Are you looking to rent your first apartment? Finding your first apartment can be an exciting experience, but it’s not as fun if you are renting an apartment with bad credit.
Even if you don’t have a good credit history, you may still rent an apartment. Many tenants who have run into financial difficulties wind up seeking an apartment that does not need a credit check. Finding an apartment without a credit check, however, is not as simple as it may seem.
You are likely to temper your expectations of the apartment you end up renting. Finding the apartment of your dreams will probably have to wait, at least for now.
Let’s take a look at what you can do to get owner-approved when you don’t have the best and most good credit score. By the time you finish reading, you will know how to get an apartment when you have bad or no credit.
A bad credit score does not automatically imply that you are untrustworthy or unreliable.
The individual landlords would like to know you have a track record of renting. This provides them with confidence that you’ll be a reliable renter. The references of your previous landlord can prove that you are an honest tenant and are less likely to cause problems at some point in the near future. Similar to a home seller who wants to know if buyers have been pre-approved for a mortgage in order to buy a home.
References can always help you acquire the apartment you desire if you’ve never leased previously. Character references from a trusted source, such as an employer or teacher, should demonstrate that you would be a trustworthy renter.
You might also begin your rental history by renting a room to a friend or family member. When you discover an apartment, you might ask them for a reference.
It may also be of assistance if you have a poor credit history. Obtain receipts for your rent payments so you can prove to a landlord that you are paying your monthly rent. This may assist a landlord in being more interested in having you as a renter, even if you have a bad credit history.
As part of the rental application process, most property managers will run your credit. Even if they don’t, it’s wise to be upfront with your landlord about your credit scores. This not only helps you to explain yourself, but it also gives you the appearance of being more responsible by admitting your errors.
If you have a decent monthly income, even without great credit, it can impress the owner. Also, if you can show that your salary is 30 or 40 times the rent, the landlord will be pleased that you don’t have a terrible credit rating.
If you choose this option, the owner will want precise confirmation of your income. If feasible, you should have pay stubs dating back a year. Make it as simple as possible for the owner to certify your revenue.
Getting an apartment without a credit check can be much easier when you explain your bad credit history upfront but prove to them that you have a high income to pay the rent.
Being upfront and honest will go a long way with many owners.
Another option to rent with poor credit is to save to pay for a few months of rent. If you are able to show the landlord your bank statements that show enough cash to cover the rent for a few months and they’re more likely to overlook other concerns.
If you save money to pay rent, you’ll be less at risk to the landlord. It could suffice to make up for the lack of rent history or low credit score.
If you can set up automatic payments, the landlord can be more confident having you as a tenant. This means that the money will be withdrawn from your account every month without you having to do anything.
While you need to make sure you have enough money in your bank account (savings account or checking account) each month, this can help, in combination with other factors, help get the apartment you want.
As already mentioned, if you want to rent an apartment without credit checks, you have to be honest with the landlord. Even if you do not meet the requirements sought by the owner, you might be able to win them over and get them to make an exception.
Write a letter to the owner explaining why you don’t have good credit.
If the apartment is owned by an individual owner rather than a management company, you will have a better chance. An individual owner has more leeway to change their requirements if they like what you have to say.
If you’ve worked through past issues with better budget plans and more responsible behavior, let them know.
When you rent an apartment with bad credit, you can make the landlord’s decision easier by offering to pay more upfront. Typically, when renting an apartment, you will need to provide a security deposit, and if you have bad credit, you might offer to pay more. This reduces the owner’s risk and could change their mind if you don’t otherwise meet all of their requirements.
You may, for example, propose paying the first three to four months’ rent in advance. Many homeowners will appreciate your willingness to put in the effort. From their viewpoint, this gives them extra peace of mind as well as an infusion of cash.
When seeking to rent an apartment with terrible credit, you may wish to bring in a co-signer as a last option. If none of the other choices are available, a co-signer may be able to help you rent an apartment despite your negative credit.
It would be preferable if you could find someone with excellent credit who would agree to guarantee the landlord that the rent would be paid on time every month. If you are not paying rent, the co-signer will be held responsible.
Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are the three major credit bureaus. You should get credit reports from all three sources since you never know which one your future landlord likes. If you’re strapped for cash, AnnualCreditReport.com offers a free yearly credit report from each of the main credit record agencies.
It will be difficult to find a landlord that would rent you an apartment or a home if you have low credit. Before you find a rental, you should expect to get turned down in a few locations. You should be able to boost your chances of success by following the rental suggestions provided.
Jeff Gitlen is a graduate of the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware. Gitlen has spent the past five years writing and researching on personal finance issues which include credit cards, student loans insurance, and other. His writing has been featured in top news publications among them are Bloomberg, CNBC, Forbes along with Market Watch.