A potential New York landlord won't just take your word for it that you'll be good for the monthly rent. Many landlords will insist on a credit check, and if you're not up to the grade, you probably won't get that new pad. So, it is very important that you understand your credit report before you start looking for New York moving companies and an apartment.

Companies with whom you do business such as your credit card companies send credit information about your financial history and responsibility weekly, monthly or quarterly to credit agencies. This information is then used to compile data about your rating - which in some instances is checked when you apply for jobs or if you are looking for an apartment in New York.

Before you start applying for a job or seeking out an apartment, find out how you rank by ordering a report for yourself. Fees vary from free to $12, although getting it free can often be a struggle with the many firms that offer it at no charge. Prepare yourself for a hard sell on a lot of different credit-checking products.

Here are a few questions that prospective landlords might have after reading your credit report:
• If you have a mortgage now, do you have any past due payments?
• Do you have any revolving credit payments more than 60 days past the due date and very few more than 30 days past due?
• Do you have outstanding bills or unpaid credit cards?
• What about your installment credit? You shouldn't have any payments more than 60 days past due and very few more than 30 days past due.
Credit reporting agencies also know if you're a punctual tax payer or if there is a court judgment against you -- both of which can count against you in your credit report.

What's FICO?
The most important figure is your FICO score, also know as your credit rating. The scale for rating goes from 300 to 800, and 800 is perfect. Scores higher than 650-660 are considered good. Be prepared to explain anything below this.

If your score is over 700, you have a good shot of being accepted. If your score is under 600, you will most likely have difficulty in securing financing. If you do, you'll probably pay a higher interest rate because you're deemed more risky.

There are three major national credit companies from which you can obtain your credit report. Check the firms' websites for more information.

  • Experian, P.O. Box 2104, Allen, Texas 75013-3742, (888) 397-3742
  • Trans Union, P.O. Box 390, Springfield, Penn. 19064-390, (800) 888-4213
  • Equifax, P.O. Box 105873, Atlanta, Ga. 30348, (800) 685-1111

Once you know your credit score, you can have some confidence when you fill out rental applications. Before you know it, moving companies in New York will be loading up your belongings getting you ready to move on to your new apartment

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