A good credit score helps you get lower interest rates and fees for borrowing money. Landlords may report late payments to credit bureaus, which can hurt your credit score. Landlords generally must subscribe to a credit agency's service before they can report late rental payments. They must meet strict federal standards and tough technology safeguards to qualify for a subscription. Therefore, small landlords are less likely to subscribe and report late payments than large landlords.
Some lenders require referrals and rental payment histories from landlords when you apply for credit. Therefore, even if late rental payments do not appear on your credit report, a bad recommendation, or poor payment track record, can hurt your chances of getting a mortgage. Also, court judgments typically show up on credit reports. So, if your landlord sues you for unpaid rent and receives a judgment against you, it can show up on your credit report and lower your credit score.
Maggie Lourdes is a full-time attorney in southeast Michigan. She teaches law at Cleary University in Ann Arbor and online for National University in San Diego. Her writing has been featured in "Realtor Magazine," the N.Y. State Bar's "Health Law Journal," "Oakland County Legal News," "Michigan Probate & Estate Planning Journal," "Eye Spy Magazine" and "Surplus Today" magazine.