Credit Reports are usually pulled when you apply to rent an apartment. Landlords order your credit report because they want to make sure a prospective tenant is a "good" credit risk, based on how the potential tenant has handled credit in the past. Landlords consider credit reports to contain information that will allow them to accurately judge whether someone will pay their rent in a timely manner and honor the lease agreement.
If you apply to rent an apartment and are denied based on your credit, you are legally entitled to the name and address of the credit reporting agency that your prospective landlord ordered your credit report from. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have up to 60 days after the denial to request a free copy of your credit report from the company that supplied the information.
The best way to make sure you will not have any surprises on your credit report when it comes time to rent an apartment or apply for credit is to go to www.annualcreditreport.com to request a free credit report once every year from each of the consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The Austin Tenant's Council has detailed instructions on how you can dispute any incorrect debts on your credit report.
Even better, an Apartment Locator can pull your credit before you ever step foot in an apartment leasing office and can call the apartment complexes to make sure your credit score is within the range they accept. You don't have to worry about not being able to find a place you will be happy to call home just because you have a less than stellar Credit Score.