Having a good credit is important when renting an apartment, but having bad credit isn’t the end of getting a new place you like
You might be wondering why some people who are in a far worse situation than you are able to rent an apartment while you are still struggling to convince prospective landlords of your reliability as a tenant. Surely, they must have done something to gain their landlords’ approval. There is no need to worry. Landlords do not simply base their decision whether or not to rent you their apartment on credit history. Follow some of these tips, and then you’ll realize that renting an apartment with a bad credit is not a far-off chance:
Try to avoid getting a credit check if you’re trying to rent with bad credit
There are some landlords that don’t necessarily require a credit check. In place of the credit check, they may just ask you to show proof that you are a reliable renter. You can ask your local realtors for available apartments, or you can look at the classified section of the newspapers or online classifieds.
Get a copy of your credit report and review it before trying to rent
You can get this for free at the three major credit-reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Review your credit report so you can determine whether your low credit score is a result of delinquent payments on your part or a result of erroneous items in your report. Report erroneous items on the credit-reporting agencies so they will immediately act on it. If you find debts that are indeed yours, do your part and try to pay these debts as soon as you can.
Write a letter of explanation on all the bad marks on your credit report
Landlords may be more understanding if they are made fully aware of the circumstances leading to the bad marks in your report and will likely allow you to rent the apartment.
Offer to pay a larger deposit with your new lease
Although you don’t have a good credit, your willingness to pay more than the usual deposit will create an impression that you can be counted on when rental time comes.
Offer to pay more in rent
This will prove to your landlord that your bad credit does not necessarily mean that you have bad renting habits.
Find a cosigner with an excellent credit score
Ask the help of your friend or relative to be your cosigner. This is risky on the part of the cosigner because the landlord can go after them if you fail to pay your obligations. Landlords feel secured in the fact that somebody else will shoulder the payment should you be unable to do so. Before finding a cosigner, however, make sure that you are fully capable of paying your rent on your own.
Get a friend to recommend you
This works better if your friend knows the landlord. He/she can write a recommendation letter to the landlord. If not, you can always ask your friend to recommend you in person. You may have a bad credit, but if you have a friend who vouches for you, you have more chances of winning the landlord’s approval.
Present a list of references
If you cannot convince your landlord of your capability as a renter, you can ask him to verify the information you provided to him by contacting the people on your list. Make sure that the people on your list are willing to vouch for your credibility.
Provide a letter of recommendation from your previous landlord
If you have been a dependable tenant in your previous apartment, it is not too difficult to ask your previous landlord to write a recommendation letter containing information on how you have been a good tenant despite your bad credit.
Offer the landlord help in maintaining or improving the apartment’s condition
This will more likely appeal to the landlord because he doesn’t need to hire somebody else to do the apartment maintenance.
Ask your prospective landlord to visit your current apartment
This way, he will see that the condition of your current apartment will reflect the condition of his apartment if he will allow you to rent it.
Be honest about your bad credit
If you tell the landlord the reason for your bad credit score, make sure that you only tell the truth. Do not make up stories. People have a way of knowing whether somebody is telling the truth or not. If the landlord will see your sincerity, he will more likely rent you the apartment.
When you meet your prospective landlords, make sure that you look presentable. Your appearance always counts.