Everything you Need to know About Credit Score while Renting an Apartment in NYC

By: ROS Team

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Usually, when you go on apartment hunting you would be required to furnish details of your credit score. Sometimes, it is the landlord who asks for it, or other times, even leasing agents check it to know your worth. A credit score carries your financial history and tells how responsible you have been regarding your financial matters up till now.

To be honest, rental property is usually bought for investment. It becomes a chief contributor to the landlord’s income and they manage their bills out of it. Now they would want to ensure that the flow of monthly rent would keep coming so their lifestyle does not get disturbed. The best way to make sure is to check the credit score. It reduces the risk involved in a potential lease.

Note Most of the time, especially renting at good places or where competition is higher, a 600 plus credit score is required. Below that might make things inconvenient for you as from a landlord’s perspective, it involves higher risk.

However, it does not mean the end of the world and you may still manage an apartment even with a low credit score.

How to Rent an Apartment with a Bad Credit Score?

First thing first, if your credit score is not up to the market standards, improve it. There is no alternative to it, simply. But the truth is it does not work for a couple of weeks or months, it takes time to fully recover from it.

So What do you do When You Can Afford a Place but have a Poor Financial History?

1) To improve your credit score, you need to be consistent and in time regarding your installments over some time to see the improvement in your credit score.

2) Get a copy of your credit score. You may get it online as well. Read it thoroughly and see if there are mistakes in the report. If you find any mistakes, reach out to credit bureaus to rectify the error. The point is to get to know that your credit score is not bad because of someone else’s error.

3) Now that you know your credit score, you need to play smart here. There is no point in applying for apartments where they have already mentioned tough credit score scrutiny. Look for apartments where requirements are not that tough.

4) It could be that you struggled in the past which lowered your credit score but now you have a sound job and making handsome money. Show them the proof of your employment. Show them your salary slip so they would get to know you can manage your rent in time. If possible get a reference from your employer or furnish contact information along with a slip so they may run a counter check.

The credit score is required to reduce the risk involved related to renting payments. If you can manage it the other way, that would be equally good. Arrange additional references; be it your previous landlord, your colleagues, your boss, or could be your friend who would put in nice words about you and be there to vouch for you.

If everything fails, get a co-signer. Having someone with a good credit score as a co-signer on the lease would make your case convincing before the landlord.

Tips to Improve your Credit Score:

While you may get an apartment with a poor credit score with a little extra effort but ultimately you have to resolve to improve your credit score. There is no point in doing that much struggle every time you need to shift to a new apartment. Get it fixed once and forever.

What you need to learn here is that there is no fast remedy to the issue and it would require patience along with effort. Just keep doing the small and positive steps towards your goal. If you have a loan to settle, make a plan to pay it. Make installments or take someone’s help to settle that loan.

Consider the Following Tips:

  • Do not take balances against credit score.
  • Pay your payments on time.
  • Try to pay more than what you need to pay as a minimum.
  • Settle all of your utility bills in full.
  • Pay what you can and as early as you can. Though, it would be hard for you to settle all your loans at once but paying what you can help you increase your credit score.
  • The best strategy is to avoid carrying balances against credit scores. If you have a high credit utilization ratio, it hurts your cause.
  • It is better to not close your old cards. People often do this mistake when they seek to improve credit scores but keeping them open is way better. Older cards extend the average age of score which works in your favor.

How Much is a Good Credit Score for Renting an Apartment:

You have learned the term ‘good’ credit score but how much would be called a good credit score is still a conundrum for you.

Well, typically credit score ranges from 300 to 850. Above 800 is exceptional and excellent by all standards. As a general standard, a credit score between 740 and 799 is very good. A credit score between 670 and 739 is generally considered ‘good’ while ‘fair’ is between 580 and 669. To be honest, below 580 is not a good place to be in.

Final Words:

Since you have known everything about credit score, try and keep it in a good spot so you would not have to worry when you need to make a rental lease.