If you’re trying to get your first apartment or even if it is just your next apartment, you might be wondering what is a good score to get an apartment without a cosigner. Chances are if you are concerned about this, then your credit isn’t the greatest, but getting a cosigner isn’t the best option either. Here’s what you need to know before you start apartment hunting.
What is a Good Credit Score to Get an Apartment Without a Cosigner
The quick answer is that you will need at least a score of 620 or higher.
During the rental application process, your prospective landlord will do a credit check to determine your credit history and credit score.
If you have bad credit or credit below 620 you could have difficulties renting an apartment as your landlord will be concerned you won’t be able to make your monthly payments.
Before you start your apartment search, be sure to get a free copy of your credit report, so you will know where you stand.
You don’t want a property management company to do a credit check before you know what your score is.
Your credit report is only part of what they will look at to determine whether or not they will rent you an apartment, so don’t get too hung up on this number.
Find out what it is, and then go from there.
There are a number of things you can do to get an apartment without a cosigner even if you have poor credit.
Here are a few you should consider.
1. Provide Your Bank Statements
If you can show that you have enough funds in your bank account to pay all of your bills and necessities with plenty of money left over for rent, this will go a long way to you being approved.
You can show proof of income and stable employment.
This will prove that even if you had some tough financial times in the past, you can make your monthly rent without issues now.
Paying your rent on time is really what they are looking for.
2. Offer a Larger Security Deposit
Most property managers ask for one month’s security deposit.
If you have the extra cash, offer them two months or more.
This will show that you are serious about paying your rent on time and that you have the money to do so.
This larger deposit might put the property owner at ease even if you have bad credit.
3. Get a Reference from Your Previous Landlord
If you have been a good tenant in the past and always made your rent payments on time, ask your previous landlord for a reference.
This good rental history will paint you in a much better light than your credit score or lack of credit.
4. Pay More Rent Upfront
Instead of paying just your first month’s rent upfront, consider paying two or three months upfront.
Potential landlords will really like this and it will calm their fears about your ability to pay rent.
This rent in advance will also show them that you have plenty of money in the bank to pay rent even if you have a lack of credit.
5. Find a Private Landlord
If you can find an apartment that is owned by an individual they are less likely to ask for a credit check than property managers.
Show that you are a good tenant and that is all they will need.
I’ve been in this situation several times over the years.
I’ve rented houses and apartments from the owners and in all cases, none of them asked to check anything, including credit before I signed the lease agreement.
They made a judgment about me by meeting me in person.
You also will be able to save a few bucks as there won’t be any application fees.
6. Show a Steady Income
If you can show that you have sufficient income to pay your rent, this might get you the apartment.
What you earn now and what you can afford now is truly more important than what happened in the past.
If your monthly income has increased through a new job or a promotion make this front and center of your pitch to any property managers or rental companies you talk to.
Even if you missed a few credit card payments in the past, your proof of income and proof of employment, and a good income will be more important than what the major credit bureaus have to say about your creditworthiness.
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7. Explain Any Unpaid Rent
If you do have a history of missing a rent payment or two, do what you can to explain it.
Perhaps you lost a job through no fault of your own or you were injured or sick and couldn’t work.
Explain these missed payments to your future landlord and show what you have done to make sure it won’t happen again.
This could persuade them to give you a chance.
Just make sure you can pay your rent on time going forward or you might not get a second chance.
8. Wait Until the Rental Market is in Your Favor
Sometimes it is a renters market and sometimes it is a landlord’s market.
If you live in an area where there are more apartments for rent than renters for those apartments, it is a renter’s market and you might find an individual landlord that is desperate to rent to someone.
If that’s the case, then you will have a greater chance of getting an apartment without a cosigner.
On the other hand, if there are more renters than apartments, you could have a more difficult time.
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To Sum it All Up:
While you want a score of 620 or higher to ensure you can rent an apartment without a cosigner, don’t worry too much if your credit isn’t great or you have a lack of credit. There are many ways around poor credit to get you the apartment you’ve always dreamed of.