March 28th, 2013

How Does an Eviction Affect My Credit?

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How Does an Eviction Affect My Credit?

Unlawful detainer.

Chances are you don’t know what that means, unless you’ve been expelled from your home. It’s the technical term for the legal action taken to evict someone from a property.

Unsurprisingly, evictions most frequently occur when a tenant has broken the terms of his or her lease, like when you fail to pay rent. That kind can do a number on your credit health. But there are other types as well.

Today, we’ll take a quick look at the different types of evictions and then go over how an eviction can affect your credit.

Different Kinds of Evictions

There are four most common types of evictions.

  • Failure to pay rent. When a tenant is late in paying rent, the landlord can issue a three-day notice to “pay rent or quit.” If the tenant pays during that three-day period, he’ll be able to stay. Even a partial payment, if accepted by the landlord, negates the notice of eviction. But if the tenant fails to pay, the owner has to file an unlawful detainer to regain possession of the property.
  • Breaking the terms of a rental agreement. If a tenant goes against the terms set out in his rental agreement–such as keeping a pet on the property when not allowed–the landlord can give a ten-day notice for the tenant to comply with the agreement or leave the property. If the tenant fixes the problem, he gets to stay. Otherwise, the landlord can move forward with the eviction process.
  • For creating “waste or nuisance.” In simpler terms, this is an eviction for being a messy and destructive tenant. It can also be issued if the tenant is conducting unlawful activity on the premises. When this three-day notice is given, the tenant has no option to remedy the situation–he has to move out.
  • For no cause. As long as the eviction isn’t proven to be discriminatory or retaliatory, a landlord can evict a month-to-month tenant without stating a specific reason. The difference here is that the tenant receives a 20-day notice, which must come at least 20 days before the next rent is due. This type of eviction is not permitted in some larger cities.

How does an eviction get on my credit report?

It’s important to know that just receiving an eviction notice isn’t what puts it on your credit report. An unlawful detainer must be filed in court. The property manager has to obtain an eviction judgment from local small claims or civil court.

Once the judge has ruled in favor of the property manager and the judgment is final, the three major credit bureaus will receive notices of the eviction and add it to the tenant’s credit report in the form of a public record.

How does an eviction affect my credit?

Evictions that go to court and are filed as judgments against you are treated as public records on a credit report. A public record stays on your credit for up to seven years from the date it’s filed, and it can’t be removed early in most cases. It can have several affects on your credit and your life in general:

  • It’ll ding your credit score. This is the most obvious affect. You can simulate how several different types of public records can affect your credit score with the Credit Simulator.
  • It’ll hurt your chances at a job. Though not all do, an employer can check potential job candidates’ credit report. A public record on your credit report can be a red flag for some employers. But there are ways you can prepare yourself if you’re on the job hunt and you’re worried about a black mark on your report.
  • It’ll make it hard for you to rent again. It’s not impossible, but finding a new apartment with an eviction under your belt can be tough. Here are a few tips to help:
    • Start improving your credit health immediately. Use the guidelines in this blog post: My Credit Is Terrible. Now What?
    • Use a rental brokerage service. Explain your situation to them and see if they can help you find an apartment without a background or credit check.
    • Be willing to compromise. Offer to pay a higher security deposit and definitely be ready to explain any helpful circumstances of your eviction.

Bottom Line: I don’t have to tell you to avoid an eviction at all costs–that much is obvious and unhelpful if you already have one on your credit report. But this guide should help you better understand your situation and turn things around for the better. Good luck!

Have you bounced back from an eviction? Tell us about it in the comments!


is the Social Media Manager and Writer at Credit Karma, where she’s been since February 2011. When she’s not writing about credit and finance all over the web, you can find her playing her guitar, catching the latest movie, training for her next race or just exploring the city of San Francisco. Say “Hi” on Twitter: @bhardeman.

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Disclaimer: All information posted to this site was accurate at the time of its initial publication. Efforts have been made to keep the content up to date and accurate. However, Credit Karma does not make any guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For complete details of any products mentioned, visit bank or issuer website.


  1. My sister forged my signature on a least now im stuck with a judgement on my public records but good my mom have they lease that they sign so now i have proof she fordge my name how do i get this eviction removed

    nique at 3:51 pm on September 21, 2015
  2. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Nique – To dispute items on your report, you can start by going here:

    Thank you!

    Enola Guerrero at 12:55 pm on September 22, 2015
  3. I had an eviction notice I moved left the property clean and no damaged went to the court hearing never went before the judge talk to apartment lawyer he said I see you moved and satisfied your debt I told him it was because they gave me a noticed that they weren’t renewing my lease I talked to cooperate office of the complex and they left up to the property manager the end of the lease I found a house and moved two days before I turned my keys in the manager called and said the would renew my lease I told him I found a place I told their lawyer all of this so why did if send me an eviction notice the lawyer could not understand and told me I didn’t have to see the judge I have moved to ax and tried to get an apartment an the eviction notice showed up they gave me the report and the agency they used to check back ground info I contacted them they checked iIl records and found it was satisfied and said my credit info needs to be updated how can I do this

    Barbara at 8:07 pm on September 22, 2015
  4. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Barbara – Updates can take up to 30 days to reflect on your account. If you are seeing this information on your full credit report, you can dispute it by going here:


    Enola Guerrero at 12:30 pm on September 23, 2015
  5. I have a Disposessory on my credit for $771. I have called the MGMT to make a payment plan but they wont accept. Instead of me paying the $771 that’s on my credit. The MGMT wants me to pay in full the $771 and the move out statement. But thats not on my credit and they have not taken me to court for that (Move out statement). I plan on paying it but not in full. What can I do if they wont accept a payment plan? Also prior to that the property manager stated that it will go to collections and then I can make a plan that way. But it never happened. It went straight to the MGMT.

    Brittany at 4:50 am on September 24, 2015
  6. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Brittany – Since we are not the lender in question, we suggest talking to them about other options. Also, you can try asking any credit concerns you may have in our advice center here:


    Enola Guerrero at 12:28 pm on September 25, 2015
  7. hey me and my dad lived in a house for 30 some years wen all of the sudden they gave him eviction notice.he hadnt had to pay rent in months if not name was not on the eviction.does that mean i can still live there untill they serve me? and if they never had original rental agreement is that dad has been out and i have not been up there since am i still legal there?

    reggie at 3:29 pm on September 30, 2015
  8. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Reggie – Check out our advice center for any credit concerns you have


    Enola Guerrero at 2:05 pm on October 2, 2015
  9. My mom and I were renting an apartment and we were taken to court for an unlawful detainer…they ruled in favor of the landlord so does that mean we were evicted? We actually vacated the premises before the court date. Since we left before the actual “eviction” but the judge ruled against us, does a court judgement mean the same as eviction?

    Tyiesha Evans at 7:58 pm on October 2, 2015
  10. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Tyiesha – I suggest asking any credit concerns you may have in our advice center.


    Enola Guerrero at 5:27 pm on October 6, 2015

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