Let's say you have managed to stay away from credit cards, bank accounts, and payday loans. It's quite unusual, but nowadays there are plenty of financial products, like prepaid debit cards that are especially designed for the underbanked-gee, I hate that industry term! Think you will be able to stay under the radar? Think again!
Even though traditional credit bureaus and alternative bureaus won't have much information about you beyond your address and social security number, there are still some agencies that dedicate themselves specifically to putting you on the map-so to speak.
You can run, but you can't hide. Why? Because even though you can live without a credit card or bank account, you will still need the roof over your head. Your prospective landlord will want to know more about you, simply because they want to know that you are unlikely to stiff them with a few months of the unpaid rent. And guess what-there are agencies that know or at least claim to know these kinds of things about you.
Tenant Screening Agencies
Contemporary Information Corporation
CIC does more than just tenant screening. They also check judicial records and offer traditional credit reports, as well. But tenant screening is their core product. They have even designed their own proprietary tenant-scoring system. This is what they say about it.
CIC is also known for our unique rental scoring system - the CrosXscore decision model. You hand select the criteria that best suits your company and our system will identify whether each applicant is approved, conditional, or denied. You can even apply this decision on up to 4 applicant's at once and receive a combined decision based on the results!
CoreLogic is a huge alternative credit and collection agency that does a lot of different things. It's SafeRent reports covers tenant-landlord relationships.
CoreLogic SafeRent is a consumer reporting agency that provides information to the multi-family housing industry and to employers. Housing providers may obtain your consumer report to assist them in making leasing decisions. Employers may obtain your consumer report to assist them in making employment decisions.
First Advantage Resident History Report
First Advantage is another company that provides a plethora of different reports-including tenant screening. Their resident-screening program even won an award last year, although why would any of us care about it, right?
The linked website gives very clear instructions on how to get your free consumer report.
Leasing Desk is a company that offers services for landlords and renters alike. To tenants, they offer rental insurance, which is something that very few people have (and more people should at least know about). In terms of their tenant screening, this is what they do.
LeasingDesk advanced resident screening technology helps owners and managers improve profitability through ledger-level integration, the industry's largest rental payment history database, and the most in-depth criminal background and rental credit checks. Its empirical scoring engine returns a single-score result in a "pass-fail" format-based on credit, criminal, sex offender, rental history, evictions, and predictive end-of-lease cost—in just seconds.
Tenant Data Services
Unlike other service, Tenant Data does only tenant screening. Here is what they have to say about their services.
Tenant Data has been in the business of providing applicant screening services to the rental industry since 1992. We offer a variety of consumer information to make your decisions easier, faster, and more profitable.
Tenant Data is designed to provide information not only on your applicant's payment histories, but also on their personal suitability as a potential resident [bolding mine]. Both large property management companies and private landlords are reporting this critical information to our database.
Want to know what personal suitability means? I wish I could help you. Let's hope you will never have to find out.
This is a post by Andy Shuman, a credit and travel expert who blogs at www.Lazytravelers.net. He writes and blogs during and between trips that he enjoys free of charge mostly due to creative use of credit card offers. He believes that credit cards are much more than just a convenient way to pay for a purchase, and that the benefits of responsible credit habits can go far beyond getting the best rates for loans and mortgages.
Andy is the author of bestselling books from Lazy Traveler Handbook Series available on Amazon. When he's not traveling, he lives with his beautiful wife and daughter in Brooklyn, NY.
Questions? Suggestions? Keep them coming!
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