If you have bad credit it can seem impossible to rent an apartment, but that’s not really the case. True, it is more difficult than if you had great credit, but it can be done. So, if you’re wondering what is the best way to rent an apartment with bad credit, read on. These tips will help you get the right apartment for you.
What is the Best Way to Rent an Apartment With Bad Credit
Before you start looking at apartments or filling out any rental application, take a look at these 9 tips to improve your chances of getting an apartment even if you have a poor credit score.
1. Apartments That Don’t Ask for a Credit Check
The easiest way to get around having bad credit and trying to get an apartment is to rent from someone who doesn’t ask for a credit check.
You’d be surprised, these apartments are out there.
I’ve rented from many of them myself.
The key is to stay away from the larger apartment complexes that have management companies and deal with a potential landlord that is also the owner.
Very often, if you make a good impression, they won’t even do a credit check.
I’ve had this happen both when renting apartments and houses.
Show up looking nice and dressed nicely and be polite and smile.
It all goes a long way and before you know it, you will have an apartment rented without a credit check.
2. Offer a Larger Security Deposit or More Money Upfront
If you’re concerned about your credit, be upfront with the property manager or landlord and tell them your credit isn’t the best, but then offer them something even better, more money.
Chances are your new property manager will expect a deposit.
Most security deposits are equal to one month’s rent.
Offer them two or even three months deposit.
This larger deposit will put you in a much better position.
You can also offer to pay rent in advance. Instead of paying just one month in advance, offer to pay the first three months or more in advance.
If you can afford to pay three month’s worth of monthly rent upfront, you will have a better chance of being accepted.
3. Use a Co-Signer
If you really have a bad credit history then consider asking someone to be a co-signer.
This is kind of like getting a co-signer on a car loan.
The co-signer will be responsible for paying the rent if you fail to do so.
Make sure your co-signer understands this and has the money to make these payments if you can’t.
4. Get References From Past Landlords
If you have a good rental history, then ask for a reference from your previous landlords.
It can go a long way when your previous landlord says you are a great tenant that always pays your rent on time.
I mean, just because you have bad credit doesn’t mean you don’t pay your rent, so let your past rental history speak louder than any old credit reports.
Letters of recommendation from as many landlords as you can get will really help your cause.
5. Get a Roommate
If you can’t get any reference letters and you don’t have extra money to hand over, consider getting a roommate.
I know it isn’t fun to live with someone else, but if it is the right person they may be able to sign the lease and then your credit won’t matter.
Just be sure to set up and agree to all the rules of the house before you move in.
6. Let Them Know Why You Will Be a Good Tenant
While this may not work with property management companies, it will with individual landlords.
Show them why you would be a great tenant.
Maybe you are handy or like to do yard work.
Or, perhaps you wouldn’t mind painting your apartment yourself.
At the very least, tell them that you are polite, quiet, and respectful.
Also, let them know that you will always follow all rules of the complex.
7. Show Them Your Income
Even if your credit history isn’t the best, if you have a good income or are making more money now than you did in the past, show your potential landlord your proof of income.
They may overlook missed credit card payments and such on your credit history if you are making a good, steady income now.
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8. Show Them Your Savings
If you are lucky enough to have money in savings, go ahead and show them your bank statement.
Some property managers will want to see it anyway.
This money in savings will show them that you are working on repairing your credit and are saving for the future.
You will seem less of a risk.
9. Set Up Automatic Payments
If your landlord is set up to accept automatic payments, offer to pay your rent this way.
How it works is that you will be giving your landlord’s bank permission to deduct the rent each month from your bank account.
So, you won’t have to pay it with a check or money order.
Your landlord will know that payments will be made on time.
You will also want to show them your bank statement so they can see that you have a stable income and that you have the money to make the payments.
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To Sum it All Up:
The easiest way to get an apartment with bad credit is to find a landlord that doesn’t require a credit check. Trust me, they are out there. However, if you do have some extra cash, you can also offer to pay more money upfront. This might cancel out your credit issues. Just keep looking and you will find the apartment you are dreaming of and be signing an apartment lease before you know it.