Trying to find an apartment to rent without going through a credit check is like trying to find a kid who hates candy. It’s not easy; however, with a little effort and persistence, it can be done.
Here are five things you can do to rent an apartment without a credit check.
1. Look for a private owner.
In the majority of cases, corporate-owned apartment complexes will run a credit check before you can be approved for a lease. BUT privately-owned apartment buildings might be more lenient.
To track down privately owned properties that don’t conduct credit checks, ask your friends, coworkers, and relatives; explore online apartment listings; and do some digging on Facebook and other social media platforms.
2. Offer to pay more upfront.
Ultimately, owning an apartment is a business. Therefore, an apartment owner wants to make money — not lose it.
When a landlord is trying to determine whether to lease an apartment to you, one of the guarantees they want is that you’ll pay your rent on time. It costs them time and money to chase after tenants who fail to pay their rent.
To ease the landlord’s mind, consider providing a bigger security deposit or paying at least one month’s rent in advance. This helps demonstrate that you’ll be a responsible tenant.
3. Provide other proof of financial responsibility.
If you’ve got bad credit, ask the landlord whether they’ll accept other evidence of financial responsibility, says Bruce McClary, vice president of communications at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. For instance, you could find out whether the landlord would base their decision on documents such as recently paid bills, pay stubs from your job, or statements from your bank account.
4. Be open about your issues.
You’ve heard that honesty is the best policy? If you’re hoping to get an apartment without a credit check, honesty might be your top option.
“You may have a backstory not relayed in the limited information of the report,” McClary told Credit Karma. “Giving them information about why there are delinquencies and what you’re doing to correct them can make all the difference in the world.”
5. Get a co-signer.
A co-signer for an apartment lease doesn’t need to live with you. Instead, a co-signer simply promises to pay the rent if you aren’t able to. The co-signer could be a relative or friend who has solid credit.
Before getting a co-signer, remember that if you have to rely on a relative or friend to pay your rent for you, this could damage your relationship.
As an alternative, you could look at moving in with a roommate who’s got great credit and already has an apartment lease in his or her name.
Howard Dvorkin, chairman of Debt.com, suggests being cautious when you’re dealing with a no-credit-check landlord.
“What kind of landlord doesn’t care if you have bad credit?” he says. “I certainly can’t generalize, but I wonder if some landlords have apartments that are undesirable, so they’re simply trying to fill them.”
Dvorkin also recommends addressing the root cause of the debt problems that led you to look for a no-credit-check apartment.
“Bad credit that results from a tragedy — divorce, accident, illness, natural disaster — is quite different than bad credit that results from overspending and not budgeting,” he says. “Just because you find a lenient landlord doesn’t mean your problems are solved.”
With a little research, finding an apartment for rent with no credit check is possible. Start your search on ApartmentSearch and see how you can get rewarded $200 after you sign your lease.