You may be wondering how to get an apartment with terrible credit if you have a poor credit history. It is conceivable. Securing your first apartment is wonderful, but it might be difficult if you have low credit (or even no credit!). You can still be an appealing rental candidate for your perfect one-bedroom. Here’s how to get an apartment with terrible credit and shift the scales in your favor.
1. Show off your stellar rental history.
Landlords care about rental history. Provide references for your potential new landlord if you had a good relationship with your previous landlord or landlords.
You can benefit from solid references even if you have never rented an apartment. Character references from reputable sources, such as a teacher or employer, can help establish your dependability. This may render the subject of how to get an apartment with negative credit irrelevant.
You can also establish a rental history by paying rent to your parents friends or renting out a room in someone else’s home and then asking these people to serve as references. You can also request receipts for your payments as proof that you paid your rent on time and schedule. As a result, you will have a positive payment history to offset a negative credit history.
2. Showcase a high salary to overshadow your bad credit.
If you make a lot of money, your landlord might not mind if you have a bad credit score. A monthly income of at least 40 times the rent would be sufficient to impress a landlord. So, if your monthly rent is $1,200, a landlord may overlook a low credit score if you show a yearly income of $48,000.
Of course, if your landlord is making a decision based mostly on your income, they will demand proof. Offer to give pay stubs for the previous year so that your income may be easily verified. Consider displaying your earnings on Trulia’s Rental Resume. It allows renters to showcase their qualities, such as move-in date, occupation, income, and so on.
3. Have and continue to build your savings.
Poor credit may cause a landlord to question your financial stability, but substantial savings may persuade them otherwise. Show your possible landlord your bank statements to demonstrate that you have reserves. It’s a good idea to have both a checking and a savings account, as well as several months’ rent saved up. If a landlord sees that you have money saved up, they may be more confident in your capacity to pay rent on time each month.
4. Be honest (and communicate well) about your bad credit.
Be honest with prospective landlords. Write an explanation letter outlining why your credit score is so low. Include how you’ve improved your financial skills and your aspirations to be a responsible tenant.
Landlords can waive their own rules as long as they treat all applicants equally. This strategy works better when working with individual landlords rather than a large management corporation that may need to be more adaptable.
5. Offer to set up automatic payments.
Here’s a little known fact: landlords adore receiving rent on autopay. Allow your landlord’s bank to deduct rent from your checking account via an automated clearinghouse (ACH) or an online rent payment system. If they don’t already accept online payments, you can request that they do so by using Trulia’s online rent payments center. This helps to ensure that your landlord is paid—and on time.
You must verify that you will have enough money in your bank account to cover the automatic installments. If you’ve had difficulty paying your bills, for example, resulting in a low credit score, potential landlords may be skeptical that you’ll keep enough money in your account. However, if you can demonstrate a consistent income backed up by a sizable savings account and sign up for ACH payments, you may have found out how to get an apartment with low credit.
6. Agree to pay more upfront.
When you rent an apartment, you usually must pay the first month’s rent and a security deposit. That means you can stand out by offering to pay not just one month’s rent and security, but two—or even three—months’ rent and security in advance. Cash offers are usually appealing. Just be certain you begin paying your rent on time when it is due.
7. Use a co-signer.
If nothing else works, enlist the assistance of a co-signer to help you rent with terrible credit. If you can find a co-signer with strong credit, the landlord may agree to rent you that unit. If you fail to pay your rent, the landlord will ask your co-signer to do so, so choose someone you trust who also trusts you. A parent or other close family member is often a suitable choice.