How to Get a Rental With Bad Credit

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Executive Realty 91362

If you are looking for an apartment with no credit checks, you’ll know it isn’t easy. If you have a low credit score or bad credit, finding an apartment without these checks is still possible.

We look at your options to get no-credit-check apartments and the things you can do to make finding an apartment easier.

Renting apartments with no credit can be challenging, but these tips will increase your chances. Maximum Real Estate Exposure has some excellent advice on renting an apartment or house with bad credit.

Pay Additional Rent Upfront

When landlords are considering renters who have bad credit, their greatest fear is being stuck with a tenant that does not pay rent. The number one way to get a landlord to accept a tenant with bad credit is to pay additional months of rent upfront.

Doing so will give the landlord additional peace of mind that they will not be screwed out of their rent. With most things in life, money talks.

Proof of Income

Your landlord wants to make sure you can pay the rent; if you can prove this, they might not require other checks. Generally, a landlord will want evidence of pre-tax income more than 3 times the rental payment.

You're trying to prove that your bad credit is a thing of the past. You currently have a stable job and ample income to pay the monthly rent payments.

Provide More Security

The security deposit protects the landlord against their tenant damaging the property or missing rent payments and covers the cost of cleaning the home at the end of the lease.

If you can offer a larger security deposit, it shows the landlord that you are more committed to being a responsible tenant. However, you may need to check state laws to see if you can offer to pay more.

Character References

Good references from other landlords can sometimes be better than a high credit score. If you have a positive reference from your previous landlord, you must ensure the potential landlord gets to see it.

Show that you will be a reliable tenant with a strong history of paying your rent on time. This will indicate to the landlord that they are less likely to have problems should they rent their property to you.

It is best to provide recent references from other landlords for whom you've had no problems paying the rent. Whether renting an apartment, condo, or house, references are always crucial to a landlord's decision process. The stronger the references, the better.

Cosigners and Guarantors

When the owner of the home you would like to rent is feeling uneasy about your bad credit, you may need to find someone else to be on the rental agreement with you.

If you have someone cosign with you or be a guarantor on the lease, it gives the landlord more assurance that the rent will be paid. A cosigner is like a roommate, and a guarantor is often a parent who willingly takes legal responsibility for the rent.

A roommate cosigner will also be responsible for paying the rent if you cannot. If you live with a roommate that has a good credit score, it will give you more options for possible homes as well.

Check Private Properties

Traditional apartments often have stricter rules about who they will rent to. But if you look at rent by owner homes, you might find they are more flexible in their requirements.

Monthly Rentals

Short-term rentals that allow you to rent for one month at a time are less likely to require credit checks.

Move In Faster

Apartments with no credit checks are more likely when the landlord wants to speed up the process. A landlord looking for a tenant quickly might be more willing to rent without a credit check.

Wait and Improve Your Credit

Instead of looking for an apartment with no credit checks, take steps to improve your credit. If you want to look like a better tenant, improving your credit score will give you more options for apartments.

It can take a while to see a good increase in your credit scoring, but if you do the right things, some changes will happen in just a few weeks.

Check your credit reports

Your score could be lower than it should be because of errors in your report. You can check your credit report for free and look for errors. If something is wrong, contact the credit bureau. See how you can get your credit reports for free.

Reduce your debts

If you are using more than 30% of your available credit, it could be hurting your score. Paying down this debt should improve your score.

Pay on time

Late payments have a negative impact on your credit score. Build your score by making sure you pay your bills on time.

Benefit from someone else’s credit

If a relative with excellent credit is willing to allow you to be an authorized user on their account, it can boost your score.

Secured credit cards

If you don’t have a credit card, a secured card helps build your credit history. With this type of card, you are essentially borrowing money you deposited with the lender, but it does help your credit.


If you find it challenging to manage your money, set a budget, so it is easier to avoid the problems you previously faced. This will make it more likely that you will improve your credit score, allowing you to find a better apartment.

The Bottom Line

Finding a no-credit check apartment isn’t easy and will require more effort. But finding an apartment is possible if you take steps to show you are a reliable tenant. These tips when renting a home or apartment with bad credit should help.

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Bill Gassett is a thirty-two year veteran to the real estate industry. He enjoys providing helpful information to buyers, sellers and fellow real estate agents to make sound decisions. His work has been featured on RIS Media, National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Placester, RESAAS, Credit Sesame and others.

Comments (2)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Bill - finding a new place to live can be challenging for anyone.  That's especially true for renters with certain issues such as less-than-ideal credit, pets or something that can make a landlord's job easier to eliminate from possibly accepting them as a tenant.  It's always wise to be prepared.  Not always easy but it can save time and frustration.  

Nov 28, 2022 08:30 AM
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

It's definitely a challenge when it comes to finding good rentals Michael Jacobs 

Nov 28, 2022 01:32 PM