Be upfront. Chances are, in this economy lots of people have seen their credit score erode, or have missed paying a bill once in a while. When you talk to a potential landlord, either have a letter in hand explaining your situation or talk it out face-to-face. You may have to increase your security deposit, but the honest approach should help you get through the front door.
Know what landlords look for. Apartment managers and property owners typically put greater weight on financial “red flags” like a habitual late payment history or bankruptcies. But they often overlook common credit report items like medical bills or bills incurred while unemployed.
Let your landlord deduct your rent from your banking account. A landlord may be more amenable to letting you sign a lease if you agree to have your monthly rent automatically deducted from your bank account. Propose that deal upfront, and have an employment verification letter on hand to back you up.
If you have the cash, you can offer to pay three- or even six-months worth of rent upfront. That should virtually guarantee you’ll get a lease.
All in all, the more resources you bring to the table — especially in terms of money and honesty — the better the odds that you’ll get the apartment you want. Bad credit or not.
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