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Healthy Credit Habits for Renters

Whether you’re renting or buying, having a good credit record is essential to ensuring that your housing options are not limited.
Registered Credit Bereaus, such as TPN, assist landlords and managing agents in screening prospective tenants by assessing their credit performance. This is done to determine whether they are likely to pay their rent in full and on time given their payment history, and is often the most important determining factor in selecting a prospective tenant.
Landlords want to be assured that their investment is sound. For this reason, adopting good credit habits is a necessary improvement and one that doesn’t require drastic life changes.

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Pay in Full and On Time

Be responsible and committed to improving your credit score by meeting your payment obligations. Pay your monthly installments in full on or before the due date every month. To avoid missing a payment and the late fees and judgments incurred, set up automatic payments or at the very least alerts to notify you that specific payments need to be made. It is important to remember that late payments will reflect on your credit report and future landlords will view them as poor credit performance. The same applies should you wish to apply for a loan.
Prioritise your expenses so that those of highest importance are paid first, for example; rent, credit cards etc. Wherever and whenever possible pay more than necessary. This will reduce what you owe and serve to pay off the installments or debt faster. Taking proactive steps in settling your accounts will reflect well on your credit report and improve your credit score.

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Credit Cards

Although credit cards are useful for “serious” purchases, spending should be controlled and limited to necessities. Only buy what you are certain you are able to repay – in short know your borrowing and payback power, and commit to a payback plan with a set time frame. It’s advisable to keep credit balances low. A good example to follow is to keep the balance below 30% of the card’s limit, and not to max it out. Landlords and managing agents want to be assured that you are capable of exercising control in your spending and managing your financial situation.
Regular statement reviewing will ensure that you remain on top of your spending and committed to your payback plan.

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Credit Accounts

Avoid creating new debt by opening too many credit accounts and taking on more than you are able to pay back. Open new accounts only when necessary, and instead focus on repaying and closing your existing accounts.

Adopting healthy credit habits will positively affect your credit rating and better how future landlords see your credit performance.