By Darrell Ritchie

In today’s financial society, credit is everything. Your credit score determines in large part if you can buy big ticket items such as a car or a home. Of course if you can’t buy a home, your next most logical step is to rent a house or an apartment. Sadly though, your credit score will come into play here as well.

So your credit isn’t exactly stellar, and you need a place to live. Can you get into a decent apartment despite your less than impressive financial credentials?

The good news is that different landlords require different credit results. Some apartment complexes may deny your request due to bad credit, even if your rental history has been impeccable. Obviously the best solution would be to find a landlord that doesn’t do credit checks.

As with any financial endeavor, establish your price range, what you are able to pay month to month. Getting in over your head from the word go will do nothing to improve your credit standing.


You can check out Craigslist, which has numerous rental opportunities popping up every day, as well as a local real estate agent, some of which are used by people who want to rent out their homes. You just need to ask the landlord what criteria are used to qualify you for rental. Keep in mind that qualification standards may vary from landlord to landlord. If a credit check is not on the list, congratulations, your life just got a whole lot easier.

If you do find yourself staring down the business end of a credit report, it never hurts to have people vouch for your financial character. Obviously the best choice would be former landlords, who can testify to and verify your good payment history. An official from your bank might be another good option.

Of course it would be ideal to pay off any past due accounts and get something in writing stating that you have done so. This can really help negate a damaging credit report.

Of course you can always get a co-signer, somebody who does meet the financial obligations set forth and who doesn’t mind putting their name on the lease with you. Be advised that if you do skip out on your responsibilities, the landlord can go after the co-signer to get their money. This will not only cost you a relationship, but will only serve to further damage your credit report.

In any case, if you are dealing with a bad credit history, almost anything you do is going to cost more. Don’t be surprised if you are asked to put more money upfront, or pay a higher security deposit, or even advance them several months’ rent. Start putting money aside now to make sure you are adequately prepared for whatever unexpected costs may be incurred. You might even want to offer to pay a higher amount to demonstrate that you are serious about making your rent payments on time and being a desirable tenant.

You can also check out low income housing in your area, as they are usually much more lenient on credit scores. The obvious downside here is that such apartment complexes typically do not draw the most attractive clientele.

Of course the best possible option is to begin establishing good credit habits now. Pay your bills, on time, every time, every month. Pay down past due accounts, and close out any credit card accounts you do not need. The best way to avoid the problem is to avoid the mistakes that give rise to the problem.

If you manage to get in to an apartment despite your credit history, then work to show that you deserve it. Pay your rent, and keep your apartment clean and nice throughout your lease. Be the one your landlord wants to see come through the door.

Bad credit is a part of life, and in today’s economy, there are more good and decent (even responsible) people fighting bad credit scores as a result of circumstances beyond their control. Just do the best you can do and find the apartment complex or landlord who is willing to understand and work with your situation. Good luck in your house hunting!

About the Author: Darrell is Director Of Content for Leadsbyfone LLC, a lead generation company servicing the water mitigation industry


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Can You Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit?