Violating Rental Agreement Could Ruin Your Credit

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Dear Experian,

Could a violation of a rental agreement ruin my credit even though I don't owe any rent?

- MST

Dear MST,

Breaking your rental agreement could certainly hurt your credit, if not ruin it.

If your rental agreement includes fees or penalties associated with breaking the contract, failure to pay those amounts could appear in both your rental and credit histories.

For instance, if your rental agreement states that you must pay rent for a certain number of months in order to break your lease, or if there are other penalties or charges assessed, non-payment could result in the account being sold to collections. The collection agency could then choose to report your delinquent account to the credit reporting companies.

Even if the account does not appear on your credit report, it would likely appear in tenant screening reports, which would affect your ability to qualify for a new lease.

Therefore, it is best to avoid having to break your lease if at all possible. If you must break your lease, be prepared to pay any fees charged as a result.

Request documentation showing that you have met all your obligations, and keep records of any payments made after your agreement is terminated.

Thanks for asking.
The "Ask Experian" team

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