How Do I Rent an Apartment with Bad Credit?

Can I rent an apartment with bad credit to my name?

We weren’t all born with good credit. A good score takes time and patience to build up. If you have no credit, or worse, bad credit, you may have a harder time buying a car or renting an apartment. This is because financial institutions look up your credit score to see how reliable you are to pay on time. When you’re looking to rent an apartment with bad credit to your name, here’s how to get started.

Find a guarantor: Ask a parent, trusted friend, or relative with a good credit score to co-sign the rental application with you. The landlord will have the added reassurance that someone who is financially trustworthy is helping you out. If you can’t pay the monthly rent, your co-signer will be forced to pay up. Be sure that you can afford the monthly payments for the rent so that your guarantor doesn’t have to bail you out.

Increase the security deposit: Offer to pay more for the security deposit so that the landlord has something to fall back on if you can’t make a payment (even though this is not an ideal situation). Putting down a larger deposit is a sign of good faith that you can pay monthly rent.

Show proof of income: The best way to ease landlord concerns about credit is to provide them proof of your regular and consistent income. When applying for an apartment with bad credit, have recent pay stubs, tax returns, and a letter of employment on hand.

Work to perfect your score: Bettering your credit score takes some time, patience, and organization. Aim to pay credit card bills on time, respond to collection agency phone calls immediately, and don’t close an account that’s in good standing. Bettering your credit score over time will eventually help you to apply for that next apartment or home loan!

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