How to Rent an Apartment With Bad Credit?

Posted on Monday, June 29th, 2015 at 5:45am.

Prime Edmonton Real Estate - Apartment complexes and landlords are among the many businesses that use your credit to approve your application. Different landlords have different credit requirements. Bad credit can cause you to end up homeless, if you're looking in the wrong places. Even if you have a spotless rental history and a substantial salary, some landlords may still deny your rental application if you have stained credit. While other landlords may only be looking to see if you have a previous banishment or other rental-related flaws on your credit report.

If you already have a bad credit history and you're worried that will keep you from finding a place to live, then you can always consider other options:

  • Opt For Rentals That Don't Check Credit:

Search for a landlord that doesn't do credit checks. This is the best way to get an apartment when you have bad credit. Generally, apartment complexes are owned by large property management companies that require a credit check on all applications and these are types of apartments that are most likely to turn you down if you have bad credit. Therefore, aim for properties owned by individual landlords who often don't check credit or who may be willing to take risks considering the fact that you don't have the best credit history but have an ever-growing, solid income.

The best way to scout for individual landlords is by getting real estate agents in your area to find an apartment. Many homeowners, especially those who live out of town, use real estate agents to rent their homes. You can also check the classified section of your local newspaper where property owners advertise for rentals.

  • Steady, Provable Income:

First, you need to make about three to four times the rent to ensure you can afford the monthly rent and not just meet the landlord's requirements. Second, you need solid proof for your income. Two or three months of paystubs proving your stable income is often sufficient.

  • Get Recommended:

Contact people with whom you've had a financial relationship, such as previous landlords, your bank, previous / current employers and ask for a reference letter. Getting someone to vouch for your financial responsibility can help dampen the effect of negative entries on your credit report.

To persuade the landlord to let you rent, soften the negativity of your credit report with a letter that explains the situation that caused your financial problems. Common circumstances that lead to bad credit are divorce, medical bills and job loss. Also, ensure that your letter describes how you've cleaned up your finances and why and how you can handle a rental.

Getting someone responsible to co-sign your lease in another option. Your co-signer will have to meet the necessary credit qualifications, so he or she needs to have good credit. However, in this case, the landlord can legally go after the co-signer if you skip your rent or get evicted for any reason. Additionally, also be prepared to pay more money upfront, if you get approved for an apartment despite your credit history. You might be required to pay a higher deposit between one and three months of rent to move into your new apartment. If you don't have the best credit and will be moving in the near future, start setting some money aside and commence looking for a new place as soon as possible. But make sure you keep in mind these important points so that you know how to prepare yourself having bad credit and considering the amount of time it will take for you to find an apartment. 

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