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How to Rent a Home or Apartment With No Credit History

Couple of renters getting key to new apartment from landlord
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Can you rent if you have no credit?

If you’re looking for a place to rent but have no previous credit history, you could be up for a challenge. Good rental properties aren’t on the market for long, especially when they’re being snapped-up by renters with glowing credit scores.

Thankfully, we’ve discovered that renting a home or apartment with no credit history isn’t just possible, but it’s a relatively straightforward process. We’ve uncovered five ways to rent without credit, including options that involve no credit check apartments and private landlords.

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Here are 5 ways to rent without credit history

1. Search for a private landlord

Have you ever seen the words “apartments for rent no credit check,” or “private landlord no credit check” in your local classifieds or advertised online? No doubt, this is the work of a private landlord, who is desperate to fill his or her rental properties with tenants to ease the financial burden of a mortgage, utilities, and property taxes. And their need equates to laxer credit check rules for you.

Apartment management companies and condominium associations will most likely perform a credit check on an applicant and base their approval or disapproval solely on this information. Private landlords, however, may be more lenient. Your interest in becoming their tenant could mean they’re willing to compromise with your lack of credit history. You’re more likely to find no credit check apartments going this route.

2. Ask someone with good credit to be your co-signer

In the situation that you can’t provide a good credit history, it may be worthwhile to ask a relative, such as your parent or sibling, to be your co-signer. Of course, your co-signer will need to have a good credit history to help your application pass the line, but bear in mind that they do not have to live with you.

Co-signing simply means that if you are unable to pay your rent, your co-signer will then be responsible to cover these costs. Co-signing isn’t something to be taken lightly. Ensure your rental payments are always on time to avoid leaving a loved one scrambling to pay your debt.

3. Find a roommate with a good credit history

If you can’t get a co-signer, or choose not to, then the next beneficial step would be to find a roommate who has a good credit history. Bonus points if he or she already has an apartment lease!

Landlords — whether private or a larger company — may approve your application based on your combined income, as well as your roommate’s credit rating.

4. Offer to pay more up front

Particularly in the case of a private landlord, you may be able to get over the line by offering to pay more of your expenses at the outset — whether that’s an additional month of rent or a larger bond. Not only does this show your landlord that you’re financially capable, but also that you’re serious about renting the property and aren’t afraid to put your money where your mouth is.

Of course, it’s important that you actually have the funds available so that you can follow through. Don’t think this gives you a “get out of jail free” card, either. Make sure you pay your remaining rent on-time or early, and never late.

5. Show proof of income

If you don’t have credit and can’t find a co-signer or roommate with a good credit history, then all is not lost. You may be able to show proof of income to the landlord to provide evidence that you can afford the rental payments for at least the foreseeable future.

Keep in mind that landlords will generally look for an income that’s two or three times larger than what they’re asking for in rent. Additionally, if you have any assets or money in savings, be sure to mention these as well.

The bottom line

Renting a house or apartment with no credit history can present a challenge, but it’s certainly possible. For no credit check apartments, seek out those offered by private landlords, as they may be more lenient about credit history. You can also strengthen your rental application by asking someone with good credit to be your co-signer, finding a roommate with a good credit history, offering to pay more of your expenses up front, or showing proof of sufficient income, assets, or savings.

Frequently asked questions

How do I find a co-signer?

When someone agrees to co-sign your rental agreement for you, it’s a big deal, as they are agreeing to foot the bill in the event that you cannot meet your rental payments. Therefore, when looking for a co-signer, it’s best to only approach those you have close and trusting relationships with, such as a parent or sibling.

What kind of credit score do you need to rent an apartment? 

Although you can sometimes find no credit check apartments, in most cases you’ll need a credit score of at least somewhere between 600 and 620. On average, most credit scores fall between 600 and 750. A score of 700 or above is considered good and anything 800 and above is excellent.

How can I get an apartment with no income? 

If you are seeking to rent an apartment with no proof of income or credit history, then a co-signer or roommate with sufficient income and credit history will be necessary. Your co-signer may have to submit an application and provide documents to confirm his or her salary, however.

Can you rent an apartment with a 500 credit score?

If the landlord isn’t placing importance on an applicant’s credit score, then it may be possible to rent no credit check apartments with a lower credit score of 500. If this isn’t the case, however, then an acceptable proof of income, or a co-signer or roommate with a much higher credit score may be needed.


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