Having bad credit score can cause you all kinds of inconveniences, and not being accepted for a certain property is one of them. Landlords use credit scores as a selection criterion because they don’t know potential tenants personally and need a guarantee of their reliability.
It’s common for large apartment management groups to require a credit score of 670 or above, so if you have bad credit history and are looking in the wrong places, you may end up being refused over and over again.
How to Rent an Apartment in New York Even With Bad Credit
Having a bad credit history shouldn’t turn you into a homeless person, though. There are still some ways you can work around landlords’ strict requirements and find a nice place to live.
These tips should help you find your dream apartment in a short time:
Check your credit report again
Are you sure your situation is that bad? Before starting the apartment hunting, check your credit report again and make sure you know what you’re working with. This is the moment to look for inaccurate information and remove errors through a credit report dispute process.
Improve your credit report
Aside from disputing errors, you can improve your bad credit by keeping accounts that are in good standing, paying credit card bills in time, responding immediately to calls from collections agents, and not taking any more loans that you cannot afford. Becoming more financially disciplined is a must for anyone dealing with bad credit.
Adding explanations to your credit report
If you have negative items on your credit report, you can add a 100-word statement explaining why you haven’t managed to pay your debts – maybe you lost your job or have been hospitalized. Even if your credit is not perfect, you can still demonstrate you are a responsible person, who has taken steps to solve a problem.
Prepare a recommendation letter written by you
If you need to explain your financial situation in detail, why not write your arguments down in a recommendation letter? It’s better to be honest about your credit issues and disclose them before the landlord even runs a credit check. Also provide information on how you are working to correct errors and issues.
Remember why landlords want to check your credit history? Because they don’t know you and have no clue on your ability to pay the rent on time. By getting recommendations from people with whom you’ve had a financial relationship in the past, such as landlords, employers, or banks, you will look more reliable and you’ll be able to prove you that will be a trustworthy tenant. Nevertheless, don’t provide a reference letter unless the landlord has checked your credit history – otherwise you’ll just make them suspicious.
Prove you have stable and solid income
A bad credit history becomes less of a problem when you prove you can afford to pay the monthly rent. If you earn three of four times the rent and show you’ve had stable income in the past few months, you will be more likely to get accepted.
Get a co-signer
If you apply for a rent and have bad credit, you can get a co-signer who will guarantee for you. The process is similar to putting up collateral for a loan. You need to find a trusted friend or family member who has good credit and who will take legal and financial responsibility in case you don’t pay the rent.
Use automatic payment
Offer the landlord the possibility to automatically deduct rent payments from your bank account each month. You’ll also need to provide a letter of employment verification in order to prove that you qualify.
Pay a larger initial deposit
You can alleviate the concerns of nervous landlords by offering to pay the rent several months in advance or setting up a security deposit. In case you don’t pay the rent, the landlord will have extra cash at their disposal to cover losses.
Get a roommate
If you are in financial trouble, getting a roommate with good credit who will sign the lease is one of the best options. Moreover, you will save money by splitting bills, which can help you improve your bad credit faster and get rid of financial problems.
Move in immediately
Moving in as soon as possible may determine landlords to accept your application even if you have bad credit history because they want to earn revenue through rent payments as soon as possible.
Choose a rental that doesn’t check credit
Not all landlords do credit checks, so the best way to sign a rental contract when you have bad credit is finding a landlord that doesn’t require potential tenants to provide credit reports. You’ll need to avoid large apartment complexes owned by property management companies and look for individual landlords who are happy to close the deal even if they don’t check your credit history.
Independent owners are more likely to consider your explanations, unlike management companies which often follow a set of guidelines when checking applications.
What To Do Next?
Have you ever managed to rent an apartment, even if you had bad credit? How did you do it?