Got Bad Credit? Tips for Overcoming Credit Issues

Young couple buying or renting a home or apartment, they are meeIf you have bad credit, it can ruin your chances of getting the apartment of your dreams. These days’property owners are strict about credit requirements — as they should be. They need tenants they can trust and know will pay the rent when it’s due. But, even those with bad credit deserve a chance. If you have bad credit, there are some things you can do to increase the chances you’ll get an apartment despite that low credit score.

Explain Yourself

Everyone has difficulties in their financial situation. While you might have bad credit, you might also have an explanation for it. Sometimes a potential property owner will understand the reasons behind your poor credit, especially if you can back it up. For example, you lost your job or you encountered a medical issue that made it difficult to pay your bills on time. You pay them on time now, which you can prove. But, you can also show medical bills or unemployment records too to boost your credibility.

Use a Cosigner

Some landlords will give you the apartment if you have a cosigner with better credit. While this might not be ideal, it is a good way to get an apartment even if you have poor credit. Ask family or friends if they would mind, but remember that if they cosign, they are equally responsible for the lease. Therefore, only ask for a cosigner if you are responsible enough to follow the terms of the lease in the first place.

Ask About a Larger Security Deposit

Some apartments will overlook poor credit scores if you offer a larger security deposit. Because a poor score often means you are unlikely to pay your rent, the larger security deposit offsets the risk of any loss for the landlord. Sometimes landlords will request two to three times more, but they will overlook your low credit score.

Prove Your Worth

Property owners exclude people with poor credit because they are unlikely to pay. You can show your positive credit history by giving them references to collectors and debtors you’re paying now. Also, show paycheck stubs and income statements proving you can afford the new apartment. If you have a good relationship with a previous landlord, see if they will give you a good reference. Make sure they comment on your ability to pay rent — noting that you’ve never been late and always paid your rent in full.

Even with all of these things, some landlords might not approve you if you have poor credit. If that is the case, don’t get discouraged. Start working on improving your credit score and maintaining a positive credit history from here on out. While it might not help you today, maintaining a positive credit history for a few years can improve the chances you’ll be approved for an apartment in the future.

Mar 2014