If your credit score is less than perfect, whether because of financial problems in the past or because you haven't had time to accrue credit history, read on for About.com's tips on getting an apartment with less than stellar credit.
If your credit score is low, you should work on improving it by paying all your bills on time, paying your credit card in full, only using a maximum of 30% of your credit limit each month, answering calls from creditors, and not closing accounts that are in good standing. If you have a poor credit score because you've never had a credit card or a loan, apply for a credit card and then use it responsibly.
Explain your bad credit to a potential landlord and tell them what steps you are taking to improve it. It might be wise to write a letter with that information to give to landlords when you apply for apartments.
Even with a bad credit score, proof of employment can go a long way towards showing you are a trustworthy renter. Be sure your rent is 30% or less than your income.
In order to mitigate the landlord's sense of risk, you could offer to pay for your rent through direct deposit from your bank account automatically every month. Schedule the payment for the day you get your paycheck so you won't have a chance to spend those funds on other things.
Paying a larger security deposit or even a higher rent are other offers that could be made to potential landlords. Just be sure the higher rent doesn't exceed 30% of your monthly income.
Recommendations from previous landlords are another application strengthener. Another option is to ask a trusted, responsible friend or family member to be a cosigner. They are then legally required to pay the rent if you don't. Be sure you are responsible and do pay the rent so you don't leave your cosigner in a lurch.
Finally, finding a roommate with good credit will not only help you get the apartment, but allow you to split the bills and have more wiggle room in your budget each month.
If you have problems with bad credit in your past, we can help you find a landlord that's willing to work with you. Give San Marcos Apartment Experts a call today at 512-805-0123.