Your Credit Report & Renting

How to Rent an Apartment or House with Bad Credit?

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Having bad credit can affect a lot of things in life, and renting a house or an apartment is one of them. But even though landlords frequently conduct a credit check for renters, it doesn’t mean you need not apply if you have bad credit. It is possible to find a place to rent even if your credit has seen better days.

While the best long-term advice is to get your credit in shape, here are a few tips that can help you rent an apartment if you have bad credit:

  • Find out beforehand if your potential landlord conducts a background and credit check for renters. If he doesn’t, you might not have anything to worry about.
  • Demonstrate a history of on-time payments. If you have bad credit, but also have a rental history report that demonstrates that you’ve been a responsible renter, the landlord might not have as much reason to worry. Conducting a rental history check on yourself can help you state your case, as you could show potential landlords your payment history. An important note: It’s at the landlord’s discretion whether they consider any information you give them.
  • Establish an alternative payment method. While there’s good reason to be skeptical if a landlord demands an increased security deposit or early payment, alternative payment plans can be a method for helping those who have bad credit secure a lease. Proceed only if it’s something you feel completely comfortable with.
  • Get a co-signer. This should only be explored if you have the utmost confidence in your ability to pay the rent, as co-signing agreements gone wrong can have serious impacts on relationships.

If you believe potential landlords may pull your rental history report then you may want to know what it on it so you can explain any issues or fix any errors.