Author: Alex Delaney
Credit Repair Agencies abound in this time of advanced technology and easily accessed information. Many agencies have formed specifically to work with people on improving their credit scores. Some of these agencies use valid strategies to do so. Others are scammers who take risky tenants’ money and provide false information to landlords. Knowing the difference between the two can save a landlord heartache and thousands of dollars in eviction and turnover costs.
Good credit repair companies use several strategies to help raise credit scores, although many of their strategies are good common sense. People with poor credit can take many of the steps themselves without paying a premium. For more information on good credit repair strategies, see our post: How To Improve Your Credit Rating.
Bad credit repair companies make up the information for their clients, including work histories, landlord verification forms, credit reports based on the wrong social security numbers, and other strategies. Some of the more skilled companies even have to call back numbers with staff who verify the false information. Weeding through these unscrupulous actors takes skill, experience, and attention to detail. Our property managers are more than up to the task, they relish the opportunity and even keep a file of false information.
Scams and Things to Watch Out For:
Our eagle-eyed staff is veterans at detecting credit scams. One glaring issue we’ve come across is pay stubs. The internet is full of programs that help create false forms. While I won’t go into details that might give information to potential scammers, there are specific rules about tax information that jumps out at experienced researchers.
Prospects who avoid submitting social security cards or driver’s licenses should have their credit information carefully scrutinized. Fake social security numbers and creating a new credit identity are a favorite strategy for credit agencies to use in helping a prospect with bad credit get into a property or loan. They also offer EINs, or Employer Identification Numbers, for the same purpose. This is a fraud and illegal. To avoid falling for this, always verify social security numbers and make sure names and birthdates match on all forms.
Credit scam agencies encourage their clients to get added as an authorized user on another person’s credit cards. This allows their clients the benefit of good credit, without the work, by skewing their credit score upward, making them look like a better prospect than they are.
Tenants with poor credit histories are more likely to default on their rental obligations. Screening out bad tenants is an art and a science. Make sure your prospects are carefully screened and avoid the dangers of bad actors and drawn out evictions.