How to rent an apartment with bad credit?
A credit score is 620 is considered a good credit score. Of course, landlords and property management companies want to make sure that you can pay the rent on time, but what if someone has a bad credit score? Can someone get an apartment with that score?
Yes, anyone can rent an apartment with a bad credit score. But while trying to get an apartment with bad credit, you have to think of it as a job interview. The landlord will ask a lot of questions about your finances. You have to answer your landlord to prove that you will fulfill your responsibility.
If you have a credit score somewhere between 300 and 579, although it’s not impossible to rent an apartment, it will take a little work on your part. If you’re looking for an apartment in Houston or Dallas areas we can provide you with a list of apartments for free.
How can one rent an apartment with bad credit?
Look for apartments that don’t need credit checks.
It’s challenging to find an apartment that needs no credit check, but still, you can find a few options by visiting classified websites like craigslist; if someone wants to rent out an apartment without a credit check, it will be mentioned on the ad. With hard work and research, you can find such an apartment.
Be prepared to pay more upfront.
If your credit score is poor, it does not means you cannot get an apartment, or your application will get rejected. You can make offers to the landlord like you can offer to pay more upfront means paying more security deposit; it will provide landlord security and a solid reason to consider your application.
Get yourself a cosigner
You can request a close friend or family member with good credit to co-sign for you. However, the cosigner takes the responsibility that if this person agrees, they will be accountable for your rent payment if you decline to make it promptly. This means that any cosigner you get should be someone you believe and who believes you since their credit could be negatively influenced by any mistakes you make with your rent.
Prove your worth to apartments
You should do some work to impress your landlord so that they should have strong reason to consider your application with your bad credit seriously. For example, you could bring some financial documents that prove your income for the last few months. This can be your salary; you can also get letters of credentials from your previous landlords. If your relationship with your previous landlord was good, he would quickly provide a letter of recommendation; this letter will prove that you are reliable, responsible, and can fulfill your financial duties.
Sign a lease with someone else
If you have another partner who wants to live with you, you can also use this option. Only considered this option if you are okay with sharing your apartment. You can send an application for an apartment on the roommate’s credit score. It’s not that tough to find someone who wants to live with you. This won’t work in every situation, though, since some landlords require all occupants to be on the lease.
Offer some concessions
If any apartment is available for rent for a while and the landlord wants to rent it quickly in this situation, you can make some negotiations with landlords despite your low credit score. For example, you can offer a reasonable security deposit or provide a landlord to set up automatic payments so the landlord will get rent every month on the fixed date, and he wouldn’t ever have to chase you down for rent.
Brag about your savings account
It will help prove that you’re a responsible person for your personal finance, even if you haven’t maintained a good credit score. For example, if you have enough money in a rainy-day fund to cover a couple of months’ worth of rent, be sure to bring those statements as the backup to prove you have the means to pay.
Show off your stellar rental history.
Almost every landlord is interested in your rental history. If your relationship with your former landlord or landlords was good, you could provide their reference. If you are first time renting an apartment, you can still use some strong references. You can provide your employer’s reference. If you want to build a rental history, the easy way to do this is to start it by paying rent to parents, friends or you can rent out a room in someone’s house, and later you can use the reference of those people. You must have receipt proof of your payments along with dates to show that you pay rent regularly on time. Your positive rental history can counter a bad credit history in this way.
Offering to Move in Immediately
Every landlord wants to rent out every unit and get paid rent on time every month. If you offer a landlord to quickly move into a dormant apartment, your landlord will surely take this offer despite your bad credit score. While going for such a deal, you must have cash and a checkbook; you could secure the deal and increase your move-in chances by paying.
If your bad credit score results from life situations that are beyond your control, you can explain it to your landlords. There’s no harm in sending along with a complete letter with your rental application, revealing in advance what your landlord is expected to find when s/he runs your credit. Write the details in the letter and explain what happened and why it will not happen again. You can use few references who can confirm your letter and your current financial standing and responsibility.
Show Proof of a Stable Income
If your monthly salary or monthly income is 2 to 3 times the monthly rent, landlords will consider it reasonable; although your credit history is not good, you have a steady income to cover the rent. Collect copies of recent pay stubs and bank statements to show the landlord. You should calculate your monthly income and expenses. This grants you a better understanding of your current financial state and what you can afford.
Be Willing To Settle for Less
If your credit score is bad, the apartment you want and can currently get accepted for might be very different. For instance, you might have to move to a part of town that you usually wouldn’t or live in an apartment that’s significantly smaller and with fewer facilities than you’d prefer.
If you don’t want to go for the options mentioned above, you can wait to find the apartment of your desires until your credit score is good. Then, you can follow these simple steps to enhance your credit score.
- Payment history has the highest impact on your credit score; therefore, it’s better to have paid-off debts; if you paid your debts responsibly and on time, it works in your favor.
- Handle your credit card balances in full each month. If you cannot do this, then keep your total outstanding balance at 30% or less of your total credit limit
- Instead of paying significant payments at once, you should split it into two payments; doing this lowers your account balances and credit utilization ratio, which can raise your scores.
- A higher credit limit is another way to help reduce your credit utilization ratio, which can help raise your credit scores.
- If you are new to credit and getting your credit card is difficult, you can become an empowered user of someone else’s account. But keep in mind that other people must have healthy credit as it will positively impact your credit score; if the other person misses the payments, this will negatively reflect you.
Dispute credit report errors
Any mistake or error on your credit reports can pull down your score. One way to quickly increase your credit score is to review your credit report for any errors that could negatively impact you. Fixing it can support you in quickly improve your credit. You’re allowed a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus and you can pull them at Annual Credit Report. Use them and then check for errors, such as payments marked late when you paid on time, someone else’s credit activity combined with yours, or negative information that’s too old to be listed anymore.
Having poor credit might affect many things, but it does not mean that you cannot get an apartment with that. There are various actionable steps you can take to support your application and be taken by a landlord. Be sure to operate the numbers game and apply for maximum apartments.
It will take a few attempts, but if you submit a strong application and intend to be flexible to the landlord’s needs, you will ultimately get approved for an apartment. Keep in mind, even after you find the right place, you should work to enhance your credit. That way, you can enjoy a simple process the next time you’re ready to move.