Most applications to rent an apartment include a potential landlord pulling your credit report to see your credit score. They have some good reasons to take this look at your financial history, but it can be a little intimidating. If your credit score isn’t the best or you haven’t had a chance to build your credit, you may be wondering if you have any chance of getting approved for the apartment you’re dreaming of.
At Anderson Communities, we work closely with our residents to help them get into a home and build their credit while they’re renting from us. We’ve looked at many credit reports, so we can help you understand what potential landlords are looking for and what you can do to impress them, no matter what your credit score may be.
What is a “Good” Credit Score or a “Bad” Credit Score?
A credit score offers a quick snapshot of how responsible you are with your finances. Credit reporting agencies keep track of the payments you make on things like credit cards, loans, and rent. This history is boiled down into a number which is your credit score. On-time payments raise this number, while late payments knock it down. The calculation also takes into account how much debt you carry because a high amount of debt raises the risk that you may lose control over your payments.
Another issue with a credit score is if you’re just starting your financial history. If you’re young and haven’t had a chance to make payments on anything, or you’re a recent immigrant to the country, your lack of history makes you “credit invisible,” so this snapshot doesn’t give any information at all.
Optimally, your credit score gives potential landlords a quick look at how likely you are to pay your rent fully and on time. Renting out property is always a little bit of a gamble for landlords, and they want to reduce their risks as much as possible.
What are Landlords Looking for in My Credit Report?
In a perfect world, landlords prefer to rent to applicants with at least a “good” rating, meaning they have a credit score between 670 and 739. If you have a “very good” rating (740 to 799) or “exceptional” (800 or more), it looks great on an application. However, the lower that number is, the less attractive your application is at first glance.
But this doesn’t mean that people with a “fair” (580 to 669) or “poor” (less than 580) rating are simply out of luck. Keep in mind that the reason landlords check your credit score in the first place is that they’re looking for reassurance that you won’t leave your rent unpaid. The important thing is to find other ways to let them know you will show up with the payments on time.
Is it Still Possible to Rent an Apartment with Bad Credit or No Credit?
Don’t give up hope if your credit isn’t great right now. It may just take more effort on your part to assure potential landlords that you can be relied on. Here are a few ways to go communicate that.
- Be upfront and honest. Trying to ignore or hide past problems doesn’t look good. Let a landlord know what happened and why. If something has changed in your life since then, such as finding a better-paying job, provide proof of that.
- Make sure you can afford the monthly rent. Be honest with yourself about what your budget will cover. Late or missed payments will only make your score slide even more, and that’s the last thing you want to do. Show the landlord your budget and how you will have enough income to cover the rent.
- Find a roommate or co-signer. Having someone to share the rent or someone who promises to cover the rent with proof of steady income if you don’t gives the landlord a layer of protection against lost rent payments.
Find Your Next Home in Kentucky with Anderson Communities
Anderson Communities is built on a foundation of respect for our residents, and one of the ways we show that is by working with you to understand your finances and build your credit. We will never spring unexpected fees on you, and we report on-time rent payments to help raise your credit score. If you live in Kentucky, we invite you to browse the homes we have that are available to rent and to see if we have your next favorite home.
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