by Calvin Russell, Jr.
Trying to get an apartment with a low credit score can be a tough task to complete. First, you have to find a landlord willing to accept a low credit score. Then second, you would hope that the neighborhood is worth your while and with affordable rent. Either way, you must yourself in the landlord’s shoes and ask yourself, “Would you rent to yourself?” At the end of the day or month for that matter, the only thing of importance is paying the rent on time. How can you show the landlord this before getting approved? Let me show you.
Tip #1: Get Your Credit Score
I know, I know. Why would you get your credit score when you already know how bad it is! That’s the point. You see, what may be bad to you could be exactly what a landlord will accept. You can get your score for free through Credit Sesame or pay for the exact score the landlord will see through MyFico. Either way, you will know where you stand and doing this will help you sort out apartments that your score may be too far out of reach for.
Tip #2: Show Me…..I Mean, The Landlord The Money
Landlords are very flexible. They understand that a great tenant will soon move away or buy a home someday. They also understand that bad tenants, good credit or not, can be a difficult task to deal with. That is where you come in. During the interview process, whether over the phone or in person, spend a lot of time talking about how much money you make, how you budget your money, and the most important part, show the landlord that you are willing to put a bigger security deposit down. When prospective tenants put up more cash for the security deposit than originally asked for, the put themselves in a better position in obtaining the apartment. I have seen some tenants tell the landlord that if they are ever late, that will sign a document that would automatically fork over the entire security deposit. That may not be best for you, but if your score is low enough and you like the apartment enough, you will do just about anything to get it. Keep in mind, the point of doing this is getting the apartment and pay the rent on time. Another way of doing this is showing the landlord your check stubs, W2, Tax Forms, Savings Accounts, or Bank Statements. Doing this will show that you are not your credit score and that things happen. Keep in mind that the largest monthly expense most people pay for is their living expense. With that being said, you must show that you can afford it on a monthly basis. You can also offer to pay a few months upfront if you can afford it. You must be creative. Landlords love upfront money!
Tip #3: Have Your Previous Landlord Help You
Good landlords understand that people must move on in life. Of course, they would like to inform future landlords about bad tenants. But what most people are not aware of is that they are also willing to show other landlords how great a tenant can be. You can ask your landlord to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf, they can create a tally of all of your on-time rent payments, you can also ask them if they know of any other landlords with more upscale apartments or apartments in a different area.
The Bottom Line
Hopefully, you can breathe a little easier now that you know the tips. I have seen these tactics work time and time again as landlords are people to and they do understand that people make mistakes. They just want to make sure that they are choosing the right person to pay them on time and keep from causing a ruckus. For more information on topics such as this one, be sure to keep up with my latest post and free tips.
Calvin Russell Jr is a Certified FICO Professional and the CEO & Founder of Simply Professional Credit Consultation. SP Credit Consultation has helped hundreds of people increase their credit scores, qualify for homes, cars, and lower interest rates with their personal, Step-By-Step Action Plans. Contact us today to learn more or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.