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Real Estate Tips

Can Your Credit Score Affect Your Apartment Search?

Posted on Friday, November 11, 2016

Landlords don't know you or any other applicants they are considering for apartment rentals. A study done by TransUnion showed that about 50% of landlords use a credit check as one of the deciding factors for renting to a tenant.

With credit checks becoming easier to complete, the rental market has become far more competitive. Managing multiple apartment rentals becomes much easier with the ability to run online credit checks. Potential renters have to make their applications look great and the credit score is a big part of it.

Even if your credit score doesn't keep you from renting an apartment, it may cost you with the deposit. Most landlords will ask for a larger deposit and possibly first and last month's rent up front, if your application shows a low credit score.

A Low Credit Score will Affect Your Search

Don't let bad credit stall your apartment search

It shouldn't come as any surprise, if your credit score is low, it will change the way you search for an apartment. Bad credit tells a landlord they cannot trust you to pay your rent on time. At the very least, it puts doubt in their mind.

Landlords want to be able to trust you with their investment. Good credit gives them a reason to trust you, while bad credit does the opposite. However, there are ways to show a landlord you're trustworthy, even with bad credit.

How to Make Your Rental Application Shine

A low credit score doesn't have to keep you from getting the apartment you want. There are ways to make your application shine without great credit. Here are a few ways you can still rent that perfect apartment, even if your credit score leaves something to be desired.

Get a Co-signer

The easiest way to make your rental application shine is with a co-signer. As long as they have good credit, the world of apartment rentals will open up for you. Just make sure your co-signer understands the large commitment they will be making.

Find a Roommate

A roommate with good credit will make a huge difference. They act much like a co-signer, except they will be living with you. If you have a friend with great credit looking for a place to live, you will have a better chance of renting an apartment you really want.

Get Your Credit in Order

Boost your credit score before searching apartment rentals.

You don't need to have perfect credit to rent most apartments. However, a FICO score north of 600 will certainly help. Before you start searching for an apartment rental, check your credit and make sure it's in good shape. If not, you can take steps to boost your score, such as:

  • Paying off old debts

  • Paying down credit cards

  • Opening a new credit account and keeping up with the payment

  • Paying all your current bills on time

It may not take much to boost your credit score enough to rent the apartment you desire.

Other ways to make your apartment rental application shine include:

  • Offer a larger deposit
  • Offer to pay first and last month's rent upfront
  • Provide past landlords as references
  • Show proof of on time rental payments from the past one to three years

It's not impossible to rent an apartment when you have bad credit. However, it does become a little harder. With a good co-signer, roommate, improved credit or a larger deposit, you will have a better chance of getting approved for the apartment you want to rent.

If you're looking for an apartment rental, search properties now and find the right place to call home.