How To Get Apartments for People With Bad Credit

Having a low credit score makes life more difficult. The bottom line is that getting apartments for people with bad credit is not easy. It will take more work than it would if you had a good credit score.

A low credit score means you’ll have a tough time getting approved for affordable loans. Buying a car or home, and even getting approved to rent an apartment may be difficult. The good news is that it’s not impossible. With some hard work, thorough research, and persistence you should be able to find a good apartment. 

Do No Credit Check Apartments Exist?

While it is possible to find an apartment without the landlord running a credit check, it certainly isn’t common. Many landlords and property management companies make it a policy to run credit checks on all new applicants. It’s an easy way for them to see how well you handle your financial obligations. 

If you have bad credit or even no credit at all, it’s going to take some research to find a landlord or property manager that’s willing to work with you. But don’t be discouraged, no credit check apartments do exist and CreditNinja is here to help you figure out how to get one. 

Below are some good tips for starting your no credit check apartment search:

How to Find Bad Credit Apartments

Much like with any other apartment search, several websites allow you to search for apartments in any given city. These sites will usually give you the contact information for the property owner. This will allow you to reach out to ask questions about the application requirements. Whichever site or service you choose, here are a few things to consider during your search:

  1. Look for independently-owned apartments. You’ll be more likely to convince an independent property owner that you can make your payments, rather than a company with strict credit score policies. 

  1. Prepare to show proof of income. It’s a good idea to go into the search already having bank statements for the past 90 days. This will be a good way to prove that you have the income required to make your payments. 

  1. Find a landlord that will allow you to use a cosigner. Using a cosigner means that if you don’t make your payments, your co-signer becomes responsible. A cosigner should be a close family member or friend with good credit. This may put the owner at ease since they’re more likely to be paid, even if you drop the ball. 

Knowing what to look for when apartment hunting will help. Use these tips to get started, and consider asking someone close to you whether they’re willing to be your cosigner. 

What Are Month-to-Month Apartments?

With most apartments, tenants sign a lease for a set amount of time. Usually, an apartment lease is for one year, but it can vary depending on the landlord. A month-to-month lease on the other hand has no set end date, and the tenant or landlord can terminate the lease at any time. 

Depending on the laws in your area, you may be required to give the landlord notice that you’re moving out within a certain amount of time from your move-out date. This could be as little as one week or as much as 90 days. 

A month-to-month lease is more flexible because you aren’t committed to an entire year in the apartment. And if you have poor credit, this could be something the landlord is open to, since they can also terminate the lease at any time. That being said, many landlords will prefer a long-term commitment so they don’t have to fill the apartment again so soon. 

This is another important option to discuss with a potential landlord. When reaching out to landlords and owners, find out if they’re open to this option, and if so, what the terms of the lease would be. 

Finding an Apartment If You Have Previous Evictions

There’s no denying that it will be difficult to get apartments for people with bad credit. And having an eviction will make it even more difficult. Again, it’s not impossible but it’s not easy either.

If you can find a landlord that is willing to work with you despite your poor credit, they may also be willing to overlook a previous eviction. This will likely only work out if you’re able to prove you have a steady income. But there are some additional tips to remember: 

  • Reach out to your previous landlord — Pay off any money you may still owe them, and request that they remove the eviction from your credit history.
  • Find a landlord or property owner that doesn’t perform background checks. 

  • Find a roommate with a decent credit score — This may help to convince the owner that between the two of you the rent will be paid each month. 

  • Consider using a cosigner — Just like with having poor credit, a cosigner will add an extra layer of security for the landlord.

The Bottom Line

The most important thing you can do for yourself—and your future self—is to work on improving your credit score. The best way to do this is to pay off your current debts, lower your credit card usage, and learn how to budget and manage your money. 

By improving your credit score you’re not only opening yourself up to better housing opportunities, but also auto loans, mortgages, and other financial products. Do your research and be persistent, eventually, you’ll find some good apartments for people with bad credit. 

To learn more about budgeting and other financial tips, check out the rest of the CreditNinja Dojo!