Renting an Apartment with Bad Credit

In today’s real estate market, more and more people are deciding to rent rather than apply for a mortgage. The reasons behind that are numerous, and they include: overpriced housing, divorcing couples, job loss, disability and bad credit. Because of the recent influx of former homeowners into the renting world, landlords are now able to be more particular about their renters. This is good for landlords, but can be quite difficult for those people who have lower credit scores. Naturally, a less-than-desirable credit report often excludes people from being approved for a home loan, and now it looks like it may make renting difficult as well.

Most landlords are going to require a credit check, so if you know that your credit score is quite low, give your prospective landlord a head’s up and offer to pay a designated portion of the rent up front -six months to a year’s worth – in order to put his mind at ease about your score. Reassure him that you are actively working to raise your credit score and that it is low due to events that are now in the past. You can also ask a friend or family member with good credit co-sign your lease with you, or get a letter of recommendation from someone you from in the past, providing proof as to your reliability. Remember though, if you fail to make your payments on time, a co-signer’s credit will suffer as well.

Also consider asking your potential landlord if you can provide your current credit report to them. By avoiding a “hard inquiry” ( when someone other than you requests your credit report), you can also give your landlord a written letter explaining any difficulties that you have had and what you are doing to remedy them.  Also, too many hard inquiries will actually make your credit score drop even lower.

Consider the possibility of getting a roommate who has excellent credit. Usually, if at least one tenant has good credit, a landlord will be more likely to rent to you. Also, steer clear of big apartment complexes, and look for individual landlords who are looking to rent out a home or part of a home.  Ask your real estate agent  if he knows of any mom-and-pop landlords in the area. Try looking on craigslist for rentals that appear to be offered by an individual rather than a management company.

Although renting an apartment with bad credit is no longer as easy as it used to be, it can be done, as long as you’re taking the appropriate steps to improve your credit report.  To ensure that you are doing all that you can to bring your credit score up, seek the advice of an attorney who specializes in credit repair.  There is no need to despair about your living prospects  as long as you are steadily moving in the right direction.


*Photo provided by Editor B

6 Responses to Renting an Apartment with Bad Credit

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