While the majority of landlords rely on a credit check to qualify renters, especially in this hot renter’s market don’t let it stop you from getting your dream apartment. I get that if you just graduated from college or just never cared to establish your credit because the school doesn’t teach you, I get it. That’s why I’m here to help you. Here are some tips for renting with bad or no credit.
ASK FOR A FAVOR
This is not the easiest or most pleasant thing to ask, but if you’re trustworthy and a man/woman of your word, find yourself a guarantor or co-signer with relatively good credit to sign the rental application with you. What do they get out of this? Nothing! Basically, you live in the apartment and your co-signer agrees to cover your payments in the event you default on your rent, so make sure you can afford it. A co-signer or guarantor assures the landlord to trust your financial situation and may be the only reason they rent you the apartment.
HONESTY IS ALWAYS THE WAY TO GO
Sh*t happens, you could have lost a job, had medical problems, or just had some financial setbacks that were out of your control that affected your credit. Who hasn’t been there? Landlords can sometimes understand if you tell them straight up and upfront before they run your credit. Honesty is always the right way to go in this situation. Your willingness to admit and own up to it might benefit you. Talk to your landlord on the steps you’re taking and have taken to work on your credit. Maybe ask your previous landlord for a letter or recommendation or a few mins on the phone to confirm you were a great renter and never missed a payment. This shows you’re responsible and committed even if your credit is less than perfect.
PAY RENT IN ADVANCE OR INCREASE YOUR SECURITY DEPOSIT
Bad credit makes landlords uneasy because it’s basically saying you have been late or just missed your payments on past bills and might do the same with rent. Solution? Perhaps paying a month or more in advance or offering a two-month security deposit. With that, you alleviate their concerns.
ROOMMATES ARE NOT JUST IN COLLEGE
I don’t think you want to find one on craigslist but find yourself a roommate if you’re willing to share your living room and kitchen and of course if the landlord allows it. This helps you with bills and hey, they can be a co-signer if they have good credit. By having a roommate to help with rent, that allows you to pay down bills and repair your credit.
SHOW THE DOUGH
When applying for an apartment, having proof of your income such as your pay stubs, tax returns, and even a letter from your employer verifying your employment status and income can help. I heard you can offer to have your rent automatically deducted from your bank account and that also can help you get the place.
COUGH UP A LITTLE MORE
By having a poor credit score, landlords can charge additional “risk” fees. If you absolutely love the apartment and are willing to pay a little more, offering to do so may persuade the landlord to take a chance on you. This shows good faith and commitment.
BRAG BRAG BRAG
Well, not exactly but a letter of recommendation can reassure a potential landlord that you’re a responsible adult and less likely to cause any problems. Ask your current and previous employers, landlords, and even past roommates who can vouch for your character.
Did you figure out your own way to get into an apartment with bad or no credit? Share your story. Tag me on Instagram or on Facebook.