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How to get an apartment with bad credit

How To Get an Apartment With Bad Credit

Updated on October 23, 2022



 Personal Finance

If you've been hunting for an apartment lately you probably noticed a few new aspects to the game that aren't in your favor. First and foremost, rent is skyrocketing. This is is worse in Northern Nevada than other areas, but Southern Nevada and the Phoenix metro areas are being effected as well. We'll get into the reasons why later, but for now, you've seen that rental rates are far higher today than they were just a couple of years ago.

Higher rental rates mean other unfortunate consequences. It means landlords can be pickier about who they rent to. It means where many places that used to allow pets don't now. It means strict regulation on your behavior; where you can park your car, how many vehicles you can have on the property, what you can and cannot place on your balcony where the rest of the neighborhood can see (obviously there need to be some guidelines in this area, but some places are cracking down on beach towels draped over the railing to dry after a visit to the pool, classifying it as drying laundry in public).

But here's the biggest hurdle for or people looking to rent an apartment: with bad credit.

It's a landlord's market at the moment, and we've seen restrictions seriously tighten over the issue of credit, and which prospective tenants get a shot at even a halfway decent apartment in a halfway decent neighborhood.

We're not judging specific neighborhoods, but let's face it: most people want to live in a nice area that's well maintained with access to parks and shopping, etc. They also want to live somewhere crime is less frequent.

If you have bad credit, it will be much tougher to get the house or apartment you want to rent. Tough, but not impossible, and it's important that you are determined not to let bad credit stand in the way of getting a good home for yourself and your family.

We've got a few tips for you that will definitely help in your search for a place to live, even if you are renting with bad credit. We cannot guarantee they will work, but we can promise each of these tips will go a long way toward getting you the place you need, and maybe even the place you want.

Rebuild Your Credit

Perhaps that sounds a bit obvious, but stop and take a few minutes to consider your situation. If you are not in a situation where you need to move in the immediate future, consider staying on few an extra few months or a year and work on rebuilding your credit. More so than the other tips we will provide, this one will have the best and most effective impact on your life. It will not only open doors to new places to live, but potentially open doors to a new vehicle, a better job, maybe even an opportunity to go to school and get a degree if that's what you've always wanted. Rebuilding your credit is kind of like restoring the world's trust in you (and we are not saying you weren't trustworthy to begin with, this is just how the world operates; people with bad credit, regardless of how they got into that situation, are trusted less by everything from financial institutions to potential employers...and charged higher interest rates in the process). Rebuilding your credit fast will eliminate the need to find out how to get an apartment with bad credit.

Pay or Offer a Larger Deposit

Proving you have money can mitigate the necessity to have your credit checked. This is a process that comes much more easily with personal landlords than property management companies, but there are still avenues through the doorway there too. In fact, for this very reason, many property management firms offer a waiver of a credit check if you are able to put down a larger deposit, or offer a deposit where none was asked for. Remember, this is a deposit, not a payment. We're not asking you to bribe anyone as that would be illegal. A larger deposit is a demonstration of good faith that you are sincere about renting a given property and that living there is important to you. It also demonstrates your willingness to work with the landlord or property management company as opposed to demanding they let you live where you want.

Offer Proof That You Can Afford the Rent

So you have bad credit, but you just got that new well-paying job and you are about to put yourself back on the road to good credit. But you need a place to live that's closer to your work in order to cut down on commute costs and other incidentals. Similar to offering a deposit, you can voluntarily show your hiring agreement or first check stub to show that you can afford the rent, even if right now you can't afford a deposit. Again, this goes a long way toward building trust with the landlord or property manager, and they might waive the credit check if you are up front and honest about your situation. It may sound obvious, but a landlord's primary concern is whether or not you pay your rent. If you prove you can do so, it might open the door on that new place you want or need.

Get a Letter of Recommendation

Were you a good tenant at your last place? Ask your previous landlord to write you a letter stating as much. Find out if your new prospective landlord knows your old landlord and use him as a reference on your application. Don't be afraid to mention to your new intended landlord that you have a letter.

Do Your Homework

Use your favorite online search engine and put in the key words 'no credit check apartment listings' and then the name of the town where you want to live. There are several websites out there that specifically list apartments and homes that are available without a credit check. We recommend trying the other steps before utilizing this one simply because the others will help you rebuild your credit or establish good relations with your landlord whereas this will not. But it is certainly an option if all else fails.

CASH 1 hopes you are always able to live where you want to. If you need help with that deposit or other moving incidentals, see us about a no credit check loan or a title loan to help mitigate those financial needs.

Photograph of author Joseph Priebe

Joseph Priebe

Joseph Priebe takes pride in assisting audiences with his articles to help them make sound financial decisions.

With over ten years of experience writing financial content his goal at CASH 1 has always been creating engaging and easy-to-digest information for anyone searching for immediate or long-term monetary solutions.

When Joseph is not writing about personal finance, you can find him photographing the Southwest United States with his 4x5 Graflex Crown Graphic camera. He is based in Phoenix, Arizona.