Tips for renting with bad credit – The Mercury News

when you have bad credit, you don’t just have trouble shopping on credit. You also have difficulty when trying to rent an apartment. However, having bad credit doesn’t mean you can’t find a great place to hang your hat. This is how you can get a good apartment with less than perfect credit.

Examine and attack your credit rating

It won’t be the fastest way to get a good apartment, but it will be the most durable. Obtain a copy of your credit report lets you see what the problems are with your credit. This allows you to explain any problem you may have with your credit to a potential homeowner. Perhaps, more importantly, you can also start to sort out your credit hot spots. Write letters to resolve issues that might not be on your credit report, and start paying off old debts to repair the damage to your credit score. It might not help you get the apartment this time around, but it will in the future.

For now, speak to your future owner knowingly. Particularly in smaller rentals that are not owned by large companies, your knowledge of your financial issues can overwhelm you in accessing a great apartment.


Co-signers are people who sign a lease with you, making themselves legally responsible for the costs associated with an apartment. This can give your landlord a bit more confidence to hire you. Find a friend or family member with better credit and see if they’ll sign a lease with you. Co-signing is something that is best avoided if possible, but many landlords have no problem renting to people with bad credit, as long as someone with good credit is willing to co-sign the lease.

Shoe it away

Another tactic for getting an apartment when your credit is less than perfect is to post a larger deposit. Many states set limits on how much a landlord can charge as a deposit. However, offering something in addition to the standard deposit can make your landlord more comfortable. In the worst case, they have at least recouped more of their losses. Plus, it shows you are serious. You don’t promise more money in the future. You are offering money here and now, putting a little more of your skin on the lease than with the standard deposit. The harder it will be for you to get away from the deposit, the larger it is and your landlord will know.

No credit check

As a last resort, look for apartments that don’t have a credit check. Credit checks are part of the course when it comes to large corporate apartments. Many small owners don’t need it. It’s an added expense and hassle that they don’t want to face. You might be concerned that you won’t be able to get a good apartment if you are only looking for places that don’t do credit checks. While this may make your search a bit more difficult, you’ll be surprised what you can find even among rental properties that don’t require a credit check.

A long-term project

You may be looking for a new apartment right now. However, you should still have a long term plan to repair your credit. This will make it easier for you to get car loans, mortgages, and even apartment rentals. Don’t think about the apartment you’re trying to get right now, but about the apartment you’ll be visiting in a year or two. One of the benefits of solving your credit problems is that many rental properties require smaller deposits from tenants with outstanding credit.