How to Rent an Apartment with Troubled Credit

Are you hoping to find a good apartment with bad credit? People with troubled credit have a hard time when apartment hunting. Here are some tips that will help you to find an apartment despite having troubled credit.People with troubled credit have a hard time when apartment hunting. Here are some tips that will help you to find an apartment despite having troubled credit.

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To dampen the effect that your bad credit has, you should consider finding a person who can vouch for you. For instance, you can contact a previous landlord who would be willing to write a reference letter on your behalf. You are more likely to get a denial if you have not paid your rent in the past.

If your credit report has accounts that are past due, you should pay them and get a statement that shows you have repaid. You can also soften the effect of your credit report by getting letters that explain what caused a specific financial issue: whether it be medical bills, divorce, job loss, etc. However, you need to be careful when using letters of recommendation – only show them when you know that a potential landlord has a copy of your credit report.

Get a Copy of Your Credit Report

Before you start looking for an apartment, you should obtain a copy of your credit report to see what is on it. You should get reports from the three main credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) because you do not know which one your potential landlord will use. If you notice any errors, you should take the time to correct them before you continue apartment hunting.

Once you clean up your report, you will have a chance at securing an apartment.

Prepare Some Cash for Upfront Payments

If you manage to get an approval with bad credit, you should be ready to pay more upfront. You might have to pay three month’s rent upfront or pay a steeper security deposit. To avoid delays, you need to set aside some money when looking for an apartment. The sooner you start your apartment search, the more time you will have to save money.

Have a Cosigner

If you have bad credit, you should look for a person to cosign your lease. This person needs to meet all of the credit qualifications, which means that he or she should have good credit. However, if you do not pay your rent or end up being evicted, the property owner can go after your cosigner. For this reason, you need to be careful when asking a person to cosign your lease.

Look for Apartments That Don’t Do Credit Checks

You need to look for property owners who do not conduct credit checks. Look for apartments owned by individual landlords instead of those owned by property management companies. Individual landlords might be willing to take a risk on tenants with bad credit histories.

Here are some ways to find apartments that do not require credit checks:

Check the classifieds – look at the classifieds area of your local newspapers. If you are moving to a different town, you should find their local papers.

Scout the neighborhood – some homeowners do not post ads online or in local newspapers; they only put a ‘for sale’ sign in their yards. The best way to find such homes is by scouting the neighborhoods that you want to move to yourself. Talk to the owners to find out their approval criteria.


As you can see, it is still possible to find an apartment even with troubled credit. You just need to know where to look.