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Rental Cars and Credit


In this day and age, having good credit means everything. It seems everyone is looking at your credit report before they offer you credit, housing, insurance or utility services. Now, it seems, you must have good credit to rent a car. Many companies require a credit card to guarantee the rental. The only other option would be a debit card. Even though many companies allow you to pay the final bill with cash, you will need some form of plastic to drive the car off the lot. Here are some considerations when using a debit card when renting a car.

  • Do Your Homework – Research your rental options. Find the rental car agency with policies that will work within your financial situation. Call several branches of the same company as procedures may vary between locations.
  • Know the “Holds” and “Blocks” – When using a debit card, plan ahead and make sure you have enough money in your account. There could be a $200 - $500 deposit placed on the checking account linked to your debit card. This is referred to as a “hold” or “block”. This amount is in addition to the cost of the rental. The time that it takes for the hold to be released by your bank could be up to 14 days, so again make sure you have sufficient funds in your account to cover your other expenses. 
  • Expect a Credit Check – If you don’t have a credit card, the assumption is you might be a credit risk and therefore many companies are running a credit check before renting the car. This will show up as an inquiry on your report. If this credit check does not meet the rental car agency’s standard, you will be denied rental privileges. 

As many service related businesses have to guard against losses, car rental agencies are beginning to look closer at their clients before agreeing to enter into a financial relationship. Many are turning to the credit report to get the information they need to make an informed decision. That’s why you, as the consumer, need to know what is on your credit report, take action to correct any inaccurate information and create a plan to pay down your debt. At Apprisen we offer a credit health education session that can help you do just that. A certified counselor will review all three of your credit reports and offer you guidance to improve its content. Call us today to schedule an appointment at 1-800-355-2227.


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