If your credit isn’t as good as you like, you might be worried about finding an apartment. You might be asking, “Can I get an apartment with a 580 credit score?” The good news is that you can indeed find an apartment even if you have a credit score of 580. Let’s learn how to do just that.
Can I Get an Apartment with a 580 Credit Score
You can get an apartment even if you have a credit score of 580.
Granted, there are landlords out there that won’t rent to you but plenty of them will even if your credit history is a bit shaky.
What Does a 580 Credit Score Mean
Credit scores come in ranges.
These ranges are from poor to exceptional.
When you rent an apartment, many landlords will run a credit check to see where you fall within these ranges.
But what do they mean?
Here’s how they break down:
- 300 – 579 Poor
- 580 – 669 Fair
- 670 – 739 Good
- 740 – 799 Very Good
- 800 – 850 Exceptional
There’s no getting around the fact that once you get your credit score to 670 or higher your life will be easier, but even at 580, you should be able to rent an apartment depending on where you live and the rental market.
A survey taken a few years ago showed that the average credit score to be approved for an apartment was 650.
The average score that got you rejected was 538.
In more expensive buildings, the minimum credit score that was accepted was 683 and for rejections, it was 553.
Also, where you live will play a part as to whether you get approved or not.
For example, in Boston, you would need a credit score of 737. Seattle 711 and Los Angeles 691.
Keep in mind, the more competitive the rental market the higher the score you will need.
So, if your score is too low what can you do?
Here are several options.
First Know Your Score
Don’t go in blind.
Before you start looking for apartments, get a free copy of your credit score.
You want to know what you’re looking at before talking to a prospective landlord.
If you aren’t planning to rent a new place right away, this information will help you form a plan to improve your credit before applying.
Show You Have the Income to Pay Your Rent
Anyone can have a string of bad luck and end up with a bad credit score, but if you can show the property manager that you are making a good salary and have money in the bank to make your monthly payment this will go a long way.
Proof of income is important.
Proof that you can pay the rent on time is important as well.
Your landlord might overlook a lower credit score if they see you have made rent payments in the past on time and that you are currently paying your bills on time.
Ask For a Reference
Ask your previous landlord for a reference.
If you were a good tenant and always paid your rent on time, they should be happy to give you one.
They can show your potential landlord that you have made all of your rent payments on time.
This will go a long way to getting you approved.
You should also ask your employer for a reference as well.
They can show that you are a good employee and that you have a stable job.
So, even if you have a poor credit history you now have stable employment and a bright work future.
Have them also include if you will be getting a raise at some point or a possible promotion.
Offer to Pay More Upfront
Instead of one month’s security deposit, offer to pay two months.
Or, instead of paying your first month’s rent upfront, offer to pay two or three months in advance.
This will show that you are serious about paying your rent and willing to do what it takes to make your landlord comfortable.
If you are willing to pay in advance then credit reports aren’t nearly as important.
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Get a Cosigner
While this isn’t always possible if you have someone that will cosign for your rent, offer that to the property manager.
This cosigner will be responsible to pay your rent if you don’t for some reason.
Make sure they understand that and have the resources to do so if you fall behind.
A roommate can also be considered a cosigner, so this is an option as well.
Don’t Hide Your Bad Credit
Let’s face it, your potential landlord is going to do a credit check anyway, so it is best to let them know upfront what they will find when looking at your credit reports.
You can find out, at that time, what the minimum credit score is that they will accept.
You can also offer other alternatives like those above at that time as well.
By owning up to what is in your credit reports before they are pulled, you will show that you take responsibility for past issues and are willing to do what it takes to improve them and be a good tenant that pays their rent on time.
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To Sum it All Up:
While your credit history is important, so is your rental payment history. If you can show a good rental history, your new landlord might not care as much about your credit history. This can help you get the apartment even with a credit score of 580.