So you need to find a new place to live but your low credit score is making it difficult to find a place willing to rent to you.
Your personal credit history and credit score can be a significant factor in your search for a place to rent. Some landlords and rental companies have very strict standards in evaluating tenant applications. Having bad credit can keep you from renting the apartment you prefer.
Needless to say, you should start working on credit improvement right now.
But of course, you can’t magically heal bad credit. No matter what you do or how hard you work to improve your credit, you can’t do it in one day. Repairing bad credit takes time and effort. You may need to work on it for at least 6 months or longer before you can regain your good credit standing once again. It would depend on how bad the damage is. But repairing your credit should be a priority. You don’t want to have to constantly struggle to obtain financing, rent an apartment or even put utilities in your own name. If you are not able to repair your credit yourself, there are reputable credit repair companies that can help you.
So, what can you do if you need to move at the soonest possible time?
If you have found the apartment that you really want to live in but the landlord requires good credit, does that mean your situation is hopeless? Not necessarily. There are some things that you can do to increase your chances of getting approved as a tenant.
Take a look at these suggestions:
Get a referral.
Do you know someone with good credit who can recommend you to the landlord? Perhaps one of your friends or relatives is a tenant there. Or perhaps, one of your contacts personally knows the landlord. Whichever the case is, getting a recommendation from someone who the landlord can trust will increase your chance of getting accepted despite your poor credit.
Speak with the landlord.
Personally meeting the landlord can make a big difference than just submitting a written application. You can explain the circumstances that lead you to bad credit and the steps that you’ve been doing to regain your good credit standing. Assure the landlord that you are working on your credit history and that you will not do anything that can hurt your score even more.
Be sincere. Trying to cover up the negative things will only make things worse. You need to show the landlord that despite your poor credit score, you are an honest person who takes your responsibilities seriously.
Find a co-signer.
Finding someone with good or excellent credit to co-sign your lease application is also a viable solution. Of course, your co-signer must be aware that he/she would be taking over the repayment of debts should you fail to keep up with your rental payments. However, if someone has been good-hearted enough to vouch for you, see to it that you do not put this person in a bad situation by being careless about your obligations.
Be ready to submit a larger security deposit
Offering a higher deposit can also convince a landlord to accept you as a tenant. You might even be required to submit advanced payments for the next two months to ensure that collection of rent will not be a problem.