How to rent an apartment with a low credit score

Finding an apartment to rent with a low credit score can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Although having a credit score below 600 can affect your chances of being approved for certain units, finding the perfect apartment to rent despite your credit score is not out of the question.

Instead of looking apartments without credit checkwhich can be risky to rent, there are some things you can do on your end to increase your chances of having your rental application accepted when applying for apartments to rent with bad credit.

Here are some tips to make your rental process easier:


Be transparent about your low credit score

If you’re trying to find apartments to rent with bad credit, transparency is important. Submitting a rental request can be stressful. You don’t want to blend in with the pack or stand out because of your low credit score. As part of your application, you can submit a rental resume and cover letter. A resume and cover letter will explain who you are, your rental history, your income, and why you’re looking for a new apartment. This is a good place to explain anything that may be questionable about your credit score from a homeowner’s perspective.

It’s also a good idea to have an honest conversation with a potential landlord when interviewing or viewing an apartment. Give them the context of your current credit situation and help them understand you more personally. Are you in debt from a student loan? Have you been unexpectedly laid off and forced to use credit for purchases? Explain what led to your low credit score and assure them that you are working improve your credit score.

Consider a co-signer

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Having a co-signer can improve your chances of being accepted when applying for apartments to rent with bad credit. If you have a friend, relative or relative who agrees to vouch and co-sign your lease with you, share this information with the landlord. You’ll want to choose someone who has good credit. Many younger tenants who don’t have a rental history use a co-signer, so a landlord should already be familiar with the process. Having a co-signer means that this person is ultimately held responsible for any missed payments, damages or unforeseen events related to your apartment. This reassures the owner and guarantees that he will get his money if something were to happen.

Become a roommate

If bad credit prevents you from being allowed to rent an apartment on your own, consider renting as a roommate. If you have a friend or acquaintance who is currently a tenant and is looking for a roommate, they may be able to add you to their lease as a roommate. They can be the main tenant and you can be the sub-tenant. You may still be asked to provide your credit score, but the landlord may not value yours as much since your roommate is the legal tenant.

Offer more in the front

To compensate for a low credit score, you can also offer to pay a higher security deposit or the second month’s rent in addition to the rent that is requested from you at the signing of the lease. Offering more money up front shows the landlord you’re serious about this apartment and, despite your low credit score, you can afford the monthly payments. To combat possible rejection when applying to rent apartments with bad credit, be sure to discuss any additional funds you are willing to pay with the property manager in advance.

Include positive references in your application

If you have a rental history, reference letters can go a long way. Positive testimonials from past landlords will help potential landlords see that you’re able to pay rent on time, that you’ll be a good tenant, and that you’re committed to keeping the apartment in good condition. If you don’t have a rental history, choose your rental referencebe sure to choose someone who can speak positively of you, such as an employer.

Establish credit

Believe it or not, having no credit score at all (no credit cards, car payments, etc.) can also negatively affect your chances of renting an apartment. Landlords like to see a credit history to better understand how you handle regular payments. Having a credit card that you pay off at the end of each month is one way to start building up a high credit score. This shows the owner that you can handle financial responsibility and make your payments on time and in full. Getting accepted for an apartment with no credit can be as difficult as getting accepted for apartments to rent with bad credit.

These are just a few ways to avoid renting an apartment without a credit check, even with a low credit score. Once you are ready to start looking for a new apartmentkeep these tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to having a new home.

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