How to Rent an Apartment with Bad Credit

Apartment Rental with bad Credit

When you have bad credit, it becomes quite challenging to move around going about your routine. The credit system is set so that things like getting a car, an apartment, or shopping for groceries can become problematic once your score gets below a certain point. However, it’s certainly not the end of the world. Even with bad credit, you can still ensure that your necessities are covered while you improve your credit score. You can certainly rent an apartment with bad credit, and we are here to tell you how exactly you can do it. 

While you can rent an apartment with bad credit, do bear in mind that you will need to put in some effort. Finding a co-signer (preferably someone with good credit) is an excellent way to enhance your chances of securing an apartment lease and prove that your days of fiscal irresponsibility are behind you. All of this will allow you to put up a strong case, and eventually, you may be able to rent an apartment with bad credit. 

Let’s look at how to rent an apartment with bad credit. 

Renting an apartment with bad credit

Here is a quick rundown of some of the ways you can rent an apartment even if you have bad credit. Let’s get started. 

Select a different property, landlord

If you have bad credit, landlords or property management personnel will not allow you to rent an apartment. But that does not mean renting an apartment is entirely out of the question. It is simply a matter of finding another apartment or landlord with fewer checks than others. The standard trio of questions that get asked upon inquiry of a property is for proof of income, references, and credit score. Really, the only necessary ones are references and proof of income; these are the ones that actually matter. Many landlords and some property management companies are fine with credit scores; however they come, it’s the stable job and steady income they are more concerned with. Even if your credit score is bad, but you have a steady job that pays just fine, getting an apartment should have no problems at all. 

Provide well-established references

Another way to rent an apartment with a bad score is to provide well-established references, preferably ones living in the same property. Strong references, just like a job, can really influence a landlord’s decision to allow an individual with a bad credit score to rent an apartment. References from shady people or people themselves struggling can really be off-putting for landlords, as their thought process will be negatively affected by that. In other words, if you have some unsavory people as your references, you will come across as an unsavory person as well. This is why well-established references are always the better choice and help in more than one way. Some landlords also question references extensively, so renting an apartment sometimes depends more on the references than the credit score. 

Provide tangible proof of income, steady job

Oftentimes, landlords are willing to waive off the requirement for a certain credit score, usually owing to proof of a steady job with an income that can easily sustain you. This tip is usually constructive for students who might find themselves in a bit of a situation after getting out of college and moving out for a job; their credit score usually isn’t all that good. In that case, proof of income and a steady job always do the trick. Landlords do understand that there are instances where an applicant’s credit score isn’t always good, but that should not deny them a roof over their head, and a steady job also definitely helps. A pay stub, a letter from your boss explaining how long you’ve been working, or in some cases, an offer acceptance letter works in favour; you can get an apartment on rent even if your credit score isn’t all that good. 

Get a co-sign or lease guarantee from family

While many people may also include friends in this situation, it is better to have a family member, preferably with a good credit score and an excellent financial history, to be your co-signer or lease guarantor for the apartment. This will essentially state that should you fail to pay rent; your family member will step up and cover the dues while you get back on track. Two things of importance to note here: the person who co-signing should be financially well-off, and secondly, do understand that this option brings with it a lot of unwanted responsibility on the family member. So, only do so when you are certain of things working out, and keep your savings in handy just in case something goes wrong. If a family member is unwilling to do so, you can always get a friend or a roommate to share the rent with you, easing some of the burden off you. 

Pay an upfront fee, negotiate less on the rent

Another way to weasel your way into renting an apartment with a bad credit score is to provide an incentive for the landlord to accept your application for the apartment. That incentive can come in many forms, but it has to be monetary. So, you can either pay a hefty upfront or agree on a slightly raised rent that works out in the landlord’s favor, but only slightly. Remember, you have to live and pay rent consistently, so, in the fever of throwing your landlord a deal, don’t agree to something that might not sit well with your finances later on. We would suggest paying a healthy sum as upfront, which would then free you to negotiate on the rent, even if you don’t have a good credit score. Seeing a good sum coming in will definitely make your landlord reconsider their decision to let you rent the apartment despite a bad credit score. 

What is a good credit score for renting an apartment in Ontario?

The Canadian credit score system works a bit like this: anything over 660 is considered fair, so renting apartments, getting approved for a loan, or taking out student or car loans are easier. Anything below, you will have a hard time convincing the landlords or the lending authorities about your financial feasibility. However, that’s not to say that you won’t be able to move around. Just better your score and take it over 660, preferably around the 715 mark, to really ease up your life. 

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