Bad credit can certainly cause many apartment communities to reject your application. It seems that many complexes have become more strict compared to what they have been in the past. Many renters simply give up and stay where they are and deem the entire process too complicated and stressful.

But like anything else, it's just about understanding how landlords and apartment managers qualify and critique applicants. Once you understand how the process works and we pull back the layers, it becomes more clear on how anyone can go about renting an apartment with poor credit history. Here is a quick guide on how you can accomplish just that.

What is Bad Credit:

Typically you will have bad credit when you don't pay your bills, or pay them late all the time. It can also be the result of having too much debt. Low credit scores will usually be associated with someone who has bad credit. This can result in the person having a hard time getting loans or even renting a house or apartment home.

Usually the individual will have one or more of the following:

  • High credit card balances
  • Credit card charge-offs
  • Bankruptcy
  • Unpaid cell phone bills or electricity bills
  • Broken apartment leases

Luckily there are some strategies you can use that will increase your chances of acceptance at the next place you want to rent.

Pro Tip:

If you know your credit stinks, then you want to speak with the leasing agent before you fill out the application. Be sure and ask them the qualifications for approval before you apply. It's not time to be proud. If you have credit challenges, now is the time to bring them up. If you know you will be declined, don't apply!

Some apartment community guidelines insist you have a certain credit score or higher. This can give you an idea what your chances are.

Have a Co-Signer Ready

If you don't meet the income requirements or the landlord isn't so sure about you, a co-signer might be just what the doctor ordered. This person will assume full responsibility of the lease if you leave in the middle of the night, or don't make the monthly rent payments. A co-signer just can't be anybody. They usually must have strong credit themselves and usually must make 5 times the monthly rent in many cases.

Usually this person will be a family member. In some cases it might be a very close friend. You probably know who might cosign for you already!

Remember though, if you don't make the payments and the co-signer must bail you out, your relationship might be damaged or unrepairable.

Offer to Put Down a Larger Deposit

This might work if you're renting a private home. The owner might be more willing to take a chance on you if you put down a double deposit, or potentially advance them 2 or 3 months of rent.

Landlords know that if a renter has put down a significant amount of money down they are less likely to walk away or risk losing it all.

Automatic Check Drafting

If you're serious about getting approved you could allow apartment management to automatically draft your checking account on the 1st of every month. It's possible that you already have a relationship with a business that currently drafts your checking account monthly. This would work in the same manner.

Of course you would have to provide proof of income from your tax returns so management can verify that you make enough money to pay your rent. The majority of large apartment communities want you to make between 3 and 3.5 times your monthly rent.

Repair Your Credit

Most individuals who have low credit scores never think about trying to fix their credit. There are companies in the wild that specialize in this.

If you know you want to rent a place in the future, you should start repairing your credit now! When you take the steps to fix your bad credit, this can increase your score in the future.

  1. Pay off your credit cards as fast as possible.
  2. If you owe a company money, you might try negotiating with them to pay off the balance in full. They probably would rather get something rather than nothing.
  3. Many times if you wait just long enough, items on your credit report that have a negative impact will naturally fall off.

Quick Takeaways

Sometimes you won't be able to rent at a specific apartment complex no matter what you do. The key is simply not to apply at these types of facilities with strict rules.

  • Be sure you know the approval guidelines before you apply.
  • Have your co-signer ready
  • Show your income and bank statements if necessary
  • References cannot hurt
  • Offer a bigger deposit or advance 2 or 3 months of rent
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