Whether you’re planning to move out of the dorm and into a student apartment, or you’re moving out on your own as you start your career, renting your first apartment poses a few extra challenges. Young adults just starting out often don’t have much credit history for property managers to check, but there are still ways to show that you’ll be a great, reliable tenant. Here are a few tips to help you get an apartment with no credit history:
Remember that little or no credit history is much better than bad credit.
Apartment hunters with bad credit are fighting an uphill battle, working hard to convince property managers that they will be reliable renters in spite of evidence that they haven’t been so reliable in the past. Still, it can be done. When you’re looking to rent an apartment with no credit history at all, you have a much easier task. You’re not a proven risk. You’re simply a mystery. You’ll just need to find other ways to convince a property management company that you’ll be a reliable renter.
Explain your situation.
Explain why you don’t have much credit history. Chances are that your explanation will tell them more about who you are and why they can count on you. Discuss your situation with the manager when you visit the property. Rent.com’s blog post, Land an Apartment With No Credit History suggests writing a letter of explanation and including it with your application.
Focus on your income.
As NerdWallet’s post 7 Tips for Getting an Apartment Without Credit suggests, many management companies will rent to you without credit history if you can show that your monthly income is a certain multiple of your monthly rent payment or more. In fact, many property managers care much more about proof of income than they do about credit history, so if you have a steady job and can show paycheck stubs to prove it, chances are that you’ll be able to rent a Houston apartment you’ll love.
Offer a bigger deposit or a shorter lease.
These options lower the risk a management company. For example, if you pay your last month’s rent when you put down your deposit and first month’s rent, the management company will be paid for a longer time if you suddenly stop paying rent. A month-to-month or other short lease will make it easier for a property manager to get you out if you become unable to pay rent.
Consider getting a cosigner, or a roommate with good credit history.
The NerdWallet post suggests a cosigner as the last option, and with good reason. If your lease is cosigned by a roommate who has better credit, or by a friend or family member, that person will be legally and financially responsible if you fail to pay rent. Only enter into an agreement like this if you’re sure you will always be able to cover your rent, or you’ll risk doing great harm to that relationship. Still, if you’re confident, and you have a willing cosigner or roommate, this is the most reliable way to land your apartment and start building your rental and credit history.