How to Rent Your First Apartment with no Credit or Cosigner

11 May, 2017 / By

As students receive their diplomas and a handshake welcoming them into the real world, the dilemma of where to live after college befalls many. The majority of recent grads do not want to resort to living in their parent’s houses after graduation, but in order to live on their own they must get approved for a house or apartment. Having a solid credit history is important for many reasons including cell phone contracts, credit accounts as well as renting an apartment. However, if you are a recent grad without a solid credit history all is not lost.

Rent Your Apartment from an Owner

The majority of management companies and apartment complexes need a credit check to approve you in order to rent their property. That being said, there are some individual owners that will take on renters without an established credit score. In most cases, a landlord will only require that you to prove that you have income stability. Make sure that you only rent an apartment if it’s within your budget, no matter how expensive a place you can get approved for.

Offer To Immediately Move In

Not being able to fill apartments is very expensive for landlords, as they then have to take on the utilities and mortgage without being reimbursed through rent. Due to this, you may be able to rent out an apartment without established credit if you can move in right away, as this will give you an edge over other renters who may have to fulfill out a current lease or need time to save for a deposit.

Prove That You Have an Income or Savings

If you don’t have a credit history, you may still be approved if you have a steady income that will adequately pay for rent. It is recommended that you don’t rent an apartment that is more than a third of your pay after taxes. This means that if you are making $3000 dollars a month, you need to look at an apartment that costs less than $1000. If you are not steadily making an income, but still have a substantial amount of savings then this may suffice in allowing you to rent an apartment. The amount of savings that you need will vary depending on the management company or apartment complex, however it is ideal to have at least a few months of rent saved up.

Pay a Couple of Months of Rent Upfront

Paying two or three months of rent upfront may persuade a landlord to allow you to rent an apartment without a credit check. This is because paying a few months’ rent ahead of time will decrease your landlord’s risk of you not being able to pay later down the line. Ensure that the payment you make is documented properly so that there are no misunderstandings.

Give Reference Letters

Keep in mind that your potential landlord has no idea who you are. By giving them some idea that you are a good person and not a liability, you may be able to rent an apartment without a credit check. In order to do this, giving the landlord a few professional references from professors or employers is a good idea. It is generally assumed that if you are responsible at school and work you are responsible with your money, which you can use to your advantage. Providing character references is a way to demonstrate that you are responsible, hard-working and someone who will pay rent on time every time.

Offer to Begin Month-to-Month

If a tenant doesn’t pay rent, it can take a landlord several months to evict them if they refuse to leave. By making a deal with the landlord that you lease month-to-month or for three months at a time, it will give the landlord the option to not renew your lease for another term if you aren’t able to pay. Of course, the assumption is you will be able to pay the rent on time. However, your landlord does not know this, and so you have to prove that you are trustworthy by keeping a good track record.

Jennifer Hamilton

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