FAQs 2018-02-02T15:49:19+00:00

FAQs

Below you can find a list of our most frequently asked questions relating to tenant screening services, credit reports, and TenantReports.com.

Click on the Question to Expand the Answer!

What’s the difference between a credit freeze and a fraud alert? 2018-01-09T19:33:38+00:00

A credit freeze locks down your credit. A fraud alert allows creditors to get a copy of your credit report as long as they take steps to verify your identity. For example, if you provide a telephone number, the business must call you to verify whether you are the person making the credit request. Fraud alerts may be effective at stopping someone from opening new credit accounts in your name, but they may not prevent the misuse of your existing accounts. You still need to monitor all bank, credit card and insurance statements for fraudulent transactions.

Three types of fraud alerts are available:

  • Initial Fraud Alert. If you’re concerned about identity theft, but haven’t yet become a victim, this fraud alert will protect your credit from unverified access for at least 90 days. You may want to place a fraud alert on your file if your wallet, Social Security card, or other personal, financial or account information are lost or stolen.
  • Extended Fraud Alert. For victims of identity theft, an extended fraud alert will protect your credit for seven years.
  • Active Duty Military Alert. For those in the military who want to protect their credit while deployed, this fraud alert lasts for one year.

To place a fraud alert on your credit reports, contact one of the nationwide credit reporting companies. A fraud alert is free. The company you call must tell the other credit reporting companies; they, in turn, will place an alert on their versions of your report.

How do I lift a freeze? 2018-01-09T19:32:40+00:00

In a few states, credit freezes expire after seven years. In the vast majority of states, a freeze remains in place until you ask the credit reporting company to temporarily lift it or remove it altogether. A credit reporting company must lift a freeze no later than three business days after getting your request. The cost to lift a freeze varies by state.

If you opt for a temporary lift because you are applying for credit or a job, and you can find out which credit reporting company the business will contact for your file, you can save some money by lifting the freeze only at that particular company.

How do I place a freeze on my credit reports? 2018-01-09T19:32:12+00:00

Contact each of the nationwide credit reporting companies:

You’ll need to supply your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information. Fees vary based on where you live, but commonly range from $5 to $10.

After receiving your freeze request, each credit reporting company will send you a confirmation letter containing a unique PIN (personal identification number) or password. Keep the PIN or password in a safe place. You will need it if you choose to lift the freeze.

Can anyone see my credit report if it is frozen? 2018-01-09T19:31:12+00:00

Certain entities still will have access to it.

  • your report can be released to your existing creditors or to debt collectors acting on their behalf.
  • government agencies may have access in response to a court or administrative order, a subpoena, or a search warrant.
Does a credit freeze stop prescreened credit offers? 2018-01-09T19:30:44+00:00

No. If you want to stop getting prescreened offers of credit, call 888-5OPTOUT (888-567-8688) or go online. The phone number and website are operated by the nationwide credit reporting companies. You can opt out for five years or permanently. However, some companies send offers that are not based on prescreening, and your federal opt-out right will not stop those kinds of solicitations.

As you consider opting out, you should know that prescreened offers can provide many benefits, especially if you are in the market for a credit card or insurance. Prescreened offers can help you learn about what’s available, compare costs, and find the best product for your needs. Because you are pre-selected to receive the offer, you can be turned down only under limited circumstances. The terms of prescreened offers also may be more favorable than those that are available to the general public. In fact, some credit card or insurance products may be available only through prescreened offers.

Does a credit freeze affect my credit score? 2018-01-09T19:29:37+00:00

No. A credit freeze does not affect your credit score.

A credit freeze also does not:

  • prevent you from getting your free annual credit report
  • keep you from opening a new account, applying for a job, renting an apartment, or buying insurance. But if you’re doing any of these, you’ll need to lift the freeze temporarily, either for a specific time or for a specific party, say, a potential landlord or employer. The cost and lead times to lift a freeze vary, so it’s best to check with the credit reporting company in advance.
  • prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts. You still need to monitor all bank, credit card and insurance statements for fraudulent transactions.
What is a credit freeze? 2018-01-09T19:28:50+00:00

Also known as a security freeze, this tool lets you restrict access to your credit report, which in turn makes it more difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. That’s because most creditors need to see your credit report before they approve a new account. If they can’t see your file, they may not extend the credit.

My applicant was approved / denied for the apartment, Can I give them a copy of the report? 2017-10-30T15:35:00+00:00

NO.

