Many consumers rightly assume that their credit report or credit score will be reviewed before they are granted an automobile loan, mortgage loan, or other credit request that will result in outright ownership of some type of physical property. What may be surprising for many people is how their credit score may affect their qualifications as a renter of a house or an apartment. Although there are always exceptions and other unique circumstances, a low credit score is often viewed negatively in terms of risk for the lender and the likelihood of defaulting on the potential legal agreement. If you have ever broken a lease in the past, you may already know just how damaging this may be to your credit rating. The good news is that even with bad credit, there are ways to make up for a low credit score and ultimately become a renter.
One of the best things you can do if you are hoping to become a renter is to be proactive and obtain a copy of your credit report before you submit a rental application. You may request one free gov credit report each year in many instances, and what you find listed on your particular profile will likely indicate why your credit score is low. Even incorrect or erroneous addresses that are attached to your credit file may be lowering your score, as well as things like having accounts listed incorrectly or inaccurately. You may have even paid off old debts that are still listed as owing, and you may have accounts that are closed that show as being active. Any of these issues may be disputed, and making sure that your file is accurate and up to date with all of the major credit bureaus may result in a relatively quick and noteworthy improvement in your credit score.
Even if you do not have time to wait for corrections to be made and applied to your credit report, there are things you can do to effectively become a renter. You may submit letters of explanation regarding any negative information attached to your credit file, which may explain your previous financial circumstances. This may put you in better standing with potential landlords, and offering to put down a deposit that is larger than requested may be helpful as well. If you are willing to put more money up front, your landlord may likewise be willing to assume more of a risk and rent to you.
In addition to making a larger security or other type of opening deposit, you may offer to pay more rent each month for the duration of your lease. If this is not agreeable, finding and adding a co-signer for your rental agreement may be a workable solution. In some instances, offering to enter an arrangement whereby you do work on the property or complex in question may be enough to persuade a landlord to view you as a favorable future tenant. Providing a list of verifiable references who may attest to your credibility may be helpful as well. Letting a landlord know that you are willing to provide as much helpful information as possible may go a long way in increasing your odds of successfully becoming a renter.