Renting an Apartment with Bad Credit

Having bad credit these days can affect many areas of your financial life, from buying a car to getting a job. As an apartment locator in Dallas, helping people find an apartment when they have bad credit is something we have always seen and is increasingly becoming a more common problem. To start, apartment communities are going to check four areas in the qualification process. The qualification criteria include your employment, rental history, criminal background and credit report. If you do have bad credit, don’t panic, you can still rent an apartment. It will be a little more difficult, but fortunately, overcoming a poor credit score is a solvable problem that apartment locators see everyday. Here are a few steps that might make finding your next apartment a little easier.

Getting a Co-signer or Guarantor

This is the most common way of overcoming a poor credit score when renting an apartment. Typically, finding a parent, friend or other relative to co-sign for the lease can be a quick and easy way of getting approved right away. While the terms co-signor and guarantor are often used interchangeably by property managers, understand that these are two separate concepts.  By agreeing to co-sign, the co-signor is essentially putting their credit score on the line for you. If you break the lease the broken lease will reflect negatively on both you and your co-signors credit reports. Separately, a guarantor, can be held solely responsible for the entire debt in the event you default. Be sure to understand what you are signing.

Larger Deposits

This option for overcoming a poor credit score is quite common and is as simple as writing a larger check. The property manager will typically ask for a double deposit. If you’re lucky enough to live in the Dallas/Ft Worth area, where deposits are low, it’s not much of a problem. However, apartment communities in other areas of the country may require the first and last month’s rent as a deposit, which could be difficult for most people. In either case, if money is tight, ask the manager if they will break the extra deposit into smaller payments to be paid over the first few months. It’s a common practice with Dallas apartments and never hurts to ask. Also, be sure to take note of when your deposit is refundable. Some property managers will refund your deposit after you have fulfilled your initial lease term.

Checking and Repairing your Credit

In the event you’ve been denied for an apartment be sure to pull up your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies. The three major credit reporting companies are Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. You can obtain all three reports in one place from Annual Credit Report.