Are you curious about a new entry from RentGrow on your credit report? While you might expect to see a hard inquiry on your credit report when you apply for a mortgage, it might surprise you to discover the same type of entry when you apply to rent an apartment.
If you recently applied to live in a new rental property, there’s a chance your landlord ran a hard credit check during the application process. If so, it could have a small impact on your credit. This guide will explain what RentGrow is, how hard inquiries affect your score and what you can do to get an inaccurate inquiry off your report.
RentGrow on your credit report
RentGrow is an agency that obtains consumer credit reports for landlords. It could be on your report for any one of the three reasons below:
- You have applied for a new apartment.
- You served as a guarantor/cosigner for someone else’s application.
- Your apartment lease was recently up for renewal.
When you apply for a new lease, extend your current one or agree to be a cosigner for someone else’s application, a credit agency could hit you with a hard inquiry. While many landlords only run a soft credit check when you apply for new housing, others will opt for a hard inquiry from an agency like RentGrow.
The information in your credit report can help them to determine how dependable you are as a borrower, which can indicate your likelihood of keeping up with rent payments. When you apply for a new apartment, the application should say whether the lender requires a hard inquiry.
How does a RentGrow hard inquiry affect your credit?
Before looking deeper into a RentGrow inquiry, it’s crucial to understand the difference between hard and soft inquiries.
Soft inquiries can result from:
- Credit score checks
- Pre-qualifications for a loan or credit card
- Online quotes
- Rental applications
- Job applications
These inquiries don’t do any damage to your score, and agencies won’t add them to your credit report.
Hard inquiries are different. Rather than verifying your score, they let lenders and service providers see your credit reports in their entirety, giving them a comprehensive look at your credit history.
Hard inquiries typically occur whenever you apply for funding, including mortgages, lines of credit, credit cards and more. But they can also happen when you apply for a new apartment if the landlord has a more stringent vetting process.
Even though a hard inquiry goes on your credit report, it’s one of the least impactful kinds of entries. At most, it’ll likely only decrease your score by a couple of points, and the bureaus will delete them from your report in two years.
A word of caution: While one credit inquiry is nothing to fret over, try not to stack up too many. A credit report with several hard inquiries at once can signal financial instability to potential lenders. And a few points here and there can accumulate quickly, hurting your score more significantly.
How to get RentGrow off your credit report
If you recently applied to rent a new house or apartment, or your lease was up for renewal near the time of the hard inquiry, you probably won’t be able to get it off your report. The best approach with legitimate hard inquiries is to let them fall off your report naturally.
However, if you didn’t do anything to trigger a credit inquiry from RentGrow, you need to get it off your report ASAP. Not only is it damaging your score unnecessarily, but it could be a sign of identity theft. Here are a few tips to help you get the hard inquiry off your report.
File a dispute with RentGrow and the bureaus
Your first step when an agency adds a questionable inquiry to your report is to dispute it. Both RentGrow and the credit bureaus should help you get the inaccurate entry off your report.
Hard credit inquiries can impact one or all of your credit scores. As such, you need to dispute the inquiry with every credit bureau that is displaying the entry from RentGrow on their reports. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires the credit bureaus to investigate disputes in a timely manner.
They have 30 days to look into a dispute once you file it. If they find that it’s fraudulent or inaccurate, they’ll remove it from your report. You can submit a letter, report the dispute online or call the bureaus to start the investigation.
In addition to disputing the entry with the bureaus, you should contact RentGrow. The agency encourages individuals with erroneous entries to contact their Consumer Relations Team at 800-898-1351.
You can write to RentGrow at:
177 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
RentGrow should be able to give you helpful information about the application that triggered the inquiry, helping you to determine whether a reporting error or identity theft is to blame.
Monitor your credit
Tracking your credit is incredibly important. Since you only get one copy of your actual credit reports each year from annualcreditreport.com, staying on top of your credit is all but impossible without the help of a credit monitoring app.
With a free app such as Credit Karma, you’ll get:
- Frequent score updates
- New entry alerts
- Resources to improve your score
- Specialized offers
- Recommendations for credit repair companies
You can get a hard inquiry deleted from your report on your own, but you don’t have to tackle fraudulent entries by yourself. If the thought of going back and forth with RentGrow and the credit bureaus doesn’t appeal to you, you might want to hire a credit repair company.
They’re staffed with experts who have a proven track record of success in improving people’s credit. Whether your biggest concern is a hard inquiry or you’re battling lots of credit problems, they’ll have your back.
Here are a few of the credit issues they can help out with:
- Bad payment history
- Charge offs
- Debt collectors
They’ll help you create an actionable plan for improving your credit and getting inaccuracies off your report ASAP.
If you glossed over the fine print in your rental application and missed the part where you consented to a hard inquiry, there’s no need to beat yourself up. Hard inquiries are bound to appear on your credit report at some point. They’re essential to getting approved for credit, loans and, in this case, a home.
The best thing you can do for your credit now is to work on improving your score using the credit available to you. Paid services also exist that will report your faithful rent payments to the credit bureaus, which can improve your score substantially. If you didn’t submit any applications that could have led to an inquiry from RentGrow, getting them off your report should be easy thanks to the FCRA.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on January 27, 2021, on BetterCreditBlog.org. To find the most relevant information concerning collections or credit card inquiries, please visit: https://money.com/how-to-remove-collections-from-credit-report/ or https://money.com/get-items-removed-from-credit-report/