giving SS & account #s to landlords

noah_sMay 15, 2012

Hi I'm applying for apartments now and am very wary and insecure about divulging my social security number and account numbers on applications. Any recommendations on what I can do to minimize who I'm giving it out to? It seems like a lot of personal information to be giving out when who knows what this landlord might do with it. Thanks.

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Seems odds to me they're asking for account #s at all in this day & age. I had an old app form which I tweaked & took that section out. I'm of the reverse line of thought, I do not want that info in my possession on multiple applicants (many of whom won't get the rental). Not with ID theft as rampant as it is. In my experience, the few times I used a local credit agency, all this at needed to order a credit report is SS#. You can go here and get your own credit report for free. (A side bonus, if you rotate among each of the 3 bureaus every 4 months it's a great tool for monitoring your own credit throughout the year. For example, start with Equifax, 4 months later TU, 4 months later Experien, then it's been a year and you can go back to Equifax again to get the annual freebie, and just continue in a pattern like that. Or not as frequently. But it's a good way to keep tabs at no cost.) When you order reports from that site, which is federally approved, all pertinent #s are x'd out except for last 4 digits of social (so they can match to yours if need be), and just a few digits of any account #s. Maybe if you had that with you (unaltered, don't skip pages or anything) it would be acceptable? Or at least a means to help them narrow the field, then if they're seriously interested in you they can order one, so you have less random info kicking around out there. Hard to say, it's individual company/LL preference on that one.

If they're looking at bank account #s to see how much you have, I've not done that ever. If there is no ability to pay, it's generally going to show both in credit report and via prior LL reference. As a LL and consumer, I do get your concerns, I'd feel the exact same way if I were applying. Plus, like I said, it's a lot of info to have on someone who may or may not get the place. That's why the site above is used, solves a lot of potential problems down the line.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 8:49AM
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I can understand a social security number to run a credit report but I think that account numbers are going to far. I don't even know if you called a bank if they would give out that kind of information.

I would suggest decided on where you want to live and filling out a single application. The landlord should be able to give you a good idea of what his income requirements are. If he wants, say, no more that 30% of gross going towards rent, and the apartment is $800 per month, then if you don't make at least $2400 per month, you're wasting everyone's time. You should be able to verify income with pay stubs.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 10:55AM
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