How to find an apartment to rent with bad credit

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Image Source: Credits: iStock.com/GrapeImagesZumper

So you want to rent an apartment but you have a bad credit rating.

Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone – many Americans find themselves in this situation. And while a low credit score can impact your ability to make a number of financial decisions, such as renting a new apartment, there are ways to navigate renting a home with a bad credit. The ideal is to find a safe apartment within your budget while working slowly improve your credit score. Most landlords and property managers will require tenant verification which involves a credit check or report.

What if you have bad credit but need to find an apartment ASAP? Here are some ways to secure an apartment despite having bad credit (550-649) or bad credit (550 or less).

  1. Check your credit report

    Experian, TransUnion and Equifax are the three major credit bureaus. When identifying your credit score, it’s best to get credit reports from all three bureaus, as landlords and property managers may use different reports to confirm your credit history. Landlords and property managers aren’t just looking at the score, they’ll also be looking for evictions or judgments. To improve your situation, try to pay off any outstanding credit card debt if possible. Once you have your credit report, you can move on to the next steps.

  2. Find multiple apartment options

    You may have to search a little further from your desired areas, but applying for a variety of apartments in multiple neighborhoods gives you a better chance of finding something. No two apartment owners are the same, and their threshold for credit score requirements may be different, along with other factors considered. Finding several potential properties in the area where you want (or need to) live will take advantage of the variability in homeowner preferences. Shopping and finding several potential apartments, pay attention to online reviews of properties. Previous tenants may list hard credit score requirements or soft requirements, which will help you narrow down your search.

    You can consider apartments without credit check, but these apartments can be riskier as they are often associated with common rental scams. Often, landlords who provide apartments without a credit check will charge extra fees, late rent charges, and won’t consider background checks. If your landlord isn’t checking your background, they probably aren’t checking your neighbors either. Security in apartments without a credit check tends to be the number one concern for renters, and fees come second.

  3. Consider a co-signer

    It can be uncomfortable to ask a friend or family member to co-sign your rental application, but it’s a good way to show the landlord that they will collect the monthly rent. The more likely you are to pay the rent on time, the more likely they are to approve your application. It is especially important to choose an apartment with an affordable rent for you, because co-sign the lease made your friend or family member responsible for payments if you cannot pay them. Once you are able to reliably pay your rent and are firmly on your way back to a strong credit rating, you can consider removing the co-signer. It sometimes requires write a new leasebut it is possible when you show your landlord proof of a new, less risky financial situation.

  4. Provide reference letters to your landlord

    In particular, if you have a previous landlord who can praise your rental history, or an employer who can applaud your reliability, use them as a rental reference and establish your good character with a potential owner. They can also often corroborate difficult circumstances like a family tragedy or medical illness that may have contributed to your bad credit. If these important people in your life can vouch for you, landlords are less likely to be confused by the results of a bad rental credit check. Asking for a reference letter for previous landlords is a great option for talking to your character as a tenant.

  5. Show proof of stable income

    Highlight the monthly income you have now as opposed to the income you had when you struggled to make payments, which ultimately lowered your credit score. A regular income is great additional information to share with your potential landlord or property management company to prove that you will be a tenant who takes care of the property and pays the rent on time. You can use pay stubs or bank statements to show your proof of income when trying to rent an apartment with bad credit.

  6. Offer to pay more up front

    If you have the money to do so, putting down a larger security deposit or paying rent up front can be a great way to show how serious you are about an apartment. Another option under this same idea is to make a direct debit from your checking account or direct deposit your paycheck to the landlord for payment of your rent. This indicates how seriously you are considering paying the rent and ensures that the payment will never be late simply because you were too busy to send the check to the office or in the mail.

  7. Be honest and transparent about your credit score

    A potential landlord will be disappointed if he finds out, after the fact, that you want to rent with bad credit. The easiest solution is to be honest and upfront with property managers or landlords about your financial history as soon as you apply. Let them know that you are aware of your credit and what you think has impacted it in the past, as well as your assurance that you have made the necessary changes to begin the improvement process of your credit score. By tackling these issues head-on, you gain a reputation for being honest even when it’s hard, which is a great quality in a landlord-tenant relationship.

  8. Consider renting with a roommate

    Some potential landlords and property managers will let you rent with a roommate using their credit. If you have the option of renting with a roommate who has a higher credit score, this could be a great option. If you use this option, be sure to discuss the details with your potential landlord upfront to ensure it’s okay to use your roommate’s credit report.

  9. Even while apartment hunting, pay those bills on time

    Even if credit takes a while to recover from past problems, paying your credit card bill and other payments on time is a great way to build an improving balance sheet. your credit score. Being careful and organized to ensure your budget allows for on-time payments is just as important as continuing to hunt for your current apartment, and will ensure that any future apartment will be easier to acquire. It may mean tightening your belt, selling all the items that are maintenance and unnecessary, or giving up expensive hobbies, but if the process increases your credit, it will help you in many areas of your life at home. ‘coming.

Those looking for apartments to rent with bad credit need not feel out of options. Even with low income, no cosigner or bad credit, apartments are available it will help you get through the tough times that got you to this point and to a better place.


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About Selena J. Killeen

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