Time for a Credit Reality Check

Real Estate Agent with Realty Direct Inc.

In the Washington DC Metropolitan area (DC, MD, VA), the rental market is on FIRE! There are many reasons for the surge of renters in this area:

  • new residents are relocating to the area for employment
  • former homeowners are experiencing short sales and foreclosures and need a place to rent
  • current renters do not have sufficient down payment or credit history to purchase a home
  • some people prefer to rent their homes

Whatever the reason, there are many people in the area who need help finding a rental quickly. As a result, I receive many calls from prospective tenants. When they call, I am more than happy to assist them.

As a Realtor, I have to do my due diligence and find out all of the information that will help me assist prospective tenants at the highest level.

A detailed inquiry helps me to learn more about their current financial, rental, and credit situations so I can determine the best strategy to secure a property.  It also allows me to give them a better insight as to how their property rental process will transpire.

In the state of Maryland, a landlord may legally ask for up to two times the amount of the security deposit if it is deemed to be necessary. Clients who have challenged credit histories need to know this before they begin the search.  Credit histories can determine how much money they need to bring to the table.

During the conversation, many are quick to confess their credit woes at the drop of a dime, but most do not want to take action to improve the situation.

Although they may classify their credit as bad or poor, they can not provide me with a numerical translation of their classifications. The responses I generally get are 'I don't know', 'I haven't looked at it', or 'I make enough money that credit doesn't matter'.

When I tell them that I cannot adequately represent them without knowledge of their true credit position, I often never hear from them again. 

Some clients wonder why all of the questions are necessary before an application is submitted or a property is viewed.  The answer is simple.

Many landlords have strict criteria for prospective tenants.  If a client applies for a property in which the landlord has high credit expectations, then the tenant will not be approved if the credentials fall below the expectations of the landlord.

Knowing the credit history helps me to determine which properties to show.  It saves time, money, and frustration.

It is time for a credit history reality check.  The days of burying our financial heads in the proverbial sand are long gone.  Landlords have too much at stake to play financial peek-a-boo with prospective tenants.

A credit reality check involves knowing your credit position, owning the past mistakes, and making an action plan to improve your credit standing.

As Realtors, we do not ask those questions to judge you. We want to help, but we can't help if we don't have a clear picture of your financial circumstances.  The time for action is now. 

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