Fortunately for people with a few credit issues in their past, there are ways to get an apartment with bad credit. Completing a rental application, only to have a landlord deny your application, is frustrating. Don’t give up on your search for the right apartment. Let me show you different ways to get an apartment with bad credit.
1. Ask Your Parents to Cosign
Asking a parent to sign their name to your rental application is a stretch. But if your mom or dad agrees, you’re one step closer to having your own place. This is risky for your folks, but it’s one of the best ways to get an apartment with bad credit. Your parent is a co-applicant, thus responsible for the rent if you default. For this reason, make sure that you pay the rent on time every month.
2. Get a Roommate
Maybe the idea of living with someone leaves a bad taste in your mouth. But if landlord after landlord rejects your application because of poor credit, a roommate can get your foot in the door. In this case, your landlord takes the combined credit history of you and your roommate. If your roommate has excellent credit, this may compensate for your low score.
3. Lower Your Standard
Some landlords aren’t picky. As long as you can show the money, you can rent a unit. But if you have your heart set on a luxury or high-end apartment, these landlords place greater emphasis on credit history. In this case, you may have to put your luxury apartment dreams on hold - at least until you improve your credit.
4. Pay a Higher Security Deposit
Don’t be afraid to negotiate. If the landlord requires a month’s security deposit, offer to pay double or triple this amount. The fact that you’re willing to put up additional cash may remove some of his doubts. Even if you repeat bad habits and skip out on your lease early, the landlord retains your deposit, which can cover the rent until a new tenant moves in.
5. Get a Reference
If you rented a previous apartment or house, obtain rental references from your previous landlords. Don’t wait for an apartment manager to request this letter - include it with your apartment application. Obviously, you only want to include references if you paid previous landlords on time. The goal is to look responsible on your application.
6. Pay Your Yearly Rent in Advance
Understandably, not everyone has the bankroll to drop a lump sum on their rent. But if you do, demonstrate your seriousness and pay the entire first year’s rent upfront. This can give you time to raise your credit score. After the first year, the landlord may allow normal monthly rental payments.
7. Go Month-to-Month
With a month-to-month rental contract, you can leave the apartment anytime, as long as you provide a 30 day’s notice. If the landlord isn’t comfortable issuing a year-lease, this can work to your advantage. Ask the landlord for permission to rent on a month-to-month basis. If allowed, anticipate paying a higher monthly rent.
We all make mistakes. And unfortunately, bad credit doesn’t only affect loan and credit approvals. Follow these steps and getting an apartment with bad credit can be your reality. What negotiating tactics have worked for you?