You probably know that mortgage lenders check the credit of applicants before approving loans, but did you know that landlords do this, too? Landlords examine many factors of applicants before approving the applications, and credit is an important one. If you need an apartment to rent but have bad credit, will you be able to rent a unit? Yes, you can still rent an apartment with bad credit. However, it might be more challenging to do.
Why Credit Matters
Lenders that offer loans know that credit scores reflect a person's creditworthiness, and landlords feel the same way. A tenant with an excellent credit score tends to pay his or her bills on time. A person with imperfect credit may not pay his or her bills on time. Landlords know the importance of having good tenants, and they use screening procedures to choose the best tenants possible. When a person with bad credit applies, the landlord might be hesitant to approve the application.
What You Can Do
Fortunately, there are steps you can take that may help you get approved for an apartment. One option is to pay upfront. If you offer to pay several months of rental payments upfront, it reduces the risk the landlord assumes. A second option is to offer to pay a higher price for the unit per month. If the unit has a cost of $500 a month, offer to pay $550 a month.
You can also ask the landlord if you can use a cosigner on the application. If so, the landlord will base the decision on the cosigner's credit and not on yours.
Some landlords do not perform credit checks. If you can find a person who owns a few rental properties, he or she might not run screenings as a property management company does. Property management firms manage dozens or hundreds of units, and they use thorough screening procedures because they rent so many units.
The final thing to do is to start working on your credit. If you ignore it, your credit probably won't change a lot. If you work on it, though, you might be able to improve your score in just a few months. If you can, you may have an easier time finding an apartment to rent.
You can learn more about the apartment application process or the essential credit requirements by contacting a property manager or landlord in your city.