In a recent survey, FICO credit scores showed that roughly 20% of scoreable people fell under the threshold of 599 denoting poor credit. There are numerous reasons why a person can end up having bad credit, from poor financial habits to falling into a time of hardship and needing to work their way back. Before setting out to look for “no credit check apartments near me”, you’ll want to arm yourself with a few pointers to direct your house hunt and make it as efficient as possible.
Having poor credit makes your life more difficult in a variety of ways, but one that often gets ignored is renting. But, how do no credit check apartments factor into this conversation? The majority of apartment rentals out there include a credit check. From a landlord’s perspective, this is designed to rent to tenants who are likely to pay their lease on time every month. From a tenant’s perspective, it can seem like another hill to overcome. However, there are rental homes and premium apartments designed to help with this issue—enter the no credit check apartment.
Here’s what they are and how you can find them.
Here are some ways to start finding an apartment with no credit check policies or with appropriate workarounds.
Generally, larger properties are run by management companies that are more likely to have set policies—including mandatory credit checks or a minimum credit score. From D.C. to Chicago, from no credit score homes in small towns to no credit check apartments in NYC — think small and privately owned to leverage that personal touch.
There are a variety of different platforms that can help you in this regard. For example, online platforms like Craigslist are a way to contact the landlords who post there, but there’s going to be a wide variety of different properties available. If you are a corporate traveler who needs to stay in the city for a few months, it may be difficult to work with a landlord who is used to dealing with tenants who sign yearly leases.
There are other resources out there that help people connect to professionals that can help them find housing. These include real estate agents or the classified section of a newspaper. However, you still need to pare this down to an arrangement that matches your needs.
If you are struggling with poor credit, there are local branches of government designed to help people find housing that will meet their needs. Check the city website where you are looking to stay for more guidance.
Because of these issues, it’s important to work with a landlord or company that has an understanding of your situation. For example, Blueground generally caters to corporate travelers, some of whom may be international travelers who need to stay in a city for a few months for a job or project. Their apartments across 12 cities worldwide host guests with a range of credit scores and offer extra flexibility when booking. Their apartments also typically include premium amenities such as a doorman, rooftop terraces, and indoor pools.
Because these are part of the company’s tenant community, they understand how to provide apartments that will meet your needs and preferences, without credit serving as a roadblock. With a majority of properties located in the downtown core and near major multinational HQs, their furnished apartments are a perfect match for those needing an apartment with flexible lease terms. In place of a poor credit score or unavailable score, a security deposit and monthly rent is due upfront. With this guarantee, tenants can arrive to their apartment with all furnishings and utilities ready to go. From D.C. to Los Angeles, Blueground has a growing list of over 3000 furnished apartments that can be simply booked without realtor fees and extensive paperwork.
It has become an industry-wide measure of tenant suitability to look at credit scores. Like when taking out a credit card or a loan, having a quick indicator of whether a prospective tenant can make rent is a worthwhile qualification factor. One thing we should mention when it comes to no credit check apartments is that they are not strictly for people with a history of financial hardship. There are examples of people who may have money to afford the monthly rent, but simply don’t have the credit history to demonstrate it.
Examples of these include:
Something else to talk about when it comes to finding an apartment with poor or no credit is that properties in different areas are going to have different credit requirements. There’s no set standard, so it is possible to find a place that will accept your poor credit score and allow you to rent.
No credit check apartments circumvent the issue entirely, but there are other ways to get around this issue as well.
If you can get a family member or friend to cosign with you, this will be sufficient for most property owners. Just understand that this makes the cosigner responsible if you can’t make your rent payments. Be sure to give this some serious thought. When your credit score improves, it’s possible to remove the cosigner (or lease guarantor). In such a case, you may have to draw up a new lease for your rental.
In a similar vein to a cosigner, having strong references will help prove you are a good tenant to a potential landlord. Past landlords and employers are good people to use for this. In addition, if your poor credit score is due to an issue outside of your control, like illness, they can corroborate your story.
In all fairness, your credit score isn’t going to show any radical changes overnight. However, showing an upward trajectory in your score can be enough to convince some property owners that you will be a good tenant. Be sure that you regularly pay any bills you incur and make sure you don’t bring on any more debt during your apartment search. If you can put together a larger deposit as collateral, that may also help.
Typically, it takes about 24 to 72 hours for a landlord or property management company to process your credit check. Be sure to factor in extra time for other clerical work or background checks that they may do on your application or when comparing you to other potential candidates.
Be ready to be candid about your credit score and why it’s particularly low and what steps you’re taking to improve it. Seek out private landlords and companies like Blueground that understand the unique limitations of tenants with underdeveloped or poor credit.