Does an Eviction Go on Your Credit Report? [The Complete Guide]

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Are you worried you might get evicted due to unpaid rent? Do you know what your options are after receiving an eviction letter? Read on to discover how you can prevent or at least better handle the situation.

And to those who’ve already gone through an eviction process and are worried about their credit scores and prospects of renting again: don’t lose hope. With the right information at hand, you can turn any situation around.

This guide covers the definition of eviction, does an eviction go on your credit report, when it is visible on your credit report, how long does an eviction stay on your record, among other things.

What Does Eviction Mean?

Simply put, an eviction is the removal of a tenant from a rental property. A landlord may decide to evict a tenant if the tenant has broken the formal lease agreement by, say, damaging the property, not following property rules, or being severely delinquent. Landowners can also serve an eviction notice for reasons that have nothing to do with the behavior of the tenant, such as an intention to have the property renovated or demolished, to occupy it for personal use, or to turn it into a condominium.

Did you know that of all OECD countries, the United States has the highest eviction rate, with 2.3% of all tenants having received a notice of eviction in 2016? Before the eviction moratorium, which was enacted due to the pandemic, US states with the highest and lowest eviction rates were South Carolina and Maine, with 21.1% and 0.2% respectively.

Does an Eviction Show Up on a Credit Report?

As if being forced to leave your home isn’t bad enough, the consequences of eviction can be quite unpleasant, too. The good news is that the word “eviction” will not be included on your credit report. You need to be cautious, though, as there are still circumstances that can expose your eviction history. We will cover them further in the article.

Did you know that only under certain conditions and only certain business entities can check your credit report without permission? And by simply checking your credit report, you can find out who made such inquiries and when.

When Does an Eviction Go On Your Credit Report?

The good thing is that evictions are not specifically stated on credit reports. However, unpaid debt prior to or following your eviction might prompt your landlord to hand over your account to a collection agency. And a collection status can drag your credit score down by 100 or more points. So, while eviction itself cannot be seen on your credit report, eviction-related debt might be.

Furthermore, if the landlord has forced you out by obtaining an eviction judgment, evidence of the legal process will appear on your credit report.

Did you know that if you are extremely afraid to look into your credit report, you might be suffering from FOFO, or fear of finding out? This phenomenon is much more common than you would think. If you are also afraid to look at the results of your medical tests and you’d rather not seek medical advice at all, this psychological barrier can even be life-threatening.

What Happens to Your Credit Score After Being Evicted?

Does an eviction go on your credit report? And if it does, how does it affect your credit score?

Although visible, eviction judgments are not factored into your credit score. A collection status, on the other hand, can lower your score by 100 points or more. But what does that mean? And how bad is an eviction on your record anyway? Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this question. If you don’t believe me, just look at these little known facts:

  • Each US citizen has three credit reports, one from each of the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Consequently, there are three different credit scores for each American.
  • Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion often have different information at their disposal. This is because not all creditors report information to all three of the credit bureaus.
  • The two major credit scoring models used by credit reporting agencies are: FICO and VantageScore, both ranging from 300 to 850 points. Over the years, these scoring models have evolved through several different versions (FICO 8, FICO 9, VantageScore 2.0, VantageScore 3.0, VantageScore 4.0).
  • Let’s look at the five factors used by FICO and how much they affect your overall credit score. A late payment of rent that has been reported by your landlord (not very common) and a collection status influence Payment history, one of the most significant factors.
    • 35% – Payment history
    • 30% – Amount of debt
    • 15% – Age of credit
    • 10% – Number of recent credit applications
    • 10% – Mix of accounts (credit cards, student loans, car loans, mortgages, etc.)
  • The average FICO score is 711. The table below will show you where you stand:
Credit score Reputation Percentage of Americans in 2020
800 to 850 Exceptional 21%
740 to 799 Very good 25%
670 to 739 Good 21%
580 to 669 Fair 17%
300 to 579 Very poor 16%

Did you know that, according to the law, your credit information cannot be shared with other countries? This means that no matter how low your credit score is, you can always get a fresh start by moving overseas.

What to Do if You Receive an Eviction Letter?

According to US eviction laws, before initiating eviction processes through court, a landlord must provide the tenant with a written eviction letter, stating the reason for the requested eviction and the number of days before the legal proceedings will begin. Kicking out a tenant with no eviction notice is illegal. In other words, eviction will not come as a surprise, and you will have time to think about what to do next. Here are some ideas:

Resolve the Lease Violation on Time

Curable notices allow you to resolve the violation of the rental agreement within a certain period of time and avoid being evicted altogether. So, if the reason for the proposed eviction is late payment of rent, property damage, or an unauthorized subtenant, you can always clear up the issue. Just make sure you do it on time. So, hurry up and pay your rent, fix the damages, or ask your roommate to move out before the deadline expires.

Incurable notices, on the other hand, are unconditional, and you don’t have the option to stay. Eviction laws vary on this issue. In some states, for instance, landlords can give you an incurable eviction notice to quit even if you are willing to remedy the violation. In other states, landlords are entitled to an unconditional notice for some violations but not for others.

Ask Your Landlord to Put Off the Eviction

If you want to stay and are willing to fix the lease violations, but you cannot do it within the deadline set in the notice, ask your landlord or the property management company for more time. There’s a good chance they will agree, as they might also be eager to avoid all that legal hassle. Just make sure you have the agreement in writing.

