Sometimes, as one Ford dealership puts it, life hits you right in the credit report. You need to rent an apartment, but your credit is just not that good. Or, you might be looking for your first apartment and you have not built up any credit yet. Relax, there is good news. You can still rent an apartment without credit or without a credit check. Read on to learn more.
One great place to try is a private rental. People who run small apartment complexes or who are renting a room in their home often don’t run credit checks as much as a larger complex owner who has to answer to an association or corporate board. It’s easy to find places like this in website or newspaper classified ads. You may also see signs out in front of houses for “Room for rent”. The downside is you have no national review site to check and see what people are saying about the location, so you’ll have to do some research on your own.
Have your deposit ready, and then some. You might be able to put down a larger than usual deposit in lieu of a credit check, depending on the apartment manager. This ties into demonstrating that you have enough income to be able to pay the rent each month. The best ratio is making three times the amount of the rent. You’ll have enough for rent, utilities, and insurance, and still have enough left over to not stress about it.
A co-signer can be very helpful as well. One thing your co-signer needs to be aware of is that should you be unable to pay, they are legally obligated to cover whatever the apartment lease requires. Your co-signer does not have to live at the apartment. It can be a relative or friend, but he or she just needs to be willing to cover the lease if you are no longer able to. This is often one of the best ways to obtain an apartment without any credit.
You can also call and talk to the apartment managers to see what their qualifications are for credit. Is your credit suffering from some high medical bills you are working on paying off? Or did you just put too much on credit cards and then declare bankruptcy? These are often viewed as two completely different matters and a manager might be more willing to overlook the medical bills for which you have a payment plan. It also shows that you are willing to be responsible about your money.
Then there is a surety bond. You will pay a fee of about 10% to 15% of the amount of the security deposit to a bond company who in turn pays your deposit in full. At the end of the lease or when you move, you will not receive this amount back like you would a deposit you had paid directly.
Finally, there is asking for a short term lease up front to demonstrate that you have all the right factors to be a great tenant. You both can always renew later if things work out well.
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