Our system gives you the ability to print denial letters and approval letters. Only when your applicant is denied may they receive a copy of the report used in the decision. Give your applicant a denial letter, which they will fax, mail or email TenantReports.com. We will take it from there and mail them a free copy of their report.

My applicant is claiming discrepancies in their tenant report and would like a copy of the credit report for their reference; do I need to supply them with a copy? 2017-10-30T15:33:08+00:00

All tenant reports requested through TENANTREPORTS.COM are for our members to review to make a rental decision only. These reports are NOT available to distribute to the applicant. Applicants can get a free annual credit report through the Fair Credit Reporting Act once a year by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. At this site they can dispute all discrepancies with the three bureaus and have the ability to make a permanent change to their credit report.

Why would I need to request the more costly County Criminal Record when I can just request a State or Nationwide Criminal Record? 2017-10-30T15:32:41+00:00

For rural counties and applicants with very common names (i.e. John Smith) we recommend County Criminal checks for the most accurate verification when screening tenants. Some rural counties do not report at the state or national level local prosecutions and minor offenses. In addition, common names could create a situation for a false positive, since these checks are based on the name and address supplied by the applicant. It is imperative that “HITS” are verified before making a decision.

Where can I find an authorization form for my applicant to sign? 2018-01-23T20:19:49+00:00
If I am denying an applicant, where can I find a formatted denial letter? 2017-10-30T15:31:57+00:00

Denial letters can be found on the report results page under disclosures and forms.

Why does my Pass/Fail Scorecard state “Pending Review”? 2017-10-30T15:30:25+00:00

No monthly income or rent has been entered. Please give us a call to correct it.

What is an SSN Verification? 2018-01-24T21:25:22+00:00

SSN Verification, also called a Person Search, provides a list of names and addresses that are associated with the social security number. It is mainly used to eliminate any false positives that can occur in an eviction search. The SSN verification is not to be used for decision making and is not a valid reason for denial.

Why does my applicant not have a credit score? 2017-10-30T15:28:45+00:00

In order to receive a credit score, a person needs at least 1 trade line in good standing. If your applicant does not have a credit score, they may not have any credit history or all of their trade lines may be in collection or delinquency.

How do I read a credit report? 2018-01-23T20:21:17+00:00
What is referenced and referred to when processing a report? 2018-01-24T21:26:36+00:00

These fields are for your reference only. They are not required and do not need to be filled in. Anything will an asterisk (*) is required.

I clicked on next but nothing is happening. 2017-10-30T15:26:51+00:00

Please make sure all required fields are satisfied. If you are entering in a monthly income and rent, use whole numbers only. It will not accept dollar signs or decimal points.

I ran a credit report, but it’s stating “Data restricted. You do not have access to view or print a credit report.” 2017-10-30T15:26:24+00:00

Please refer to the Pass/Fail Scorecard for any credit information. You need an On-Site Inspection to view the full credit history.

I ran a report, but it has been processing for over a minute or two. 2018-01-23T20:23:45+00:00

Our team is working diligently to complete the reports. The report will complete on its own, and it is not necessary to order any report twice.

How can I edit an applicant’s information after the report has been completed? 2017-10-30T15:23:57+00:00

If any information has been entered in error, please give us a call to correct it.

I want to send a QuickApp but it is asking me for a credit card. 2017-10-30T15:23:01+00:00

You may have clicked on the wrong item. After you select a product, the QuickApp button is a green button located towards the bottom of the page.

Is there an option to charge myself for the QuickApp and to not charge my applicant? 2017-10-30T15:22:03+00:00

Yes. The reports will need your approval to process, and a payment method will need to be set up for your account.

I sent a QuickApp, but it is not under my completed/pending reports. 2017-10-30T15:21:18+00:00

Any QuickApps that you send will be under the Order tab, and then Applicant Pending.

What is a QuickApp? 2017-10-30T15:20:54+00:00

A QuickApp (quick application) is an alternate way of ordering reports. This method will send a link to your applicant where they can fill out their information, pay for the report, and the results will come back to you under your account. All you will need to collect is the applicant’s first and last name and their email address.

My credit card was declined due to an AVS mismatch. 2017-10-30T15:20:00+00:00

The billing zip code under the card does not match the one entered. Please check with your bank/creditor.

My credit card was declined. 2017-10-30T15:19:30+00:00

Try saving the report as a draft and processing it again. You may need to contact your creditor or bank to resolve the issue.