Move Out Before You Get Evicted

In case of an incurable eviction notice to quit, the smartest move is to move out before your landlord takes you to court. So, start looking for a new residence and avoid the eviction process altogether. You should also try to pay off any unpaid rent or fees because your debt can be turned over to a collection agency even after you leave.

Stay and Fight the Eviction in Court

If you think you are being evicted unfairly, you can stay and wait for your landlord to file an eviction lawsuit. Before you decide to do so, you’d better consult an expert to see if you have solid grounds for a defense. Otherwise, the court might side with your landlord, and, on top of everything, you’ll wind up paying the court fees, which can be expensive.

Did you know that constructive eviction is banned by law? Moreover, if your landlord is trying to evict you by making the rental property uninhabitable, you are not obliged to pay rent until the living conditions are improved. Examples of constructive eviction include cutting the supply of electricity, heat, or running water.

Key Takeaways

The US eviction rate in 2016 was 2.3%.
You can find out who checked your credit report and when.
Whether and how much an eviction can harm your credit report depends on several factors.
Eviction judgments are visible on your credit report.
A collection status can cut your credit score by 100 points or more.
Evidence of past evictions stays on your credit report for 7 years.
Your payment history accounts for 35% of your FICO score.
The average FICO score is 711.

How Long Does an Eviction Stay On Your Record?

The eviction will not appear on your credit report unless the landlord has taken the case to court and won an eviction judgment. In this case, the eviction will stay on your report for up to seven years.

Also, if your debt gets sent to collections, this will show up on your credit report in the form of a collection account and will stay there for seven years starting from the delinquency date of your account.

Did you know that some negative information, such as a bankruptcy, can stay on your record for up to ten years?

Can You Rent a Property if You Have Been Evicted?

A bad credit report can hurt your chances of renting a property in the future. But don’t worry. It’s not impossible. Here are some tips on how to get an apartment with bad credit:

Be Honest

Potential landlords can easily obtain your eviction records through a tenant screening company, so expect to be asked a question or two about it during tenant screenings. The important thing is to be honest and explain what led to the eviction. Being caught in a lie is a surefire way to be ruled out as a future tenant.

Get References

It’s always a good idea to stay on good terms with your previous landlords so that you have the confidence to ask for a reference. A convincing recommendation will prove you’re a responsible, trustworthy person.

Pay Off Your Debts

Paying off overdue debts won’t make the eviction on your credit report disappear, but the negative marks will sure look a little better.

Use an Apartment Locator

Instead of desperately bouncing from one interview to another, you could try an apartment locator and ask them to narrow down your options to the landowners who are willing to overlook previous evictions. It can save you a great amount of time, trouble, and stress during the apartment hunting process. And the best part about apartment locating services is that they are completely free of charge.

Find a Co-Signer

You will probably need someone with a good credit history to co-sign the lease for your new apartment, especially in the first few years after your eviction. But be careful! If neither you nor the co-signer is able to make the rent payment, you might end up evicted again.

Offer to Pay More

Some landowners could accept overlooking your eviction history in return for a higher rent or deposit. It won’t hurt to offer several advance rent payments as well.

Did you know that a co-signer’s credit score can also be negatively affected if the primary tenant starts missing rent payments?

How to Avoid Being Evicted and Save Your Credit Score at the Same Time?

It should be clear by now that an eviction on your credit report can be a pain in the neck. So, why not avoid the inconvenience and save your credit score at the same time? Here is what you can do:

Keep Track of Your Credit Report

Learn how to read your credit report and keep an eye out for any alarming changes.

Pay Your Rent First

If you are late on paying rent, you are probably having trouble paying other bills as well. But you should always give precedence to keeping the roof over your head. Bear in mind that overdue medical bills and other unsecured debts take several months before they get to the collection phase. This will buy you some time to resolve these debts.

Talk to Your Landlord

Have an honest conversation with your landlord about the situation you are in. If you are lucky, he or she might agree to reduce your rent or accept belated payments until you overcome your financial troubles.

Did you know that your credit report doesn’t include your income? You can have excellent credit scores even if you lose your job or if your income drops.

Images of families being put out on the street can be heartbreaking, but eviction doesn’t have to be all that traumatic. It doesn’t happen overnight, and you can take action to avoid it. And if it does happen, you can try to rebuild your credit score and alleviate the consequences.

FAQ

Can I buy property if I have an eviction on my credit report?

Naturally, there are no legal eviction-on-credit-report restrictions for buying a house. However, it will be more difficult to get favorable loan terms if your credit report reveals past eviction, meaning that you might have to settle for a higher interest rate and a larger downpayment.

What should I do if an eviction goes on my credit report?

Having an eviction on your record can definitely be an annoyance, especially when applying for a mortgage or a loan, but it’s not the end of the world. Try not to repeat the mistakes from your past and devise a plan on how to fix your credit score.

Can I get an eviction off my credit report?

Indications of court-ordered eviction and credit score decline triggered by a collection account do appear on your credit report and stay there for up to seven years. If you can’t afford to wait that long, here are some useful tips on how to clear evictions off your record:

  • Ask the collection agency for a “goodwill deletion” of your collection account.
  • Ask a credit repair company to get the eviction judgment on your credit report removed. It’s not always possible, but it’s worth the try.
Does an eviction go on your credit report?

The word itself doesn’t appear on your credit report, but civil processes against you and information that a collector went after you for unpaid debt do.

ABOUT AUTHOR

I learned a lot about finance after working for a digital marketing company specializing in investing and trading stocks, forex, etc. After that, I got exposed to other verticals such as wealth management and personal finance, which further improved my understanding of the financial world.

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