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What are Credit References? Definitions and Examples

You might have arrived here while searching for what are credit references, their definitions, and examples, or maybe anything related to an individual’s credit history.

You are actually in the right place. We shall also be touching on other areas concerning credit references like what is credit reference on an apartment application? Who can I use as a credit reference? Among many other areas.

What are Credit References?

An applicant’s credit history appears on a credit reference, which is often used to support rental applications. It shows the applicant’s credit history so lenders and landlords can determine whether an applicant has a good credit history.

If a credit reference demonstrates that an applicant has paid their debts and other obligations on time, a lender or landlord is more likely to approve the request.

On the other hand, lenders or landlords may deny an application if a credit reference reveals that an applicant has failed to pay the outstanding obligation on time or in the correct amount.

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How Does Credit Reference Work?

It is common for credit reference to begin when applying for a loan or utility service. These services have risks associated with them, so lenders will ask for documentation to ensure the applicant is trustworthy.

When a lender requests information, they often list out the documents they require. Typically, the lender needs to know the following information:

  • Borrower’s name Account numbers when the borrower last made a payment.
  • If the borrower missed any payments in the past year.
  • What goods are exchanged (products or services)

Furthermore, lenders might inquire about the amount of payment, as well as the total amount paid by the institution. This may help determine the applicant’s trustworthiness.

There is not always positive information in credit references. Instead, references let the company know if the applicant cannot pay or is currently behind with payments.

How to Get a Credit Reference

While the process for obtaining a testimonial for an applicant’s credit history can vary depending on the circumstance, there are typically three steps involved.

Obtain the Information Needed: You should verify the lender’s requirements if they don’t provide one. Otherwise, you will have to keep circling back and forth with them. You may provide any of the above-listed information, such as your payment history and your current standing with the provider.

Ask to Obtain the Credit Reference from Provider: It is necessary to request a letter of good standing from previous service providers. Different service providers or creditors have different requirements for qualifying a loan or service.

For example, they may require that applicants have been with the previous service provider for a certain period of time. As an alternative, the lender may require the applicant to meet a certain payment threshold

Give Room for the Provider to Transfer Applicant Information: Prior to the previous service provider releasing personal information, they must obtain a written authorization to proceed. This information is sensitive, so the previous service provider wants to be sure of the authorization before it can be released.

Lenders sometimes contact a borrower’s references to verify information provided by them.

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Credit Reference Example

We shall be using real-life situations to help you understand some of the credit references examples we shall be given here.

Utility Provider: Earlier this year, Susan decided to change electricity providers. Her new energy service is requesting a credit reference. The reference looks like this:

”We have been Susan’s service provider since 2011. Throughout the time she has been with us, Susan has made all of her payments in full. Our records indicate she has not missed a single payment.”

Apartment: The apartment that Timothy has lived in for four years now has been vacant because of his new job, which requires him to move to a new city. His new landlord has asked for a credit reference from his previous landlord. The recommendation is:

”During his four years of living in one of our apartments, Timothy has paid his rent in full every month and has never missed a payment”

We believe this goes a long way in answering the question of what is credit reference on an apartment application? 

When do You Need a Credit Reference?

Credit references are usually requested by lenders when an individual requests financial assistance or when requesting a service. The following are examples of situations when they may be requested.

Utility Services: Activating a new utility account (gas, electric, cable, water, or phone) requires a credit testimonial. Utility providers request a letter of good standing to verify the customer’s creditworthiness.

Rental Agreements: A landlord may also ask for references when negotiating a rental agreement. Landlords are specifically interested in the tenant’s past credit history.

Loan Applications: In order to determine an individual’s ability to repay a loan, most lenders request a letter of good standing from the applicant.

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Types of Credit Reference

The term “credit reference” encompasses several different versions of a “letter of good standing.” Listed below are the types of credit references.

Credit Report: An applicant’s credit report is the most common form of credit testimonial. A credit report provides a detailed overview of the applicant’s debts and debt management. It shows the applicant’s credit responsibilities and payment history.

In the United States, 90 percent of lenders use the Fico Credit Score to determine an applicant’s ability to borrow money. Furthermore, credit reports are vital to determining a person’s credit score, which influences their ability to borrow money.

Assets Documentation: Cash is a significant asset that indicates an applicant’s financial strength. The greater the number of assets an applicant has, the more likely he or she will be to get a loan. Assets are considered collateral, so lenders are less hesitant to lend.

A broker can provide applicants with an account summary of their investments. Investments can provide an indication of an individual’s net worth.

Personal Character Reference: While a personal reference isn’t very useful as a financial reference, it may benefit the lender in certain cases. When the applicant is on the verge of being rejected, some kind of reference is better than no reference at all.

