How Does Eviction Affect Credit Scores?

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How might the eviction process affect your credit history? Our new video explores this question. [Duration - 1:20]

There are any number of reasons you may find yourself facing eviction, such as violating the agreement, criminal behavior, to name a few. Check your lease agreement as well as your state and local laws for complete information. Most evictions are due to non-payment or not paying the full amount of fees, including rent, utilities, maintenance, or other financial obligations noted in the lease agreement.

If you're worried about being evicted, you're likely wondering how eviction affects credit scores and reports.

Does an eviction show up on your credit reports?

The eviction itself won't show up on your credit reports. However, a landlord may choose to seek payment of unpaid rent by selling your debt to a collection agency. If your unpaid debt goes to collection it will show up on your credit report as an unpaid bill.

How long does an eviction stay on your record?

If a landlord uses a collection agency or sells your debt to a third party, it will appear on your credit report and may negatively impact your credit score. As with similar collection actions, this can remain on your credit report for seven years.

Is there any aid available to help prevent evictions?

If you're struggling to pay rent and fear you might be evicted, consider asking your landlord for a modified payment plan. They may be willing to accept less monthly rent for a period of time in order to avoid going through the eviction process. Just be sure to get any agreement you reach in writing.

Your landlord may also consider simply letting you out of the lease. You should generally take advantage of any option your landlord offers that avoids eviction. Although evictions won't show up on your credit reports, future landlords will be able to see your rental history. Any past evictions can make it significantly harder for you to get approved for a lease in the future.

Again, note that eviction protections vary state by state, so check your local laws for more details regarding your specific situation.

There are also nonprofits that specialize in helping people who face eviction, such as the Legal Services Corporation, which has a web page on how to find a legal aid clinic near you. There may be other organizations in your area that can guide you through your options.

How to rent with an eviction on your record

If you are wondering how an eviction affects future renting, there are a few things to know. While it won't necessarily appear as eviction on your credit report, it may appear as a collection and or a lowered credit score. That may suggest to a prospective landlord that you pose more of a risk as a tenant. The best approach when looking to rent is to rebuild your credit after an eviction, but in the interim, while you need a place to live, it's best to be prepared and work with your prospective landlord.

  • Check your credit reports.
  • Explain your situation to the landlord.
  • Use your history to your benefit.
  • Pay more up front.
  • Consider a roommate.
  • Get a cosigner.
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