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How to Rent with Bad Credit
15 Aug 2018

Apartments for Military Members: How to Rent with Bad Credit

Landlords are a lot like lenders when it comes to renting a house or apartment. They want to know quite a bit about you before you sign the dotted line.

Your credit report will supply much of the information they need. This means you need to provide them with some positive indications you are trying to deal with your bad credit.

After all, most people agree that it’s going to be difficult to rent an apartment or house to someone who has bad credit. You are thought of as being a high risk and there aren’t many landlords who want that.

The good news is, when it comes to how to rent with bad credit, you have options. After all, everything is negotiable. Your chances of renting successfully will be increased significantly if you provide the right information and have a “can do” attitude about the situation.

How to Rent with Bad Credit: Getting Started

The bottom line is that landlords don’t want issues. They want to ensure their units remain occupied and have rent paid on time.

As mentioned before, getting an apartment with bad credit is possible, but you may have to offer some type of incentives or find a new direction to approach the situation. Some of the best options are highlighted here.

Credit Options for Renting an Apartment or Home with Bad Credit

This is a common question and one that many people have to deal with. When it comes to bad credit, it’s useful not to just treat the issue, but examine the underlying problem, too.

Fixing Your Bad Credit

First, you may wonder what credit score you need to rent an apartment. In most cases, if you have a score of 620 or above, you’ll be good to go. If you dip below that, then you may need to get creative.

Consider taking steps to improve your credit score before looking for a place to rent. Taking about six months to erase credit-card debt can make a huge difference in your score.

Also, be sure your credit score is accurate. You can get a free copy of your credit report each year. You can also get a free credit report if you are denied credit, employment or insurance within 3 days.

If you find a mistake, submit a dispute letter to the credit bureaus to have it fixed.

The best thing you can do is be honest and forthright about your current credit situation with any potential landlord. If you had issues paying on time, let them know why. Beyond these tips, you need to develop a strategy. Here you can learn the best way to do that.

Find Rentals that Don’t Require a Credit Check

Before filling out an application, ask the landlord if they require a credit check. Most smaller rental properties, especially those run by a single person, don’t want to pay to see your credit.

This gives you the opportunity to overcome any financial issues that may be on your credit report.

Unfortunately, larger properties are likely run by management companies. These will have strict rules including running credit reports for each applicant. The rules they must follow don’t give much room to consider someone with bad credit.

Pay Your Rent in Advance

This is often extremely beneficial. If the landlord considers you a “risky renter,” you can offer to pay the rent in advance. Another option is to have the rent automatically drafted out of your paycheck each month.

This helps to establish you as a responsible tenant. It will also give your landlord peace of mind.

Letters of Recommendation

When in doubt, it’s always beneficial to present yourself as being a respectable, salary-earning, reliable client.

A great way to do this is to get letters of recommendation from your prior landlords. These should show:

  • A track record of paying rent on time
  • The contact information for previous landlords
  • That you respected the property and the neighborhood
  • How long you resided at the property

You also need to prove that you have gainful employment. A letter from your employer will let the landlord know you can cover the monthly rent. Also, the employment verification letter shows how long you have worked for the employer and your annual salary.

Offer to Move in Right Away

Most landlords have two goals – to get paid on time each month and to rent every unit.

When you offer to move in right away, especially with a unit that has been dormant for a while, you provide an incentive for a landlord to take on the risk.

Make sure you bring along some cash or your checkbook when looking at a unit. When you pay on the spot, you could quickly close the deal, and increase your chances of moving in.

Consider a Co-Signer

This is a simple concept. If you have a co-signer with good credit, you are guaranteeing that the lease is going to be paid. If you are unable to meet the obligations, then your co-signer is legally responsible to pay the rent.

Be sure to think carefully about this option. If things do go south and you can’t pay rent, then this may ruin the relationship you have with your cosigner.

Are You Ready to Rent?

If you have asked the question of “How to rent with bad credit?” the information here should provide you with some insight.

When it comes to credit and financial issues, being informed and knowing your options is best. At Bonsai Finance we can help. We offer information on how to help you get a loan and find the best credit cards.