Saturday, April 28, 2012

Renting an Apartment with Bad Credit

Renting an Apartment with Bad Credit can be tricky, but About.com offers certain guidelines you can follow to try and increase your chances of being able to rent an apartment no matter what your credit rating. 

Typically, large apartment complexes always run a credit check, but smaller, independent landlords may not.  So look for houses, apartments or townhomes that are individually owned.  You can also figure out whether the owner is likely to do a credit check by talking to them.  Ask, "what criteria do you use to approve tenants for rental?"  If they don't mention a credit check, you should be safe, but if they do, there is more you can do to improve your chances of being approved.

You can get letters of recommendation testifying to your financial responsibility from people you have had a good financial relationship with, such as landlords, your bank or current or previous employers.  If you have past due balances, particularly to past landlords or utility companies, you are most likely to get denied.  The best way to fix this is to pay those balances and get the person you paid to write a letter stating you have paid in full.  Do be careful when you use either of these letters, as you don't want to raise an unneccessary red flag with a landlord who wasn't already aware of your credit history. 

If you are worried about being able to get an apartment on your own, you can have a co-signer on your lease.  This would be someone such as your parent or a trusted relative with good credit.  The downside of this is that if you do not pay your rent or are evicted, the landlord has legal rights to go after your co-signer for the money you owe.  Finally, you may have to pay more for your apartment, whether it be a larger security deposit or paying several months of rent in advance, if your credit is poor.

Looking for a new apartment and concerned about a less than stellar credit report?  Apartment Specialists can help you find apartments for bad credit that will work with your situation.  We have relationships with the apartment complexes and we know who will listen to your side and who just looks at a piece of paper.