What is it and how will it affect my rental opportunities?

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You may know what apartments mean when they say they are checking your credit, but just in case, we’ll start with the basics

What is ‘Credit’?

Сredit is the ability of a customer to obtain goods or services before payment, based on the trust that payment will be made in the future. i.e. "I've got unlimited credit"

So What does that mean?

In the simplest terms, whenever you borrow money from a bank or open a new credit card, store card or sign a lease you are creating a line of ‘Credit’ with that company. They are going to give you money or goods or a place to live based on your promise to pay for it in time. They will likely give you a minimum monthly payment, or in the case of a lease you have rent. Making that payment in full on time is very important to your ‘Credit Score’.

Your ‘Credit Score’ is a score that shows other companies how well you have managed the credit that you have been given.

Currently in the United States three companies create these credit scores -Equifax, TransUnion and Experian . They track things like payment history, how much of your available credit you are using, and the length of your credit history. For example if American Express gave you a limit of $3000, and you have a balance of $1500, then you have used 50% of the credit available to you. If you make your payments on time, use only a small percentage of the credit available to you and maintain that credit for many years, your credit score will be higher.  Higher is better.

Your ‘FICO Score’ is a combination of the scores provided by Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. A high score indicates a low credit risk. People with a high FICO Score have an easier time getting credit, they often get lower interest rates and are extended more credit. Here’s how credit scores are viewed by apartment properties and rental
landlords. Credit Score Infographic. Just delete this whole sentence since we never created a Credit Score Infographic

Here’s a 15 minute tutorial on credit

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Want to Check

Your Credit?

Austin Apartments Now offers tools for you to use to check your credit before conducting your Austin apartment search. We have provided a list of credit resources that may aid you before starting your Austin apartment search. Austin Apartments Now has provided links to the necessary resources that can help you. Find credit resources and credit reports with Austin Apartments Now.

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