A credit report is one of the most valuable tools in your tenant screening arsenal. Despite all the helpful details a credit report offers though, it’s only beneficial if it contains truthful and accurate information.
Unfortunately, fraudulent reports are more common than you may think.
For this reason, it’s important to know your source of information when conducting tenant credit checks. Here’s how independent providers like SingleKey can help you effectively screen rental applicants and avoid rental fraud schemes.
The importance of tenant credit checks and credit report verification
With today’s technology, it takes minimal time and effort to forge the documents required for a rental application.
A wide range of software applications and DIY templates are available online that allow anyone to create all kinds of fake documents. These include a driver’s licence, pay stub, bank statement, and, of course, a credit report. The growing prevalence of AI tools like ChatGPT also makes writing fake reference letters a breeze.
You can spot fake rental application documents if you know what to look for, but that requires extra steps and manual effort. The other option is to run your tenant credit checks with third-party services and get your credit reports from a reliable source like SingleKey.
A credit report that comes directly from Equifax
All the financial data found in SingleKey’s Tenant Report comes directly from Equifax, one of Canada’s two largest consumer credit reporting agencies. Therefore, you can be confident that the information comes from a trusted source.
The Tenant Report has a “Date generated” field at the top right-hand corner, which helps you know when the applicant’s information was pulled and if that data is current.
Once you order your report, it’s delivered to you directly—never to any other individual. You can rest easy knowing that no one has tampered with it. After submitting a few details about your applicant, you’ll receive the report within minutes in your SingleKey account.
The Tenant Report includes a wealth of financial details about your applicant, such as:
- Credit score
- Total balance owing on each loan
- Credit limits for credit cards and lines of credit
- Past due amounts
- Late payments
- Total monthly payment amounts
- Percentage of available credit used
- List of creditors
- Credit inquiries
- List of accounts in collections
- Court judgments
Helping landlords verify an applicant’s information
With SingleKey’s Tenant Report, you gain access to relevant details about your applicant directly from dependable sources. As a result, you can cross-reference these facts with the information they submitted on the rental application form.
Here are some details you can verify about applicants using the Tenant Report:
When conducting tenant credit checks through SingleKey, you can request that the applicant upload a form of government-issued identification. By doing so, you can confirm if they are who they say they are. You can also review the Equifax credit report section to view their full legal name and date of birth.
Pro Tip: Check the applicant’s ID when you meet them in person during the property viewing. If their ID was digitally altered, it’s unlikely they went through the trouble of modifying the physical document.
Previous and current addresses
The Equifax portion of the Tenant Report contains addresses of the tenant’s current and past residences. You can easily compare this information with the details they provided on their application form.
Pro Tip: If there’s a mismatch between the information on the credit report and the details provided on the rental application, that’s a red flag that you should investigate further.
The Tenant Report scans thousands of publicly available databases to retrieve information about your potential tenant. These may include details about their employment history. The Equifax credit section also lists their current employer.
Pro Tip: Much like the addresses of previous residences, you can use the data from the report to check for discrepancies between the information in the Tenant Report and the rental application form.
Our final thoughts
A credit report is a valuable document to use when performing tenant credit checks. It provides a detailed snapshot of their financial stability, allowing you to assess their ability to keep up with rent payments.
Remember to take precautions to ensure the credit reports you receive are reliable, accurate, and timely. The sad reality is that there are plenty of ways to falsify credit reports.
With dependable third-party sources like SingleKey, you’ll get a comprehensive credit check courtesy of Equifax. It’s delivered directly to you, so there’s no chance for anyone to alter it beforehand.
The data in the Tenant Report is also accurate and current, so you can rely on it to confirm your applicant’s identity, verify their employment history, and check their landlord references. All of this arms you with the best information to make an informed decision when you select your new tenant.