Life is hard enough as it is. It’s even more difficult with a bad credit score. You can get denied from taking out loans, opening bank accounts and even from accepting certain jobs. Oh, and did I mention it’ll make trying to rent an apartment seem nearly impossible?
It’s true. Many businesses check your credit score to find out if it’s in their best interest to allow you to borrow money or services from them. Landlords and apartment complexes are no different. Each must look out for what benefits them the most. A person with bad credit likely seems beneficial to neither.
While you’re certainly in better financial shape if you have good credit, there are still ways for you to find a suitable home if you have bad credit. What methods can you take to find a nice place to live if you have less than stellar credit? Read on!
Be honest. In a down economy, many people have seen their credit scores go in the wrong direction. You aren’t alone. When talking with a potential landlord, be able to explain your situation. You’ll find you’re much better off telling the truth than you are by trying to hide certain aspects. In most cases, the landlord will find out if you tried to hide information.
Pay more upfront. This could be in terms of your security deposit or even paying a couple months in advance. When I applied for my first apartment a couple years ago, the apartment complex was nervous to rent to me because I didn’t have a renting history. I agreed to pay the first two months in full, which helped calm the landlords’ uneasiness.
Upping your security deposit is another option. This route lessens the landlord’s blow if for some reason you back out of the lease for some reason.
Avoid a credit check. This seems pretty obvious, right? If you have bad credit, only apply to places that don’t require credit checks. You may find that your options are limited, but you can start by checking out websites such as Craigslist or the classifieds section of the newspaper. Many owners place advertisements in these sections and usually clarify whether or not they require credit checks.
Find a co-signer. If you feel that you’re credit score is unsatisfactory, find someone to co-sign for you. Considering you believe your own score isn’t very good, it might be difficult to find someone to co-sign for you, but it’s worth a shot. If you can find a roommate with good credit, have their credit score pulled instead of yours. If you go this route, remember that if you miss rent payments, the landlord can go after the co-signer for any unpaid months.
Get letters of recommendation. Get people to vouch for you. Contact people with whom you’ve had a successful financial relationship, such as your bank or previous landlords. Obviously don’t list landlords that you missed payments with or that might not help your case.
Renting an apartment can be stressful for someone with bad credit. Follow the above steps to ensure your process is as smooth as possible.
If you aren’t sure what your credit score is, find out here.
Have any of you tried renting an apartment with bad credit? What difficulties did you have in the process? Let us know in the comments section below!
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