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Opinion Editorials

Cheapskates and Credit- How to Handle Credit Reports

2596261992_d97889472eFor those of you that do rentals, credit reports are a necessary part of the experience.

But, be very careful.

According to federal law, you cannot run credit for a client then give it to anyone…..even the client!

But of course, the listing agent is yelling at you that you need to run the credit because they are either cheap, lazy, ignorant or all of the above!

How do you solve the problem?  Here are two ideas.

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1. Get a written agreement with the listing agent that you will be paid your commission and then send them a form signed by your client authorizing the Listing Agent or the Landlord to run the credit.

Easy solution and you are completely out of the picture.

2. Have your client get their credit report for FREE at  The government required the credit companies to provide this site so people can see what’s going and dispute anything for free.

They can download their credit as a pdf.

What does not do is get you a free credit score.

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Ah, but there is a solution for that! will give you a FREE credit score!

Make that a pdf too and then add both to a secure site (like googledocs) and then send the Landord or listing agent the link for their viewing.

Hey, wait a second.  You can do this before you even meet with a rental or a sale client so they can see how their credit is?   Genius!  That makes you Agent Genius!

Perfect!  Problem solved!

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Written By

Realty Reality! That describes Fred, a sharp witted and outspoken realist for the mortgage and real estate world who has appeared on CNBC and NPR's Marketplace along with being quoted in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets. Fred is the CEO of U S Spaces, Inc/Arrivva (a real estate brokerage firm in PA, NJ, DE and CA) and U S Loans Mortgage Inc (mortgage brokerage in PA, CA, FL and VA), and serves on the Board of Directors and is the Federal Legislative Director for the UpFront Mortgage Brokers. Fred is also the co-creator of real estate startup, a mathematically driven rental search engine. See everything Fred at



  1. stephanie crawford

    December 16, 2009 at 4:01 am

    This rocks. I was unaware of I’m going to start using this with my buyers.

  2. MIssy Caulk

    December 16, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Yep, that is exactly what we do.
    They either sign for the us or the listing agent to pull, or they do it themselves and bring it.

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