If you’re looking to rent with crummy credit, you may discover that finding the perfect house is a bit challenging. Although you're not seeking a mortgage loan, some landlords will conduct a traditional credit check. Unfortunately, if you have issues on your report, they may choose another tenant. However, there are tricks to help you rent with crummy credit.
1. Rent from a Private Homeowner
If you're looking to rent with crummy credit, you might skip big management companies and seek a property from a private landlord. Some private landlords do not run credit checks. As long as you can provide a source of income and employment information, they might be willing to take a chance.
2. Explain Your Financial Situation
Sometimes, bad credit is the result of circumstances beyond your control and otherwise, you are a responsible adult. Many landlords will understand your situation but you need to be honest. Don't let landlords discover bad credit on their own. Be upfront and explain your situation in the beginning. For example, did you lose your job? Go through a divorce? Suffer an illness?
3. Pay Your Rent in Advance
To put a landlord's mind at ease, offer to pay your rent in advance. Perhaps three or six month’s rent at once, depending on your finances. This is a good faith gesture, and it demonstrates your seriousness.
4. Offer a Larger Security Deposit
If you are unable to pay your rent in advance, maybe you can offer a larger security deposit. Most landlords require one month’s rent as security, so perhaps you can double or triple this amount. This way, if you skip out on the lease early, the landlord can pay the rent for one or two months, until he finds another tenant.
5. Get a Cosigner
If you're renting the place with a spouse or a roommate, this person's good credit history might compensate for your shaky credit. However, if you're renting alone, adding a cosigner to the lease might help you negotiate the contract. Cosigners should be someone with good credit, and someone who can afford to cover the rent if you default.
6. Automate Your Payments
Speak to the landlord and offer to have monthly payments automatically drafted from your bank account or a credit card. Giving the landlord access to your bank account might put his mind at ease. However, if you allow the landlord to draft the payment from your credit card, make sure you pay off this credit card in full each month.
7. Pay a Higher Rent
If you fall in love with a house, but feel that your bad credit may prevent a contract, speak with the landlord and offer to pay a higher rent. For example, if the landlord is asking for $1,100 a month, maybe you could offer $1,300. The extra money can provide the landlord with an additional cushion, just in case you terminate the lease early.
Despite your bad credit, it is possible to find a rental that you can see yourself living in. However, not all landlords will welcome you with open arms. For that matter, be honest and dress professionally when meeting with potential landlords. If you're likable and trustworthy, the landlord may give you the property.
How did you negotiate a lease with bad credit?