If you have ever tried to rent an apartment, lease a car, get a loan, or buy a home, you know the importance of having a good credit score. In fact, a lot of renters are concerned about how their credit score can affect their ability to find an apartment.
This month we’ll be focusing on what you need to know about renting with credit—good, bad, or in-between.
So let’s start with the basics, shall we?
What is a good credit score? What is a bad credit score?
Credit scores fall in a range between 300 and 850, with 850 being a perfect credit score. If your credit score is below 620, you are considered high risk, which may reflect negatively on you when you are trying to find an apartment. Your credit score is shaped by your financial history, including your punctuality when paying bills, the amount of debt you have accrued, the length of time you have been employed, and much more.
Why do apartments want to know your credit score?
Your credit score indicates your trustworthiness as a renter. Because your potential landlord will be expecting you to pay a large sum (in the form of rent and utilities) every month, they want to know that you’ll be a reliable renter. That’s why landlords may run credit checks to determine how much debt you have and then compare that figure to your current income. They can also use your credit report data to see where you have lived and inquire about your rental history and reliability.
How can I find out my credit score?
There are many services that offer to monitor your credit score and send you frequent credit reports. These services can be useful, especially if you are in the process of attempting to correct bad credit. However, if you don’t need regular updates on your credit, try this: Did you know that you can order one free copy of your credit report per year from each of the 3 credit bureaus? Use these reports as a starting point when trying to find an apartment to see what your potential landlords will see.
If you are trying to find an apartment but feel weighted down by a bad credit score, stay tuned! Later we’ll talk about how to find an apartment with less-than-perfect credit, what you can do to improve your credit, and more.
Have questions of your own about credit scores or how to find an apartment? Find ApartmentSearch.com on Facebook or ask us a question on Twitter (@ApartmentSearch). We’ll do our best to answer it here!