Where to Rent When You Have Bad Credit

rent with bad credit

Where to rent when you have bad credit? The biggest misunderstanding people have about this issue is the mistaken assumption that you have ONE credit score, ONE credit report, and ONE set of data that informs all potential landlords or creditors.

But the reality is that if you apply for a home loan, your lender will look at credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies differently than a store credit card credit application would, and that is different than what a potential landlord would do.

The key to understanding where to rent when you have bad credit has a lot to do with knowing how to fix your own credit (without paying a third party to do tasks you the consumer can do yourself for free) and what the landlord will look for when reviewing your credit.

What The Landlord Looks For When Reviewing Your Credit Reports

The first thing the landlord will look at on your credit report is your record of on-time payments and ESPECIALLY the record of on-time payments related to housing expenses. If you make ALL payments on your financial obligations on time, every time, over a period of 12 months or more you can start improving your credit and making yourself a more attractive renter. If you do not work on your payment record, you will remain in bad credit-land and it will be MUCH harder to land a new rental property.

And it’s understood that not every renter has the luxury of working on their credit for 12 months ahead of a new apartment search. Some are forced to look for a new place unexpectedly and others may have experienced a personal emergency, natural disaster, or other issues that require the search for a new place to live.

Where to Rent When You Have Bad Credit

The best thing you can do when looking for housing with bad credit? Look for a landlord who is essentially an owner/operator and not a representative for a leasing company. Why? Because a company that owns a group of rental properties will find it much easier to reject you on an individual basis.

There are likely plenty of people waiting in line to get apartments in these places because the company can afford to do marketing and PR.

The individual landlord who owns a property or three may be more motivated to cut you some slack in the application process if you seem like a good risk and make yourself agreeable to the landlord. There are no guarantees, of course, but the indie landlord may have a soft spot for someone in your line of work, someone in your circumstances, or they might just be willing to help out those who seem like “good people”.

You can also search for landlords that don’t do credit checks–some do not! If you have a co-signer for a lease this may help you land a new place to live even with a big company that rents housing; the co-signer issue is one many borrowers consider and it is an effective solution.

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