Will overdraft slip-ups stop me renting a house?

Dear James,

I am looking to rent a house and know that they will do a credit check.  If I have gone over my overdraft limit a few times, will this affect my credit rating? Can you clarify exactly what they will be looking for when doing a credit check?

Amy, London

Dear Amy,

Landlords and agents acting on their behalf can get your permission to carry out a credit check when you apply for a tenancy. However, because landlords do not lend money and do not share credit repayment information with lenders through the credit reference agencies, they cannot access your credit repayment history. All they can see through a credit check are details of any public financial records in your name such as court judgments and insolvencies. However, it is possible that a landlord may ask for a separate bank reference, in which case those indiscretions on your bank overdraft might come into play I’m afraid. You should always be able to find out in advance from a landlord what sort of checks they will carry out. And if you’re concerned about the information on your credit report it’s always worth ordering a copy and checking it through carefully. Lenders usually offer grace periods before registering missed payments and overdraft infringements so you might be pleasantly surprised. (April 2012)

James
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