Can I Get An Apartment With Bad Credit

By: Jennifer Villalba

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Renting an apartment with bad credit is challenging. After all, a landlord is less likely to take a risk on a potential tenant with poor credibility. While their concern can be justified, you as a tenant shouldn’t feel disheartened if your scores aren’t enough for getting approval. This is not the end of the world.

There are many ways you can rent an apartment with bad credit. And here are some of them…

1. Review Your Credit Report for Errors or Wrong Info:

How reviewing a credit report can fix your bad credit?

Maybe the report contains some errors or inaccurate info that have affected your credit score. If you are not sure about the accuracy of the report, talk to the concerned company to have the inaccurate info removed. Minimizing the errors will keep the score higher, thereby increases your chances of being approved for a rental.

Sometimes, bad credit is due to the things that are beyond our control. It can be a loss of a job, a divorce, medical bills, and other unpleasant situations. In this scenario, you can explain the situations to your landlord which have resulted in bad credit. A landlord may consider this explanation if it’s reasonable.

2. Look for an Individual Landlord:

An individual landlord tends to offer rentals without being particular about your credit score. They can be lenient towards your credit score.

However, it is likely to work more with your good rental history and rock-solid income.

This option is still better than large property management companies where a good credit score is a basic criterion.

3. Opt for a Cosigner or Roommate:

If you can bring a roommate with better credit or better rental history, it will add to your credibility. Otherwise, you can find a co-signer who can allow you to use their credit to apply for the apartment. However, a cosigner is liable to pay the rent if you fall behind on payments, leading to personal issues. It is better if you choose someone who can understand your condition.

4. Improve Your Credit Status:

Another way to get approved for a rental apartment is to improve your credit score. Enroll as an authorized user if you have a family member or friend with a credit card. This way, the account information will be shown on your credit report in a month or two. FICO considers authorized users into their scoring algorithm. This is a great way to boost your credit score by 20-35 points quickly. Another way that we could see during the COVID pandemic was that many used improved their FICO score by prioritizing savings.

Besides, make sure to pay down your credit card balance on time. The utilization of the ration will be compared to your credit limit. The score will get lower with a higher balance. You need to get your credit utilization ratio below 15% to increase your credit score.

5. Pay in Advance:

Let’s accept it. Money matters the most. If you pay a one month rent advance and security deposit, a landlord is likely to be less worried about your bad credit.

Besides, getting your monthly rent payment deducted directly from your bank account will reassure a landlord about your credibility. This idea will be even useful if you don’t have a rental history. Paying more than asked security deposit is another way. It will be more appealing to the landlord as it assures them about financial security in case you are not able to pay the rent.

These options will help you find rent apartment with bad credit. If you have more ideas on this topic, share them by commenting below.


What is Bad Credit?

Bad credit refers to a low credit score or a history of late payments, defaults, or bankruptcies on loans or credit cards. Landlords and property managers often check credit scores to assess the risk of renting to potential tenants.

What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Getting an Apartment with Bad Credit?

To improve your chances of getting an apartment with bad credit, you can offer to pay a higher security deposit, provide proof of income, and offer references from previous landlords. You can also work on improving your credit score by paying bills on time, paying off outstanding debts, and disputing any errors on your credit report.

Should I Be Upfront with Potential Landlords About My Bad Credit?

It is generally a good idea to be upfront with potential landlords about your bad credit. This can show that you are responsible and honest, and it can also give you an opportunity to explain any extenuating circumstances that may have contributed to your bad credit.

Can a Landlord Deny Me An Apartment Based On My Bad Credit?

Yes, a landlord can legally deny you an apartment based on your bad credit. Landlords have the right to screen potential tenants based on their credit scores and history, as long as they do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, or other protected categories.