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There is no official record of the average credit score of a renter.
This is because renters are not required to report this the same way a homebuyer would submit to a credit check.
Searching around I found some great resources to show what a good credit score for a tenant is. Some even specify what a good score for the rental industry is. But seeing that we have all this data at RentPrep just laying around, I figured we’d share. If anything it will give a unique perspective of what we see at a tenant screening company that looks at credit scores all day, every day.
Tenant Credit Score Minimum
This is going to be based largely on two factors. Your location of the rental and the quality of the rental. These two factors play a major role in the price of the rental as well. If a rental is in a bad location and is in bad condition you’re not going to be looking for 650+ credit scores. You’ll need to lower your credit score minimum for that apartment. However, if you have a higher end rental in a good neighborhood you can have a minimum tenant credit score of 700+
Tenant Credit Score Ranges
These numbers are based on the data we have here at RentPrep. We run thousands of credit checks every month and this is a result of our findings.
Understand that this is not based on all renters, but it is based on renters of landlords who run background checks.
This is the exact average score we have seen in one year of data among all of the reports we’ve completed. This means if the score is less than 649, it should be at least a little concerning.
673 – 699
According to an article from credit.com, the “average” credit score of Americans in 2016 was 673 for Vantage scoring model and a 699 for a FICO model. Keep in mind that this is not industry-specific, it takes into account everybody and not just renters. Renters statistically have a lower credit score than homeowners.
According to Time.com the most at-risk demographic, Adults 18-29, have an average score of 652. So if your prospective tenant has a credit score anywhere near 500 you should be very concerned.
Insufficient Credit on a Credit Report
More often than not, a designation of Insufficient Credit means that the tenant does not have enough tradelines or credit impacting accounts. The most frequent situations we see this is with students or younger people, older people with no credit activity in years (family is taking care of them) and a spouse who has nothing in their name.
How to get the tenant’s credit score
We offer two services that provide tenant credit score information. Our credit check is a pass/fail based system that provides you a range to choose from. This does not provide the specific credit score.
We also offer our SmartMove reports for those that would like to see the specific credit score with a full credit report.
Credit score is an important factor but should not be the only consideration when choosing tenants. I’d rather rent to a tenant with a bad credit score and no evictions vs. a great credit score and 2 evictions within the past year.
What is a good credit score for renting?
Anyone with a credit score over 670 or higher is already at or above the national average for Americans. A good credit scoring for renting is going to be less compared to a good score for buying a home. So if you’re renter has a score of 670 or higher that’s a very good credit score for most rentals. Most landlords are looking for a score somewhere between 600 – 650 since renters don’t have the credit history of making mortgage payments to boost their credit score.