Every young adult looks forward to the day when they can leave home and become independent. But moving out can be harder than it seems. Finding an apartment isn’t as easy as buying groceries. There are numerous requirements that you have to meet. And for someone who doesn’t boast a long credit history and a good credit score, it can be quite a challenge.
So, how to get an apartment without credit? Is it even possible to find an apartment with no credit history? Why do property owners even check your credit score?
To help first-time renters get the apartment of their dreams, we’ve compiled a guideline that will cover the following factors:
- Reasons why it’s difficult finding an apartment with no credit history
- How to start building credit
- How to turn no credit into good credit
- How to get approved for an apartment without a credit check
- Average credit score requirements for renting an apartment
- Differences across states
Why is Finding an Apartment With No Credit History Hard?
In renting out apartments, property managers essentially apply solid business practices in order to protect their own investments. Consequently, soon-to-be applicants have to be evaluated to limit potential financial losses. The rental market prefers lodgers who are fit to rent and who can show financial proof of their readiness to consistently make on-time rent payments.
The problem though is that graduates and young adults have not yet had the chance to build a reliable credit profile. This essentially makes getting approved for an apartment with no credit a seemingly insurmountable challenge.
However, there is no need to despair. In this article, we will guide you through all the steps needed to build good credit.
How to Get Approved for an Apartment Without a Credit Check?
For American citizens, and especially first-time homebuyers or renters with bad credit, not all is lost. There appear to be quite a few options to try, in order to find apartments for rent without credit check requirements hindering the outcome. Here are a few steps you can consider:
The first step is to prove your income stability. Proof of a stable income or solid savings balance by way of a bank statement may just be the thing to convince a cautious proprietor to take a chance on you.
When it comes to proving your income, you should:
- Ensure that the statement you present is official, marked with the date, and printed at the branch of the bank or from a reputable online access point
- If you’ve made a copy of the statement, as you should, the copy must be endorsed by the facility housing your account. Additional authorization via designated signatories may also be needed
- Statements should prominently identify the name and address of the financial institution
- Your name, surname, and total balance must be clearly indicated on the statement
Rent From an Individual Private Owner
The easiest method to follow when hunting for a no-credit-check apartment is to personally ask an individual owner. The management of apartment buildings may not be easily swayed to sign a rental agreement with no credit check, but a sympathetic landlord may be persuaded to do so.
When approaching a private owner or landlord, be sure to present yourself in the best possible light. Be open and honest about your lifestyle, your pets, and your character traits. Penning all the relevant information in a cover letter will come across as professional and show your intention of being a model tenant. Include your current living arrangements and the reason you need to find accommodation at this time. Keep in mind that a creditworthy potential tenant is one who can cover the rent expenses and look after the property.
If the landlord is still reluctant to rent his/her apartments without a credit check, then you can provide extra proof of your credibility. Presenting a few quality reference letters to vouch for your character may do the trick.
You can potentially ask a roommate, mentor, teacher, or colleague at work for a letter of reference. However, a testimonial from a previous property manager or landlord carries the most weight.
Ask your current proprietor to detail his experience with you as a tenant. He could confirm that you are trustworthy, responsible, fit to rent, and financially sound. If your current proprietor is a family member or friend, then you can also ask them to write a reference letter that proves you are a good housemate.
Show Them the Money
For a landowner, having an apartment standing empty equates to a loss of income. Additionally, his own utilities and costs are still payable regardless of whether he has an occupant in place or not. Make use of this sentiment to help you score apartments with no credit check.
If the proprietor is still hesitant, offer to move in right away. Sweeten the deal by offering to pay a security deposit. You can also offer to pay two or three months’ worth of rent in advance. Ask for a receipt as proof of payment if you choose to follow this route. Alternatively, rent on a month-to-month basis. This arrangement will demonstrate that you are a good credit risk and not liable to leave your landlord in the lurch.
Recruit a Co-Signer
If you have bad credit, some landlords might need some extra reassurance. This can come in the form of another person who will share your responsibility for renting the apartment. In order to be considered for rental homes with no credit checks, some property owners might require their new tenant to have a co-signer.
In this case, a guarantor will co-sign the rental agreement to guarantee that rent expenses will be settled in the event of the tenant being unable to make monthly rent payments. This entails legal accountability that may be taken on by a friend, parent, or guardian with a firm credit history and a secure income.
This, however, should be your last option, as having a co-signer won’t allow you to grow your credit score in the future. After all, now is the time to start building or fixing your credit score, to ensure that you won’t have trouble renting a home or another apartment in years to come.
Why Is It Important to Start Building Credit?
Credit reports detail your existing and past debt payment history and basically judge how risky and financially trustworthy you are as a probable debtor. Your credit score can influence the interest rate percentages and settlement options that are likely to be offered to you by financial service providers.
Having a good credit rating can influence many facets of your life. It does not only prevent you from ever wondering how to get an apartment without credit. Your credit history is also a decisive factor in whether you’ll be approved for a personal loan, vehicle loan, or credit card. In some cases, potential employers might even ask for a credit report before deciding to employ you.
Additionally, having a good credit score will ultimately save you money too. Individuals with higher scores get better interest rates from credit card providers and financial lenders.
