What Credit Score is Needed to Rent an Apartment?
March 20th, 2012 | Author: Stephanie
Renting an apartment is not cut and dried when it comes to the requirements for rental. There are tons of different apartment complexes, large and small, that all have their own individual guidelines as to how to be approved for a rental. It is dependent on the complex as to whether a credit check is even run or not. There are some complexes, generally smaller in size and locally owned, that do not run credit checks and these are probably the best choices for those who have little to no credit, or very poor credit.
A credit score of 650 or higher is generally acceptable for all but the nicest apartment complexes. However, if you have bad credit, that does not mean that you cannot rent an apartment. As noted above, some complexes do not even run a credit check, whereas others that do may still have other options that will allow you to rent. If you have a lower credit score, the fanciest of apartments is probably off limits until you build or rebuild your score, but this does not mean that you cannot find a decent apartment in a nice neighborhood.
Many complexes look into other
elements outside of your credit report. A positive rental history goes a long way towards being accepted into an apartment, even with a low credit score. Having a proven history of paying your rent on time, as well as the ability to prove that your income is enough to meet the minimum requirements is often more important that your credit score, and can often be used in lieu of focusing on your credit score. A recommendation from a previous landlord is also a great way to show that you have a positive rental history.
Some complexes do require decent credit scores, but most also give you the option to have a co-signer. This co-signer is your “guarantor” for the lease and their credit report is pulled and must meet the requirements for co-signing what is essentially a loan. If you do not want to have a co-signer and do not have a rental history, your other option is to offer to pay a larger security deposit or rent in advance. This will often negate anything that is lacking in your application including credit history and income. Paying in advance is often the last resort, but for those who are looking for a place but do not meet any of the minimum requirements may have no choice.