Is your apartment hunting but not sure if you’ve got the credit score to get the place of your dreams?
Well, when your credit score is not so great, there are some ways to possibly sway a potential landlord.
Sure, submitting your credit history to potential landlords is stressful for anyone who is navigating a competitive rental market—and doubly so for those with less than stellar credit. In fact, for renters who know their credit score is a liability, the best way forward may be to forget the credit check process altogether.
Here are some tips for how to rent without a credit check.
Go beyond rental service providers
A rental service isn’t the only option for to find the latest listings. Local message boards, classified ads, and websites like Craigslist can be a good starting point. Also try looking for rentals that are listed as “by owner,” versus through management companies or rental agencies. This puts you in direct contact with your potential landlord, who can evaluate you on your merits as a tenant and go beyond your credit score.
Use current and prior landlords as references
Landlords know that even renters with perfect credit can be bad tenants. So even if your credit is so-so, responsible tenants should actively use their current and prior landlords to put in a good word.
Offer more up front
One way to show your potential landlord how serious you are being is to offer your first month’s rent alongside a double security deposit to make up for a bad credit check. This double security deposit lets the landlord know you intend to make good on any potential damages or disputes while you are a tenant and can put the landlord at ease more than the standard upfront payments.
Show ‘em what you’ve got
Show potential landlords your car and current home which just might give you some bonus points. Doing so shows how you care for yourself and your surroundings. Invite future landlords to come and look at how you live in your current place or take care of your vehicle.
Have cosigners at the ready
Some landlords may forego a credit check if someone is willing to cosign for you. Perhaps offer up first month’s rent and a double security deposit as a gesture of faith to landlords who are willing to accept a cosigner. Do make sure your cosigner is aware that he or she will now be on the lease for the financial burden of the rental property and that his or her credit might also be subjected to a credit check before approval.
In the end, even if your credit score is nothing to write home about and you are on the hunt for a new place to live, rest assured there are ways to possibly help you sign a new lease. Any of these tips — one or all — could be the answer to your credit card score woes.