Bad Rental History

Is a bad credit score going to keep me from renting?

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Is a bad credit score going to keep me from renting?

There are some places in the United States where it’s tough to find a good apartment or rental home. There’s plenty of competition for those limited rental units, and when one does become available, you want to put your best foot forward in hopes that the landlord will select you as the tenant. A bad credit score will not help your cause.

One item landlords will review is your credit score, and if you have a bad credit score, this could hinder your chances. The reason is, your credit score shows how you’ve handled money historically. Since the landlord is in the business to make money, he is less likely to rent to a tenant who shows a history of late bill payments, or has a large amount of debt. The chances of you continuing this behavior are too great, and the landlord will very likely pass over your application for a tenant candidate who has a better bill-paying history.

However, if you are lucky enough to be applying for a rental in an area that doesn’t have a high number of competitors trying to get the same apartment, the landlord might be willing to rent to you. Consider asking the landlord to put you on a trial lease agreement of three months, so you can demonstrate you are good for the rental payments.

Also, if you have taken action to improve your credit, point this out to the landlord. It takes time to improve a bad credit score, but if you can show that you’ve paid all your bills on time and taken action to reduce your debt over the past few months, it could work in your favor.