Many landlords consider credit score when determining whether to approve a potential resident.  Because of this, many future residents inquire about the ideal credit score to rent an apartment. Your credit score is viewed as a reflection of the likelihood you will pay your rent on time. A lower credit score can make it a little bit more difficult to rent a new apartment home.

What Is A Credit Score?

A credit score is a numerical representation of “trustworthiness” based on historical data. Credit scores can range from 300 to 850. The higher the better!

Credit score calculations are roughly based on the following breakdown:

  • 35% payment history
  • 30% current loan and credit card debt
  • 15% length of credit history
  • 10% types of credit
  • 10% amount of new credit

Payment history is the biggest factor in determining your credit score. Therefore, paying your bills on time can have an incredibly positive impact when it comes time to rent an apartment.

If you want to know your credit score before apartment shopping, you can access your credit report by requesting a free copy through a credit reporting agency such as Equifax®, Experian®, or TransUnion®.

Can I Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit?

Can I rent an apartment with a 500 credit score? What about less?

Many people become concerned with their credit score when it’s time to rent an apartment. The truth of the matter is that it can be difficult to rent an apartment with negative credit history. However, if you find a landlord who offers a “second chance” program, you might just be approved for your new home!

How To Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit

To rent an apartment with bad credit, there are a few potential routes you could take.

  • Leverage recommendations. In some cases, you may be able to offset a low credit score with a credible recommendation. A positive rental verification from previous landlords could be very helpful. Private landlords may even accept recommendations from an employer or past roommate.
  • Rent with a roommate. If you lease with a roommate who has a higher credit score it becomes less of a risk for the landlord. Another idea is to find a roommate who has a current lease that you could be added on to. The process of adding an additional resident to an apartment with an established track record can be simpler than starting a brand new lease.
  • Put money down. Making a large up-front payment, such as a security deposit or advance rent, can reassure the landlord that you are capable of, and willing to, pay the rent on time.
  • Offer a co-signer. A reliable guarantor or co-signer can help circumvent a bad credit score to rent an apartment. A co-signer acts as a back-up by assuming responsibility for your rent in the event that you don’t pay.
  • Buy instead of rent. If you’re in the market to purchase a place, consider an FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan. These are the most popular loans for first time home buyers because credit score requirements are flexible.
  • Avoid apartments that require credit checks. Options will be limited, but if you’re extremely concerned about your credit score, you can search websites such as Craigslist. You might find a private landlord who does not require credit history.

You certainly can rent an apartment with bad credit. I may just require some give and take. Don’t forget that you are still investing in your home and you should be happy in it. Make sure you get a good deal on an apartment you love.

Flexibility At Southern Management

At Southern Management, we not only care deeply about our residents — and we also care about those who are considering calling our apartment communities home. That’s why we have conditional lease options

Our financial counselors will help determine how to fit renting into your budget. We can offer leases and lease terms that work for both you and the community you’ll be renting from. Don’t write us off just because you have less than perfect credit. We’re willing to review your application for one of our conditional lease options which provide you a place to call home while rebuilding your credit.

To learn more about our resident application process or apartment communities, contact us today.