Turn No Credit Into Good Credit
It is a vexing fact that, in order to get credit, you need to have credit. So, how can you fix your credit? Here are a few methods you can apply to achieve a better credit rating:
Acquire a Secured Credit Card
A good way to become financially credible is to source the best-secured credit card that meets your needs. A secured credit card may be described as training wheels for newbie debtors.
This type of card functions the same way as a usual credit card but is restricted by the amount of money deposited into it. Thus, whatever the amount you pay into the account, effectively becomes your credit limit.
Get a Credit Builder Loan
The quickest, easiest way to fix your credit profile, is to apply for a credit builder loan. What is a credit builder loan? This service is specifically aimed at individuals with poor or no credit. It ultimately helps you build your credit score and get your applications for loans and credit cards approved.
Create a Credit History
If you have no prior or current credit history, it is very difficult to foresee how likely you are to faithfully pay your accounts. So, create a credit history by taking out a loan or at least take out a monthly subscription.
Subscribing to streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube can help you build credit if you pay them on time. These types of services are regarded as credit building tools to assist first-time debtors. Other credit accounts such as utilities, retail credit cards, or cellphone contracts will work just as well. Be sure not to let your monthly installments lapse, though. This will have the opposite effect. Remember, you are striving for a good credit rating, which will mean that you won’t have to worry about getting an apartment with no credit in the future.
How Long Does It Take to Build a Credit History?
Building a credit history doesn’t happen instantaneously. It requires perseverance and strict self-control for at least six months.
In the meantime, use your secured credit card and credit accounts responsibly and pay your subscriptions and premiums diligently and on time. It might also be a good idea to join a credit union.
Join a Credit Union
Credit unions function similarly to banks but offer a smaller variety of products at lower interest rates and reduced terms. The benefit of a credit union is that it is essentially owned by the union members, and all collected fees are reinvested to profit these members.
An elected board of governors oversees the management of the union and ensures that the best interests of the members are considered at all times. These unions usually offer credit builder loans.
What is the Average Credit Score for Renting an Apartment?
No credit check apartments might not be your dream living space. You may want to rent a better apartment in the future, that might have strict credit score rules and regulations. If that’s the case, you have to prepare your credit score to be able to rent your dream apartment in the future.
Credit scores range between 300 (poor) and 850 (excellent). To consider you suitable for renting an apartment, landlords require a score of at least 620 or higher. This is a general estimation, however. Other factors to consider are the scoring model used by the property manager, the location of the space, and the condition that it is in.
There are many different credit scoring models available. The FICO scoring system is the most commonly used one. But here is an explanation of a few other scoring models too:
|Criteria||Credit Score Rating Systems|
|FICO||Vantage 2||Vantage 3||Vantage 4|
|Age / type / mix of credit||10%||21%||20%|
|Percentage of credit used||20%|
|Recent credit behavior||30%||5%|
|Credit history (length of credit)||15%||9%|
A lower score suggests that the prospective tenant may be high risk and could possibly dodge rent expenses.
Scoring models differ slightly in their scoring range terminology and the weight of the applicable criteria. The main factors however are:
Payment history refers to the way you’ve paid your debt in the past. It looks at your diligence in making timely payments of the amounts due.
Credit utilization is the outstanding balance on your credit cards in relation to your available credit limit.
Your credit history is essentially your track record when it comes to paying your bills. It also considers the number of accounts you have running at one specific time and how you are managing them.
This aspect of your credit score looks at the manner in which your credit responsibilities are dispersed. What are your liabilities in comparison to your assets?
Recent Credit Changes
When calculating your credit score, credit bureaus take note of your daily credit behavior. These investigations try to find uncharacteristic changes in your credit habits that may disqualify you as a sincere rental candidate.
It can be quite difficult to find apartments for rent without a credit check. Thus, it’s important to fix your credit and build on it by considering the above-mentioned factors.
Differences Across the States
Whether you are still studying or only started working, striking out on your own brings new responsibilities. You might not have the right credit history or credit background that will ensure your credibility for an apartment.
The required credit score that qualifies renters to lease accommodation in the US differs from state to state. California leads the pack with San Francisco requiring a whopping 719 credit check score result for potential residents.
Areas such as Boston (Massachusetts), New York (New York State), and Seattle (Washington), similarly demand high credit ratings of more than 680.
Meanwhile, Texas, Tennessee, Nevada, Indiana, and Maryland will accept scores below 600 with Arlington, TX offering apartment rentals at the lowest average credit score of 580.
Individuals who wish to know how to get an apartment without credit or are first-time homebuyers with bad credit can follow the above tips for achieving a higher credit score in order to become eligible for renting their dream apartments. Alternatively, they can try persuading private apartment owners and landlords by providing proof of income and reference letters.
The longer road will be to build a healthy credit history by utilizing secured credit cards or credit builder loans. It will be worth it in the long run.
Convince a potential landlord by providing an informative cover letter, powerful references, and by proving your solvency. Once he is swayed, offer to move in immediately and pay a security deposit or a few months’ worth of rent to seal the deal.
Yes, generally speaking you need a credit history and accompanying credit score so as to meet assessment criteria when renting an apartment. However, there are a variety of different ways, discussed in our guideline, to circumvent or manage pre-existing conditions and terms.
Managing to rent an apartment without good credit is indeed possible. Work on improving your credit score while exhibiting model behavior in meeting your financial responsibilities. In the meantime, find a landlord who is willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.