Feb 10, 2011

First-Time Homebuyers -- Could Your Landlord Ruin Your Credit Score?

If you're renting now, and planning to buy, you need to read this new article by Attorney Janet Portman -- particularly if you've got a difficult landlord, and may have to withhold rent payments anytime soon.

The long and short of it is that Experian, one of the three major credit reporting agencies, has implemented a new program that allows some landlords (particularly those with a lot of properties) to regularly report their tenants' payment records. All very well and good for the tenants who always pay on time, but not so great for those who don't -- even if the nonpayment was for perfectly legal reasons.

A positive credit history and score is crucial when trying to line up financing to buy a home. So unless you're one of the lucky few who plans to pay all in cash (rumor has it they exist), keeping your score high should be tops on your priority list. For more advice on that, see Nolo's article on "Credit Scoring."