If you are looking for a new apartment, one of the roadblocks you can run into is your credit history. When you have bad credit, finding a good apartment in a decent neighborhood can be challenging. However, it is possible when you proactively take on your poor credit history.
Ask Your Current Landlord for a Recommendation
Your credit history might not be as big of a deal if you can prove that you have a solid recent history of paying your rent on time. A great way to do this is to secure a letter of recommendation from your current landlord. He or she needs to note your payment history and how long you have rented from him or her. You should also ask the landlord if he or she would be willing to include contact information in case the apartment manager wants to discuss your tenancy.
Be Prepared to Discuss Your Credit History
Depending on the apartment manager, he or she might be understanding about your credit situation if you are able to provide an explanation as to why it is in a poor state. For instance, if you lost your job in the past and was unable to keep up with your bills, explain this to the manager.
Offer a Larger Security Deposit
It is possible that the apartment manager might be willing to overlook your credit history if you pay a larger security deposit. If it is required that you pay a month in advance, offer two months. This can help reassure the manager that you are serious about paying for the apartment and that you are willing to put money on it. You can also offer to pay a little more each month for rent.
Look for a Privately Owned Apartment
Apartments that are owned and operated by corporations tend to check credit, run background checks, and a host of other things before agreeing to rent an apartment. By contrast, a privately owned apartment complex might not place as much emphasis on your credit report. A private owner could be willing to rely solely on your landlord recommendation and work history as a reason to give you a shot. You might still have to offer a bigger security deposit, but you can possibly negotiate the amount.
Do not give up on trying to score a better apartment because your credit is not good. There are some apartment managers willing to cut people a break with a few concessions.