recommend a online background/credit check service

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recommend a online background/credit check service

Postby southwest_stacker » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:44 pm

We are going to be renting out a house soon and are looking for a good online service to do a credit/background check. This is in Texas. Any recommendations?
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Re: recommend a online background/credit check service

Postby CyberBob » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:14 pm

Someone on the Clark Howard radio show recently asked the same question. He recommended landlord.com

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Re: recommend a online background/credit check service

Postby Jessica S » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:36 am

It is more difficult and more expensive than one might think. If you find a good service please post it here.
I simply ask prospective tenants for permission to run a credit check and then observe their reactions. I also say,"bad credit might not necessarily prevent us from renting to you. Is there anything we're going to see on your credit report that you wish to explain beforehand?" This generally prompts them to disclose problems so that I often don't even need to run a credit check. One couple explained that they'd had to do a short sale and it had ruined their credit. I decided to rent to them, knowing that they would probably be long-term tenants since they didn't have the resources to buy another house. They are very grateful we decided to take a chance on them and have been excellent tenants thus far.
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Re: recommend a online background/credit check service

Postby Alskar » Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:47 am

southwest_stacker wrote:We are going to be renting out a house soon and are looking for a good online service to do a credit/background check. This is in Texas. Any recommendations?

I've been using Tenant Verification Service or TVS (http://www.tenantverification.com/) for over 10 years now with no issues. TVS allows me to report tenant pay habits to the credit agencies. I tell prospective tenants in advance that I will be doing this. TVS provides a disclosure form to make it official. That form seems to screen out the folks that are hoping that a small scale landlord won't check up on them.

TVS supplies lots of forms as well, including the form authorizing me to check their credit, criminal background, and rental history. The cost for the screens I run is around $45. I charge an application fee to cover this expense.

TVS usually responds with a report within a few hours which makes prospective renters quite happy.

I've had great success with TVS. I haven't found any reason to change services.
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Re: recommend a online background/credit check service

Postby katnok » Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:27 am

I have a general question.
What are the specific reasons for checking credit history of a prospective tenant? Will a low score deter you from renting or are you more interested in checking their bill payment history?
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Re: recommend a online background/credit check service

Postby southwest_stacker » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:38 pm

katnok wrote:I have a general question.
What are the specific reasons for checking credit history of a prospective tenant? Will a low score deter you from renting or are you more interested in checking their bill payment history?


Not necessarily just the score but what is on there. A credit history will also show what outstanding debts they have which can help me determine if they can afford the rent. Assuming the same income levels If someone was relatively debt free they could afford to pay the rent a lot better than someone up to their eyeballs in debt.

Also I want to see their bill payment history. I am going to be counting on them to pay me on time each month. If they have a good history of paying other things odds are I am going to get paid. If they have defaulted on everything they have ever signed up for then I may have problems getting paid.

Nothing is for sure but you can look at this stuff to make a better guess on how good of a tenant someone will be.
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Re: recommend a online background/credit check service

Postby rogermexico » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:53 pm

For rental property you can get set up to run credit checks (with Transunion only) through AOA/mrlandlord.com service. A one time inspection is required to verify that you're running a rental property business... lots of paperwork and a visit to your "office" where they ensure that you have a shredder and locking file cabinet. If you want Experian or Equifax you need an office inspection every year. Cost per online credit check is $9.95 and on-time inspection is around $40.
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Re: recommend a online background/credit check service

Postby katnok » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:15 am

southwest_stacker wrote:
katnok wrote:I have a general question.
What are the specific reasons for checking credit history of a prospective tenant? Will a low score deter you from renting or are you more interested in checking their bill payment history?


Not necessarily just the score but what is on there. A credit history will also show what outstanding debts they have which can help me determine if they can afford the rent. Assuming the same income levels If someone was relatively debt free they could afford to pay the rent a lot better than someone up to their eyeballs in debt.

Also I want to see their bill payment history. I am going to be counting on them to pay me on time each month. If they have a good history of paying other things odds are I am going to get paid. If they have defaulted on everything they have ever signed up for then I may have problems getting paid.

Nothing is for sure but you can look at this stuff to make a better guess on how good of a tenant someone will be.

Thanks, southwest_stacker!
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Re: recommend a online background/credit check service

Postby Alskar » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:15 pm

rogermexico wrote:For rental property you can get set up to run credit checks (with Transunion only) through AOA/mrlandlord.com service. A one time inspection is required to verify that you're running a rental property business... lots of paperwork and a visit to your "office" where they ensure that you have a shredder and locking file cabinet. If you want Experian or Equifax you need an office inspection every year. Cost per online credit check is $9.95 and on-time inspection is around $40.

Tenant Verification Service (TVS) has a program that avoids the onsite inspection requirement. They don't supply a credit score or credit history. Instead they supply a "credit decision report". This report assigns a letter grade (A-F) to the prospective tenant's credit history. I only rent to renters that get an grade of "A" from TVS.

Since I only have one rental unit (mother-in-law apartment in the basement of my house), the expense of the onsite inspection would be onerous.
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Re: recommend a online background/credit check service

Postby travelnut11 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:38 pm

I just used this Transunion service for the first time this week and was happy with it. $25 for a credit/criminal background check and no need for an inspection. It does require some savvy on the part of the tenant as they need to electronically confirm that they give permission for me to check their credit. Since I do checks very infrequently for the other half of my duplex I rent out this seemed like a great option for me and it worked well.

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