In Renting with Poor Credit – Part I, we gave you six tips to make yourself more attractive as a potential tenant, and we covered what landlords look for in credit reports in Renting with Poor Credit – Part II. The final post of this series gives you strategies if you find yourself continually being rejected for poor credit. If you are frustrated with your apartment search, it may be time to consider a new plan.
Rethink Your Strategy
Consider small apartment complexes or owner-occupied units. Sometimes there is more flexibility in these situations. With a more personal relationship, you may find someone who is willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and help you along. Often times, larger complexes are owned by property management corporations and have fixed and inflexible credit policies, which make it difficult for leasing agents to bend the rules, even if they really like you and think you can pay the rent. Another idea is to consider cities and neighborhoods that have an excess supply of apartments for rent. Landlords in these areas may be struggling to find tenants and may be more willing to overlook certain credit issues if they feel they have a good rapport with you and can trust you.
Move in with Family or Friends
Doubling up with roommates in order to save on rent has been a mainstay over the past two to three years as people of all ages struggled with employment. If you have a friend or family member with an extra bedroom, see if it might be possible to move in for a couple of months. This will allow you time to improve your credit score, while also saving on rent. You may be able to use the savings to offer a larger deposit to your future prospective landlord, or to pay for several months of rent up front to make them feel more secure and gives you time to prove that you are, in fact, a good tenant.
Look for a Co-Signer
Some landlords will allow a co-signer, otherwise known as a guarantor. This person co-signs the rental lease agreement with you and is equally liable for your lease should you be unable to pay the rent. A co-signer is often a family member, friend or a third party company who specializes in co-signing. It’s important to consider this option carefully, especially if you are going to friends and family for help, as your future relationship with them is at stake. Should you fall on hard times and they are forced to pay your rent, things could get uncomfortable.
High unemployment and foreclosure have plunged millions of Americans into poor credit standing during the Great Recession of the past few years. Our point? You are not alone, and you are not the first or last person that will ever have bad credit. Eventually, you will get back on your feet and into rental housing. We hope our series on Renting with Poor Credit has been helpful and informative. Good luck!