How to rent a house if you have bad credit


We have all heard about the importance of your credit scores when it comes to buying a home. But credit is also important for renting. Some landlords won’t rent to people with low credit scores. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t rent a house or an apartment. There are ways around this problem and prove to a potential owner that you can afford to pay and that you will make the payments on time.

1. Find a co-signer

You might have bad credit, but if you have a friend or family with good credit, ask them for help. (But know that they would be doing you a huge favor; adding someone’s name to your lease is of great benefit to you and carries a significant risk for them.) co-signer is someone who signs the lease with you and takes legal responsibility for making sure the rent is paid. A co-signer with good credit should facilitate your potential owner concerns.

2. Offer a larger deposit

If you want to show your landlord that you won’t skip payments, you can offer a larger down payment. Often times, landlords require the first and last month’s rent when you move in. If you can save more and give them a few months’ rent up front, they can forget about your bad credit scores. Be careful, however, because if it gives the owner more security, it gives you less.

3. Have a personal reference

If your credit is bad but you have a good rental history, get a previous owner to vouch for you. Hear from a previous owner that you have paid your rent time in the past can carry a lot of weight with a potential owner. He or she may be willing to ignore this low credit rating and accept your request.

4. Talk about it

Do not avoid the elephant in the room. Address your bad credit frankly and honestly. You can explain why your scores are low and why it does not accurately reflect your ability to regularly pay your rent. Owners recognize the tough times of the past few years and can appreciate your honesty.

5. Find a rental no credit check

Not all rentals require a credit check. Look for small homeowners who don’t do a credit check as part of the application process. It may take a bit more work, but it may be worth it.

6. Improve your credit

Even if you find a rental with bad credit, start improving your credit right away for the next time. Make your payments on time. Reduce your debt. Monitor your credit reports, which you can get for free from each of the major credit bureaus once a year, and your credit scores. (You can use a free tool like’s Credit Report Card, which updates two of your credit scores each month.) Make yourself a more attractive rental candidate so you don’t have to worry about it. worry when you move.

This article originally appeared on

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AJ Smith is a contributor to She is an award-winning journalist with over a decade of experience in television, radio, newspapers, magazines and online content. She is currently the editor-in-chief of SmartAsset. AJ has a passion for meeting new people, sharing stories and helping others. She graduated from Princeton University and Mississippi State University. AJ and her husband also write and illustrate educational books for children.

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