Q: We're looking for a place to rent in a tight rental market, and have filled out several rental applications. Each of them asks for a credit-check fee, from $25 to $35, which covers the cost to order a credit report. We have our own copies of our report, from each of the three agencies, but when we asked the management companies to accept our copies, they refused. Paying repeatedly for a credit report is getting really expensive. Is there anything we can do? --Marsha and Ben
A: Landlords don't like to accept applicants' own copies of their credit reports because they're afraid that the report may be altered or old (with the issue date changed). That's a legitimate concern, because sophisticated computer users doubtless have ways to doctor the reports.