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How to get an apartment with bad credit? || 9 Best Approaches

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  • Post last modified:February 3, 2022

How to get an apartment with bad credit?

Getting the right apartment is hard because there are a lot of things to consider. Some of those include charges, location, features, and more.

In addition, there is also another thing like whether you will qualify to get that apartment or not. You can get an apartment even if you have a bad credit score.

Yes, it will be tricky but knowing the right strategies makes it possible.

The credit score signifies your financial history in brief. It is the symbol of your genuineness while applying for a loan, mortgage, or even getting an apartment.

It’s quite obvious that a better credit score can help you to get an apartment easily.

With a bad credit score, you have to do some more things than a person with a good or average credit score.

However, it’s entirely possible to get an apartment in the USA with bad credit. In this guide, we will discuss the strategies on how to get an apartment with bad credit.

Stay tuned till the end to know about those!

What is a credit score?

how to get an apartment with bad credit

A three-digit number that lets anyone get an idea about your financial history is known as a credit score.

It is a measure of one’s creditworthiness which the lenders check when you apply for a loan or owner check while renting you an apartment.

This provides them the guarantee of whether you can bear the cost to stay in that apartment or be able to clear off the loan.

The credit score ranges from 300 to 850. Higher the FICO score, chances are better to get an apartment.

  • Above 800 credit score is denoted as exceptional
  • 740-799 is graded as very good
  • 670-739 is good
  • 580-669 is fair
  • Below 580 is a bad credit score.

You should always try to improve your credit score once it goes down below 700. This can be done by paying off the outstanding dues, timely payment bills, etc.

How to get an apartment with bad credit and no cosigner?

If you are new to the apartment hunting process and have bad credit, you may not have a cosigner.

So, you may be tensed now thinking about how to get an apartment with bad credit and no cosigner.

Thankfully, there are different approaches that let you get an apartment without a cosigner.

In fact, it’s better to not take a cosigner for getting an apartment. Let’s first understand what cosigner means.

how to get an apartment with bad credit

From the name, you may have already guessed that what a cosigner is. It’s someone who will sign off the lease document along with you but he or she will have a good credit score.

If you fail to pay the rent anytime, then a cosigner will also be held responsible to clear off your dues.

Hence, the problem arises here. The cosigner needs to pay your rent now and hence you will get involved in another debt as you will have to pay the cosigner.

So, we advise you to not opt for a cosigner even if you have bad credit.

Below we have listed down different tips and tricks on how to get an apartment with bad credit and no cosigner.

  • Sharing your room with others,
  • Letter of recommendation,
  • Rentals not doing credit checks,
  • Greater upfront payment,
  • Cheap apartment,
  • Proof of timely rental payment history,
  • Improve credit score by paying off debts,
  • Automatic rent deduction from a bank account,
  • Create a budget for yourself.

Tips for how to get an apartment with bad credit score –

Landlords check your credit score before renting the apartment to get an idea about your credit history.

If that is bad, you need to take some other steps to make yourself a strong candidate for getting an apartment. Let us know the various strategies or steps that you must take.

Add a roommate

With bad credit, the best thing to do is to share your room with someone else.

It implies that the same lease will be signed with someone else since you both are taking the same apartment.

The other person might have a good credit history that makes it easier for you to get the apartment.

But, if you fail to do any monthly payments, then your roommate needs to pay your share as well.

Good referral

Having a good referral can be a positive sign to get an apartment with bad credit.

You can take a letter of recommendation from your past landlord to prove that you are enough serious about the rental process.

Even if you don’t have a past landlord, then you can also ask for referrals from your colleagues, friends, or maybe your employer.

Rentals not doing credit checks

Yes, there are some rentals that don’t check your credit score for offering the lease of an apartment.

In most cases, single-person landlords are less likely to check your credit history than apartment complex management companies.

Besides, convincing a single landlord about your bad credit score is easier than those apartment complexes.

So, start exploring newspapers or online to find out the rentals that don’t check credit scores before renting an apartment.

Larger security deposit

You can also offer a more upfront payment to get an apartment with bad credit history.

Hence, you can save some money for a few months to provide an advance payment of three or six months to the landlords.

This will boost the confidence of the landlords to approve the lease of the apartment easily despite you having a bad credit score.

However, please do proper research of the landlord before paying advance to them so that you don’t involve in any fraud cases.

how to get an apartment with bad credit

Stay happy with an apartment that you need

Getting a luxurious apartment is a dream for everyone but you need to sacrifice that because of a bad credit score.

You should go for a cheaper apartment and try to improve your credit score. This can help to get a better apartment in the future.

Hence, choosing a cheaper apartment will help to reduce your overburdened liabilities.

Show proof of timely rental payment history

You can bring all the past rental bills to the new landlord for proving that you were a responsible tenant earlier.

This proof can be a positive sign for the new landlord to accept you as the tenant of the apartment easily.

It’s because never missing a rental payment earlier implies a positive credit history which can counteract the bad credit score.

Automatic payment option

Ask the new landlord to set an automatic payment option. This will ensure that you will pay off the rent on time without a miss.

You can also request your landlord to set the automatic payment option in such a manner that the rental payment gets deducted every month on the same day of your salary credit.

Reduce debts

You should make a list of your unpaid dues and start clearing them off.

This will help to improve your credit score and hence get an apartment easily. It’s always better to take the first step than never going in that direction.

So, identify your debts and implement the right money management techniques to take your credit score above 580 at least.

Make a budget yourself

You can create a list of all the debts and jot down the strategies you are taking to clear them off.

This can be a good thing to show the landlords that how you will be managing to pay off your debts and also left with the rental payment at the end of each month.

So, your new landlord can be assured that you can pay the rent every month without fail by following that strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I be denied getting an apartment if I have a bad credit score?

Yes, even after following the above strategies, there are chances to get denied to get an apartment from many places. The chances are more if your earlier rental payments are failed or not paid. So, depending on your risk, you need to follow the right strategy and get yourself an apartment.

Which is the best credit score to get an apartment easily without the need to follow the above tips?

Always try to keep your credit score above 700 because then you don’t have to face any issues with getting an apartment.

I don’t have a cosigner; can I get an apartment with bad credit?

Yes, it’s possible. All the above strategies discussed are without the need for a cosigner. We have also included a different section on this discussion.

Final Words…

We have included nine different approaches that can help you to get an apartment with bad credit.

You can follow these strategies and get an apartment even if you don’t get any cosigner.

So, we hope that we have built up your confidence in getting an apartment even with bad credit.

There is nothing to worry about anymore. Just be straightforward and don’t hide your credit score while renting an apartment.

Also, please try to improve your credit score alongside by paying bills timely, applying for a car loan, home loan, reducing debts, etc.

Thus, start preparing the documents and begin your search for an apartment today to get settled!