I live in Chicago and my landlord is a large apartment rental/management company. What would happen if I break the 12-months rental lease by leaving 2 months early if they do not have my SSN on file? Would it hurt my credit? Prior to signing the lease I had to pay an insurance because I did not have an SSN prior to landing in USA. They never asked me for my SSN ever since. I could possibly be moving out of the city to another part of the USA so I am just curious what could be the consequences. Having a good credit score is very important to me so I just want to measure my risks and act accordingly.

Thank you.

  • 1
    Have you considered just asking the landlord if they would be willing to let you terminate the lease early and on good terms? Alternatively, pay the additional two months' rent (that you agreed to) and just call it a day?
    – user
    Sep 7, 2016 at 12:44

4 Answers 4


There are cases in which some Lease agreements will allow you to exit them without charge, but you cannot simply vacate a location without paying.

Cases that would allow you to leave the lease, if they are stated within the lease, are usually for reasons like:

  • You or an immediate family member must move for a job.

If you can prove that you have a job that is over a certain distance from the place you are currently residing in, there may be a clause that would allow you to break you lease, or simply the landlord may be more willing to allow you to go.

  • You find the apartment or house to be unlivable

If situations have changed, and conditions are now such that you cannot safely live in the place, you may be able to break the lease.

If you have a copy of your lease, look for these clauses or others near the end, that's where they appear in mine.

There are also other situations where if you give sufficient notice, and have been a long time tenant, breaking a lease may be only a small fee, certainly worth looking into rather than facing any legal recourse.


If you leave without having met all the obligations in the contract they could sue you for the money. The size of the company may mean that they are experienced in collecting their debts.

The insurance they made you pay for, may pay them back if they meet all the requirements in the policy. That means that you will have to read the terms of the policy to see if the insurance company will come after you for the losses.

It is likely that your skipping out early while owing money will be attached to your credit history without your SSN.


A landlord or any creditor can still put negative information in your credit report without your social security number - it just takes a bit more sleuthing on their part.

If you want perfect credit, either
1. don't break your lease;
2. break it with the written permission of the landlord (by paying some compensation, for example); or
3. break it with legal permission by asking a court to vacate the terms of the lease.


Your name (and that address) is probably enough to get it entered against your credit score; he doesn't need a SSN.

Worse than that, last time I checked, it was still illegal to skip debt by moving away.

  • Could you please provide a citation for this being a criminal matter? In the U.S., this would be a civil matter unless fraud is involved, no? Sep 7, 2016 at 14:24
  • I'm not a lawyer, and I don't understand the difference, so sorry if I am wrong. I just think it's illegal to skip on debt. Isn't it 'fraud' when you knowingly and premeditated cheat someone out of money that is contractually his?
    – Aganju
    Sep 7, 2016 at 15:03

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