How To Get An Apartment With Bad Credit

By: ROS Team

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Getting an apartment can be challenging if you have poor credit. Landlords frequently analyze your credit history in order to determine whether they can trust their tenants.

It might be challenging to persuade a landlord that you are someone they should rent to if you have a low credit score or negative notes on your report.

Yet, there are certain methods for those with bad credit or no credit history that can improve their chances of being accepted for an apartment:

1. Pay the Deposit Using a Credit Card

It’s crucial to understand that you can use a credit card to pay the deposit when applying for an apartment with low credit. If it means securing an apartment sooner, it can be worth you to pay more in interest than if you utilized a loan or personal check.

If possible, try to use one of the cards that has no annual fee and offers rewards points–this way, even though there will be interest charges on top of all of your other bills each month (which may seem like too much), at least those charges might help offset what would otherwise be wasted money sitting in an account earning zero percent interest!

2. Look for No-Credit Apartments

Not all apartments require a certain credit score, so if you’re in the process of improving your score, this type of apartment may work best for you.  Include ‘no credit’ as a search term during your online apartment searches to get an idea of the apartments that don’t consider credit.

3. Offer More Security Deposit

Security deposits are a common part of renting an apartment. They’re basically a way to ensure that the landlord gets paid, and they typically cost between 1-2 months’ rent. If you have bad credit, it’s likely that your security deposit will be higher than normal–but don’t worry!

The good news is that this can be negotiated with your landlord. When it comes time to sign the lease, ask them if there’s any flexibility when it comes to your security deposit amount (or lack thereof).

If the landlord doesn’t budge on their demands for an increased amount of money upfront and in cash before moving day arrives, then consider offering something else instead: additional collateral or guarantees from other people who will help pay off debts if things go south between tenants and landlords later down the road.

4. Negotiate with the Landlord

Negotiating with the landlord or management company is a good idea. You can offer to pay your rent in cash, pay a higher deposit, or even offer to pay extra for things like a pet deposit or security system.

5. Get a Co-Signer

A cosigner is someone who agrees to take responsibility for your debt if you don’t pay. This can be a family member or friend, but it’s important that they are trustworthy and reliable.

For example, if the landlord has to go through court proceedings in order to evict someone from an apartment because they didn’t pay their rent, then having a cosigner will help prevent this from happening because the person who signed on as a guarantor for your lease agreement will be held responsible for paying off any outstanding debts if necessary.

6. Get a Roommate

Getting someone to cosign for you isn’t always practical.  You may need to consider getting a roommate.   As was the case with a cosigner, try to find someone who has a better credit score to share your apartment with since it will increase the likelihood that your rental application gets approved.

Not only that, your monthly living expenses would be cut in half. There is a downside: you have to share your living space with someone. But it’s still a good option while you work to get your credit score on track.

7. Be Honest about your Circumstances

Empathy is a powerful thing and sometimes your story has the ability to inspire or remind others of their own journey.  Don’t be afraid to share the circumstance behind your financial rough patch with the potential landlord if you think it will make a difference in their decision to take you on as a tenant.

8. Consider Adding Supporting Documents

Your consumer profile is made up of many different factors, of which your credit score is only one. If your score is low, include supporting documentation with your application to fill in the blanks and show that you are a trustworthy candidate who is able to make your rent payments on time each month.

You may opt to include the following documents:



What is considered as a Bad Credit Score?

Any score between 300 to 580 is regarded as having a “bad” credit score.

What Credit Score Do You Need to Rent an Apartment?

The FICO score of 620 is regarded as fair credit and is frequently used as a starting point by landlords.

What Do Landlords Look For on a Credit Report?

When reviewing your credit history, landlords will look for three things:

1) Whether you’ve been late on payments,
2) Whether you have any judgments against you, and
3) The types of accounts shown on your report.

They’ll be searching for proof that you’ve been a good financial citizen in the past, which includes paying payments on time and keeping debt to a minimum!

How to Improve Your Credit Score?

It’s always a good idea to improve your credit score before getting an apartment. Here are few strategies you may implement:

  • Pay all of your bills on time
  • Pay all of your debts
  • Include rental payments in your credit score
  • Become an authorized user on another account


Can You Get an Apartment with Bad Credit?

In general, yes! If you have negative credit, the majority of apartment buildings won’t blacklist you unless you have a protracted history of financial default. You can also inquire with the property manager about ways to raise your credit rating so that you will be better able to apply for apartments in the future.

Final Words

So, how do you get an apartment with bad credit? Well, there are a few options to consider. You can try getting a cosigner or paying the deposit with a credit card, but if those don’t work out then it might be time to look at other options like searching for no-credit apartments or offering more security deposit. However, if none of these things work out then maybe consider finding another place altogether!

Related Article:

How to Run a Credit Check on a Potential Tenant
Average Credit Score Needed to Get a New House
How To Rent an Apartment If You Have a Low Credit Score
What Is A Credit Reference And Is It Necessary For A Rental Application?