Renting an apartment with bad credit

Category: Housing

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If you have bad credit, it can be difficult to get approved for rental housing, especially in an area or building that is in high demand. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s impossible, and there are other options available for those with poor credit. If you have bad credit and you need to get approved for an apartment, the following tips can help:

Explore all options

Generally, you’ll have two options when it comes to renting: renting from a managed apartment community or renting a privately owned home from a landlord. One is not necessarily “better” than the other, and it really depends on a lot of different things, including your budget, desired area, and so on. However, as a prospective renter with poor credit, your options may be much more limited. For example, it can be difficult to find a managed apartment community that can accept your application due to company protocol and regulations for credit score. On the other hand, they may be more willing to work with you if you can supply a cosigner, large deposit, etc.

But then again, you might be better off explaining your situation to a landlord. In some scenarios, you may need to also get approved by a Homeowners Association, which can be difficult if your credit is bad. But if it’s just up to the landlord, he or she may be more sympathetic to your situation. In general, it’s best to explore all of your options if you’re trying to rent a place while you have bad credit. 

Work with a real estate agent

In addition to exploring rental options on your own, work with a real estate agent who specializes in rentals. As the prospective renter, it doesn’t cost you anything to get help from a real estate agent. Explain your credit situation and your real estate agent can potentially help you find rental homes and communities in advance with more lenient acceptance criteria, or properties owned by landlords who are made aware of your situation beforehand and are possibly willing to work with you.

Get a cosigner

If you have a close friend or family member with good credit, ask if they would be willing to cosign for you on your rental application. If they have great credit and yours isn’t too bad, this is often all you need to get approved for a rental home, credit-wise.

Fix what you can

Have you checked your credit report lately? Before you apply for a rental home, carefully look through it and find out what exactly is bringing down your credit score. If there are past due accounts that you can pay off and resolve before sending in your rental application, you’ll substantially increase your chances of getting approved.

Get a letter of recommendation

If you’ve rented before and you were a good tenant who was always timely with rent, ask for a letter of recommendation. This letter can show potential future landlords that although you’ve had some trouble in the past with credit cards and/or loans, you’ve always been responsible when it came to your rent.

Offer to pay more

If you’re applying for an apartment with bad credit, it may come down to paying more upfront, whether it be a larger security deposit and/or paying last month’s rent in addition to the first month’s rent.


Do you need extra cash to pay off debt and improve your credit score? If you’re receiving long-term payments from a structured settlement or annuity, Peachtree Financial Solutions can help. Contact Peachtree Financial Solutions today to find out how you can receive a lump sum of cash through the sale of some or all of your future payments.


Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.

Tags: cosigner, credit, credit score, real estate agents, renting

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