Renting an Apartment with Credit/Past Financial Problems

August 13, 2008 · Posted in Credit 

If you have poor credit due to financial problems in the past, then you have already experienced some of the many businesses that use your credit to judge whether or not they can or will do business with you. Among those are property management/leasing companies and apartment communities. Different communities or companies will have different credit requirements. Some prospective tenants are denied with a high salary, and great rental history, but a less than perfect credit score. Others may have the worst credit score and barely meet income requirement yet still be permitted to rent.

First off, make sure you can afford the unit you are applying for. This means on average, that your income is at least three times the rental/lease price of the unit you are interested in. If your credit isn’t ideal, then start by looking for properties that do not require a credit check. A great place to start is by searching online sites. There are several available and you can even find information on your local newspapers site, or in the paper iteslf. Many times apartment communities, property management companies, real estate agents, and even home owners themselves will list units and often spell out the rental requirements directly on the advertisement. If you can find a home owner or smaller property management company you may be surprised to find that there are still several that do not do credit checks. This costs them money, and sometimes their clientele isn’t the sort to pay high application fees.

If you must rent somewhere that checks your credit, have several letters of recommendation on hand. Have them prepared and ready to hand over. These could be from several vendors. Other landlords are ideal, but also your bank, employer, or any other vendor that you have had a good standing relationship with. If the issues on your credit are property rental related, be prepared for an uphill battle! If this is the case pay it off right now and get a letter from that company. If it was a misunderstanding, request that the situation be explained in the letter. If it was your fault, ask that they include in the letter how willing you are to resolve the situation and take full responsibility for it.

Having a co-signer usually will get you over the credit hump, but not always. If all else fails offer to pay a full month in advance. Sometimes it may be necessary to offer up two months rent in advance on top of your security deposit.


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