Landlords Can Share Credit Reports with Tenants

CAPS - Report Access

Through April 20, 2022, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax will offer all U.S. consumers free weekly credit reports through AnnualCreditReport.com to help you protect your financial health during the sudden and unprecedented hardship caused by COVID-19.

Dear Experian,

Can a landlord show a prospective tenant a copy of their credit report? Can a landlord give a prospective tenant a copy of their credit report?

- REB

Dear REB,

A landlord can show a tenant their credit report, and can give it to them. If they decline an application based on the report, they must disclose the significant factors in the report that influenced their decision. But, when a landlord or other business gives consumers a copy of the report they receive, the result is most often confusion and frustration.

Instead, I recommend the landlord give you instructions for getting your personal report directly from Experian.

The report a business receives is most often coded for computer processing, abbreviates lender names, and organizes the information according to the landlord's or lender's specifications.

It actually has less information in it than the report you receive. For example, the business report does not include all of the inquiries that an individual will see nor additional information such as when a negative item will be deleted or contact information for an account.

A key reason for getting your personal report is that it is formatted to be easy to read and understand. It is also in the same format that Experian's representatives will use in assisting you, and every entry is numbered. Your issues can be clearly identified and communicated because Experian will be working with exactly the same format as you are viewing. That helps Experian provide faster, better service for you.

Most important is that getting a report directly from Experian is the necessary first step for receiving assistance with any disputes or questions you may have. Once you have your personal report you can go online or call the automated phone line and enter the report number provided to you.

In most cases your personal report is free. You can get a complimentary copy once every 12 months through www.annualcreditreport.com.

Your personal report is also free if you have had adverse action taken, such as not being approved for the apartment lease. You can get a free report if you are or have reason to believe you may be a fraud victim. You can also get a free report if you are unemployed and seeking a job, or if you receive welfare assistance. Some state laws also enable their citizens to get one or more free reports each year.

You can request your report for any of these reasons at Experian's Report Access. You will be advised of the fee for your state, if applicable.

Thanks for asking.
The "Ask Experian" team

The purpose of this question submission tool is to provide general education on credit reporting. The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team may include it in a future post and may also share responses in its social media outreach. If you have a question, others likely have the same question, too. By sharing your questions and our answers, we can help others as well.

Personal credit report disputes cannot be submitted through Ask Experian. To dispute information in your personal credit report, simply follow the instructions provided with it. Your personal credit report includes appropriate contact information including a website address, toll-free telephone number and mailing address.

To submit a dispute online visit Experian's Dispute Center. If you have a current copy of your personal credit report, simply enter the report number where indicated, and follow the instructions provided. If you do not have a current personal report, Experian will provide a free copy when you submit the information requested. Additionally, you may obtain a free copy of your report once a week through April 2022 at AnnualCreditReport.