How do I update my credit card on file? 2017-10-30T15:18:59+00:00

Please give us a call to update your payment information or complete online under our “Resources” tab.

Do I have to store a credit card on file? 2017-10-30T15:18:00+00:00

A credit card is not required to be saved to your account, however, you will be prompted to enter one in manually at the time of the request. We can also have it stored on file to be charged the first of the month, or a bank account to be charged the first of the month.

What does an On-Site Inspection check for? 2017-10-30T15:12:08+00:00

•There is a brick and mortar location, i.e. physical office location not a virtual office

•This is a permissible purpose business application that credit reports can be used for (tenant screening)

•A locking filing cabinet is on location to properly store all applications, credit reports and any other sensitive information

•A shredder is on location to properly destroy any credit report information that may have been printed out

•The computer that is used to order credit reports is password protected

•Verify the building is secure with locking doors and that office location is not in a shared space

•They will take pictures of the location and any marketing material that used to make sure that it coincides with your permissible purpose

What is an On-Site Inspection? 2017-10-30T15:10:58+00:00

An On-Site Inspection is a required office inspection completed by a bureau approved licensed inspector for businesses and landlords receiving detailed credit reports. This On-Site Inspection verifies that you are in compliance with the FCRA guidelines and have the necessary security and safeguard measures in place to protect consumer credit data. There is a one-time $50 fee. The costs of the reports itself does not change.

Why do I need to send a copy of my driver’s license and professional license or proof of property ownership with the application to sign up for tenant screening? 2017-10-30T15:09:09+00:00

Tenant screening requires documented compliance. With changes to the Fair Credit Reporting act and to meet bureau compliance need both a copy of your Realtor’s license or proof of ownership and a state issued ID (driver’s license) on file with your application. We must verify client information before accounts are established in accordance with credit bureau compliance and provide a valid “permissible purpose” to receive requested information.

What is Detailed Credit Report Access? 2017-10-30T15:08:42+00:00

Our Detailed Credit Report Access service option allows you to view the entire credit report with FICO score(s) and full credit history. This option requires you to submit supporting documentation and have an On-Site Inspection of your office.

What is Standard Access? 2017-10-30T15:08:13+00:00

Our Standard Access service option allows you to access an applicant’s credit information without the need for an On-site Inspection. You will be able to order any of our background check products as well as the Pass/Fail Scorecard which will give you access to the applicant’s credit score, income to debt and rent ratios, and a list of how many trade lines your applicant has in a negative status such as collections/charge offs, delinquencies, and bankruptcy records. This option requires you to submit supporting documentation that we need for credit bureau regulation.

What is Background Only? 2017-10-30T15:06:56+00:00

Our Background Only service option allows you to have an account with us without having to submit documentation. This option does not include credit access, however you will be able to order any other product such as a criminal or eviction searches.

Is there any way I can fax or email the authorization for you to process? 2018-01-23T15:15:43+00:00

Yes, all faxes can be sent to 855-244-2401, Emails can be sent to info@TenantReports.com.

Do you offer Employment, Canadian, or Business credit reports? 2017-10-30T15:06:06+00:00

Yes, please visit our product and pricing page for more information.

Can I pull my own report? 2017-10-30T15:05:13+00:00

Our services are for tenant screening purposes only.  Anytime you process a credit report through our service, a hard inquiry is placed on the applicant’s credit. Processing reports on yourself, friends, or family will have a negative impact on their credit. If you would like a free copy of your own report, please visit: www.annualcreditreport.com.

Do I need to have the applicant sign the authorization form supplied by TenantReports.com if they have already signed a rental agreement for tenant screening? 2017-10-30T15:04:15+00:00

Every time you run a tenant report on an applicant they must sign a consent to run a background check and credit check. This consent is often found on rental applications as a line item usually at the end of the application stating they give consent with a place to sign and date. If this is NOT found on the rental application or agreement you are using then you will need to use the request authorization form available on our site. It is against the law to run a credit check on an applicant without their signed consent. Should an applicant ever dispute a report as being run without their permission, this supporting documentation will prove their authorization to release their history. Signed Applications need to be filed in a secure location such as a locked filing cabinet for five years from time of release.

How long has TenantReports.com provided tenant screening services? 2017-10-30T15:01:39+00:00

We have been providing tenant background checks, tenant screening services and tenant reports to landlords, realtors, brokers, property managers, apartment complexes and businesses since 1992.