A personal character reference is basically what friends, families, and associates think of you.

Financier’s Support Documents: Financier support documents differ in that they are provided by individuals who provide financial support, such as investors or shareholders. These documents will typically be used by businesses applying for loans as sufficient credit recommendations.

How to Improve the Success of your Credit Reference

Having a credit reference submitted to an entity or individual is not enough for it to be effective. In order for your reference to be effective, it must successfully illustrate your creditworthiness.

Below are suggestions that can be used to improve the outcome:

Keep Track of Your Credit Report:

Keep your credit reports in check. There are several tools that offer free credit report assessments. Make sure your reports contain no errors or evidence of fraud, as both can reduce your credit score. If you see anything amiss, contact the credit bureau concerned.

Strive to Improve Your Credit:

Trying to increase your credit score by paying bills on time, reducing debt, and eliminating outstanding balances may assist you in raising your score. Avoid acquiring new debt if you intend to obtain a mortgage or other loan.

In the event that your credit report is lacking, consider using a secured credit card to establish your credit. This type of card can help establish your credit if used responsibly.

Use Character References:

Despite the fact that character references may not carry as much weight as credit reports and other more effective references, they can prove valuable. A character reference can clarify any concerns you may have about your credit history.

Additionally, character references can illustrate a person’s capacity for responsibility, which can be beneficial to those with limited or nonexistent credit histories.

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Ask for a Consideration:

In the event that you are denied a loan or service, you can ask the entity that denied your application to reconsider your application. Send an application reconsideration request along with reliable references to the entity that denied your initial request.

Send character references that illustrate your record of managing debt and other obligations, and explain any shortcomings that may have led to your initial request being rejected. Provide documentation supporting extenuating circumstances. These documents may sound convincing enough to grant you your credit request.

How Do I Secure a Credit Reference Letter?

When applying for a loan, a service, or a rental property, you will probably be asked for a credit reference. You should learn how to secure the reference so that it meets the lender’s or service provider’s requirements.

Below are some expert tips we culled from our research associates. If you follow it thoroughly, you will be able to obtain your credit reference letter swiftly.

Ensure You Confirm the Requirements: If your reference letter doesn’t conform to your lender, landlord, or service provider’s requirements, it won’t have a great deal of impact, and won’t improve your chances for a positive outcome.

Some organizations that require reference letters offer templates for previous lenders, service providers, employers, and other reliable sources to fill out.

File for a Request: Initiate contact with your previous employer, service provider, landlord, or another trustworthy individual you intend to use as a character reference. If your former employer, service provider, landlord, or other trustworthy individual agrees to provide a reference, share instructions or a template so they know how to comply with the credit reference form.

Provide Authorization: If you wish to view account histories, you may need to give permission. Find out whether you need to grant permission and what you need to do to grant it. You may grant authorization online or by filling out forms.

What you will See in a Credit Reference Letter

Generally speaking, a reference letter will include different information since each organization will have its own requirements. For that reason, it is a good idea to check with the requester what information they require.

Referees will usually be given a form to complete. If you do not receive a template, make sure the letterhead is that of the issuer. Information that is often requested in a reference letter includes:

  • Your relationship with the letter issuer; the individual may have supplied you with cable, rented you an apartment, or given you a loan.
  • The extent of your association with the issuer.
  • Account numbers, if applicable.
  • Amount you usually pay.
  • Payment details such as whether you are always prompt on your payment and for the required amount, or if they are late and not for the required amount.
  • Total amount accumulated in outstanding debts.

Depending on the individual requirements of the company or the individual requesting the credit reference letter, a credit reference letter will contain different information.

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It is the goal of every person who applies for a loan, a rental property, the services of a company, or for a job to receive a favorable response. A credit reference can either improve or damage your chances.

With our updated details on how to obtain a credit letter and its uses, you can be able to have a deep insight on how best to get a credit reference that doesn’t hurt you. Credit reference will always be demanded especially in high organizations or high credit risk situations.

FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions)

If you need a credit reference, you can ask anyone who has given you credit or dealt with you financially, such as your local bank, investment firm, previous landlord, or a local business that offered you payment plans.

Yes, you can use your bank as a credit reference.

In the absence of a credit reference, you will not have a credit score. Whether you’re applying for a credit card or buying a house, a good credit score means that you are more likely to qualify for a better interest rate and more favorable terms from a lender.

When you apply for a loan or credit card and you do not have sufficient credit references, the lender may refuse to give you a loan or credit card. This simply means that there is not enough information on your credit report for the lender to decide whether you are creditworthy or not.



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