If you have bad credit, you may find apartment hunting quite frustrating. Why? Many apartment communities require a credit check before approving your rental application. Having a credit score below 650 may not guarantee a denial. It may, however, cause you to spend more money to find a place of your own. Or worse, you may have to rely on friends or family for a place to stay. Working to repair your credit can help you fend off this embarrassing living situation.
Owners of apartment communities want residents that are most likely to pay their rent on time, every time. To ensure they get those residents, they review credit reports. The credit report provides the apartment community with a record of a prospective applicant’s payment history. A good credit score infers that an applicant has character and handles their finances responsibly. A bad credit score reveals that an applicant may shirk their debt obligations. These applicants have historically proven to be high risk and if rented to, would ultimately cost the apartment community money.
Even with bad credit, you may still have your rental application approved. This approval, however, may come with some stipulations. The apartment community may require that you submit a deposit equal to one or even two months of rent. Or you may be required to have a someone with a better credit score cosign for you in order to be approved. Likewise, your bad credit score may make you ineligible for any promotions or specials the apartment community may offer.
Credit reports may also provide a glimpse at rental history. If you have been evicted or owe money to a previous landlord or apartment community, it may be reported to the credit bureaus. The apartment community that you submitted your rental application to will also use this information to determine whether or not to rent to you. More often then not, the result is an automatic denial of the application.
Don’t let your credit score keep you from finding a place to live. If you have bad credit, take the time to determine how best to fix it. You can start by creating a feasible budget, allowing you to dig yourself out of your debt trap. If you are considering bankruptcy, meet with an attorney to assess whether this option is for you. Repairing your credit will take some time, but with proper planning, you will eventually right your financial ship.