Essentially, your credit score indicates how you’ve handled bills and debts in the past. A lower score means you are more at financial risk. Apartment hunting is stressful enough as it is, but what about your credit? Poor credit is a major factor when finding an apartment.
What seems like a reasonable deposit for an apartment can quickly equal one month’s rent if you have poor credit. Here are a few things to remember when considering renting an apartment with poor credit.
1. Why do You Have Bad Credit?
Having an accurate idea of what’s on your credit report will be beneficial in knowing if you should apply or not. Plus, it will save you from spending money on application fees. Websites like CreditKarma, Experion, and TransUnion can give you your credit score for free and are safe and reliable. Then, once you can see what’s on your credit and where it is at, work on raising the score. Most reputable apartment communities, don’t want any score below 600.
2. Showing Steady Income
Landlords and developers want to work with people who aren’t a risk. If you haven’t had a steady job for a while and you don’t have any paystubs with sufficient income, you will look like more of a risk. With more of a risk, there are possibilities of eviction which is a long and expensive process. A decent-paying job with at least 2-3 paystubs shows you are less of a risk. Landlords want to see that you make usually 3x the rent amount every month.
3. Consider Having a Cosigner
If you’re living by yourself and don’t have the proper score to get approved, some places will let you have a cosigner. Renting an apartment with bad credit just means that landlords want more assurance you will pay your rent on time. This means that another person such as a parent, friend, or partner who has a better score is signing on with you.
Essentially, they are renting with you and their name and credit are attached to that lease as well. This can make the deposit cheaper and overall be a great way to cut costs and get approved. Make sure you have the income and means to pay your rent and take care of your apartment. If you get evicted, it will also go on your cosigner’s credit history under the public record’s section.
4. Paying a Bigger Deposit
Renting an apartment with bad credit means paying a bigger deposit. This can sometimes equal a double deposit or up to one month’s rent. However, landlords and developers want to see that you’re able to come up with a bigger sum of money to cover the risk of letting you live there. Of course, it is usually all refundable when are moving out, but it is required upfront before they write up your lease. Plan to set aside more money than normal to pay a bigger deposit if you don’t have time to improve your score and need an apartment fast.
5. Look in Multiple Places for Apartment Listings
We live in a fast, technologically-driven age. Everything that is important is posted online-including apartments and homes for rent. There are many sites that are created strictly for listing apartments. We even have a vast listing of apartments on our website Market Apartments you can check out as well. There are also some social media sites such as Facebook that have a section where people can post their apartment or house they want to sell.
Sometimes, if you’re looking through Facebook Marketplace you can find somebody who is selling their lease. Oftentimes, the deposit and credit check aren’t as strict because either the deposit was already paid and is rolling over or they are trying to sell their lease ASAP. It is worth looking through and seeing what you can find. You will still have to apply with the apartment community and get approved as you would normally.
6. Show Rental History and Letters of Recommendation
This goes back to risk. Landlords want to have tenants that won’t be a financial risk and are reliable in every way. Have an old landlord recommend you and possibly write a letter or statement on your rental history. This goes a long way because it shows you are reliable and have had a good rental history in the past. Even having a letter of recommendation from a boss or employer is a good thing to show because it shows how reliable you are.
It is very doable to find an apartment that fits your needs, even if you have bad credit-people do it every day! You should always be trying to improve your credit so that when your lease is up, your score is raised even higher.
If this is your first time renting an apartment and don’t know where to begin, check out What to Know and Do Before Renting Your First Apartment.
Categorised in: Apartment Living
This post was written by Morgan McKinney