some of these specialty consumer reporting agencies, along with some information about how you can obtain copies of your reports.

A consumer reporting agency, including a specialty agency, must also give you a free copy of your consumer report upon request if you have received an “adverse action” notice.

Example: Let’s say a landlord turns you down for a rental based, or partly based, on a consumer report. This is an example of an “adverse action.” The landlord must provide you with an “adverse action” notice that includes the name and contact information of the consumer reporting agency from which the landlord got the consumer report.

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