How to read the credit report

CT Credit is a full service background information provider specializing in Tenant Screening

This is a step by step guide to evaluate your Report

Applicant SnapShot
This is a quick view summary of what you will see in the rest of the report. It provides you with the Credit Score, and the quick view results of any other report you ran (i.e eviction, tele-check, criminal etc)

If any negative information is contained in any of those reports, you will see a Red Stop Sign. This means that you should pay close attention to that particular section of the report.

In the Positive/Negative accounts section you will see how many positive or negative accounts this person had per month. Again, this is only a summary. To view the actual accounts you may click on the (jump to) link, this will take you directly to that given section of the report

SSN Validation Check
This is a free test of the Social Security Number.  It matches the ssn against the list of government issues number to see if it is valid.  It does NOT check the identity of the SSN or who it belongs to.  It only checks if the number has been issued.
Prior Address Locator Service (PALS) Results
1. Name
You may see  different names on the PALS section–known as “variations” or AKA’s.  These range from slight variations in spelling to different last names. This happens when the Person changes their legal name for a variety of reasons, an obvious reason being Marriage. You may also see a completely different name.  These are usually due to typos during an inquiry.  If a wrong social is typed in at some point with the wrong name, then that name will be linked to the social. This does not necessarily indicate identity theft—it could just be a simple mistake.
2. Addresses
The addresses displayed in the PALS section of the report are obtained by third Party inquiries. Your prospective tenant did not necessarily physically live at all of these addresses. If they ever used the address as a mailing address, billing address, to apply for a credit card, loan, etc. then in the inquiry the address would be documented and provided to the bureaus.
3. Date of birth
Report is generated by the Bureaus. Any time any one inquires (pulls credit report) your applicant’s credit report, they have to provide a current address and date of birth (not all the time). The Bureau collects data from the inquiring party. The records might show a slightly different date of birth compared to the credit report or no date of birth at all.
Consumer Credit Report (Trans Union)
First you have to look at the Credit Score. The credit scores range between 400 to 850 For lenders, banks, and financial institutions anything below 600 is not a preferred credit score. But don’t just look at credit score. Please check other factors carefully (explanation below)

Credit Legend
750+ Excellent
677 Average
620 and below Not Good

No Score:  usually means that this person does not have enough credit to generate a score. An individual has to have at least 6 accounts (credit card, store card, any loans etc.) in the past 6 months in order to generate a score. No credit is better than bad credit.

Employer’s Information: this information only shows up when it is reported to the bureaus, you will not always see employer’s information and it may not always be accurate/up to date.

Address Information:  these will be the last three addresses reported to the bureaus and will not always be in the correct order.

Credit Agency Notice (Trans Union)
This tells you if, according the the Bureau, the information you typed in matches the information they have on record.
This will sometimes indicate any differences in information.

If your results state  “ Unable to Locate Subject” that is an alert from the bureau that you may have been given a false name and/or social.  Please request driver’s license and social security card to verify the information and you may purchase another report with the correct information.

If you receive a mismatch alert but credit report information is displayed, be advised that you were given the correct credit report in spite of the mismatch.

Credit Summary
Summarizes the current status of accounts. Next to an payment record description (i.e pays of paid as agreed) you will see how many accounts are currently in that standing.
Creditor Records (Revolving Accounts)
This section will display detailed information regarding the revolving accounts.  Revolving accounts are those which have a fluctuating balance which can go up or down each month. For example: credit cards, lines of credit, etc.  Here you will see what the current balances are and what the monthly payment amount for each account is. The far right column will also indicate if the account is in good or bad standing (under Rating/Status)
Creditor Records (Installment Accounts)
This section will display detailed information regarding installment accounts.  Installment accounts are those which have a fixed starting balance and then are paid down on a monthly basis.  Examples of installment accounts are home loans, car loans, student loans, etc.  .  Here you will see what the current balances are and what the monthly payment amount for each account is. The far right column will also indicate if the account is in good or bad standing (under Rating/Status)
Creditor Payment Records
This section will display the month to month payment patterns for the above listed accounts. Anything with a red dot is indicating negative payment records. This means an individual did not make any payments over 120 days and the creditor charged off (ready to transfer to collection) or it is in collection.  You don’t want to see a lot of red dots. It is likely that if your applicants can not make credit card payments, they will have a hard time paying rent on time. Yellow dots also indicate late payments.
Collection Items
Collection accounts are severely past due accounts that have been transferred to a collection agency.  These will always be negative accounts since they were not paid as agreed. Carefully look at the date and status. If status shows satisfied, then it is a paid collection. If there is no status the account is still open and owing.
Public Records/UD/Skip
This section will show items that have gone through the court such as Bankruptcies, Tax Liens, Judgments, and other public records.  These usually indicate something negative since the court had to get involved to get them to pay.
This is a list of companies which pulled a credit report on this individual. Whenever your applicant applies for a credit card or any kind of loan and the credit report is checked, an inquiry will be documented here.
Eviction/Landlord Tenant Records
Eviction records come directly from the state court database. Courts record evictions by name and address only—they do not log their data using a SSN. If you see that the name and address match, then the eviction record definitely belongs to your applicant.  If eviction records came back with some name matches only, the only way to verify if these records belong to your applicant is with an address match.  The eviction results provided did not match any of the addresses in the credit or pals report.  At this point, you must do your own research to find if the applicant ever lived at any of the addresses on the the eviction record.  One suggestion is to contact the court directly to see if they have a ssn associated with the case number.  While this may require a little more work, it is much safer to eliminate a record that does not belong to your applicant, than to omit a record that is theirs.
Bankruptcy/Lien/Judgment Report (BLJ) Results
The BLJ report is a public records search that searches by name only.  The results you are seeing came back because they contain the name(s) of your applicant.  This does not mean they all belong to this person.   The results must be carefully reviewed to determine if these belong to your applicant. We suggest that you cross reference with other identifiers such as the partial social listed, addresses, etc.  You may also consider contacting the court directly to obtain more details.
State OR National Criminal Report Name Matches (check carefully)
Criminal reports will display records that matched my name and date of birth.  Additonal verification may be required to confirm if these records belong to your applicant.
TeleCheck Report
The tele-check report looks in to the persons check writing habits to see if they have a negative history of writing bad checks.  If they do not have a bad history, the results will appear as “approved”    If your applicant has (1) an excessive history of bouncing checks  and/or (2) bounced a check(s) and never came back to cover the debt the results will appear as “REJECTED”   Because of the privacy act, there are no additional to be displayed.