Who knew apartments required good credit before giving you a lease? Many unsuspecting bad-credit-applicants have realized this fact the hard way. I know I did.
Why do apartments do credit checks anyway?
Turns out apartments view a lease as a loan. If you’re seeking a 12-month lease on an apartment that’s $800 a month, you’re essentially taking out a $9600 loan that you repay over a period of a year. If you’re late, you’ll get a late fee. If you’re too late, they’ll repossess the apartment. So in that sense, I guess it is a loan.
Just like a loan from a bank, you must have a pretty decent credit score if you want to get approved for most apartments. Without that score, you’ll have to fork up the cash to pay for the apartment, get someone credit worthy (and often a property owner) to co-sign, or you’ll have to look elsewhere. Looking elsewhere is the only option for most people with bad credit.
If you want to rent with bad credit, you’ll have to find a no credit check apartment.
Anyone who’s been apartment hunting using those free guides you pick up from the gas station and Wal-Mart knows no credit check apartments aren’t easy to be found. A Google search for “no credit check apartments” returns over 1 million results. Few of them are actually websites of places that will give you an apartment without a credit check. That’s because finding apartments that don’t do credit checks is a little tough, as you’ve probably already seen. People who own no credit check apartments don’t do much advertising and they certainly don’t advertise in the glossy pages of apartment books.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you look for an apartment that doesn’t do credit checks.
- No credit check apartments are typically owned by individual landlords rather than a large property management company. Individual landlords often own one or two properties. So based on the number tenants they have, it’s often not worth it to do a credit check.
- Large apartment complexes almost always do credit checks. The way they see it, they can’t afford to lose money on a non-paying tenant, so they do their due diligence upfront to prevent that from happening.
- Apartments with lots of amenities are typically owned by large property management companies and are more likely to check your credit. So, if you have bad credit, stay away from the apartments with pools and workout rooms.
- An individually-owned condo or townhouse probably won’t require a credit check, especially if it’s newer. Chances are the owner hasn’t been through many tenants and probably hasn’t had a tenant skip out on the rent, so they don’t have much reason to do credit checks.
No credit check apartments are out there. Use some of these clues to weed out apartments. Look for an individual who owns an apartment rather than a large company. That’s your best bet for getting into an apartment with bad credit.