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Tips on Renting With a Bad Credit Score

By Jynette DeMarco

If you have a poor credit score, you may have found landlords to be reluctant to rent to you. The landlord of a house is the ultimate decision maker as to who can rent their property and many of them rely upon credit scores to determine if they think you will be able to pay rent. Those landlords who value scores highly are unlikely to rent to you, especially if they are renting a new or more expensive house.

However, there are plenty of landlords that do not weigh credit scores heavily. These landlords are more lenient with their credit score requirements and are often looking to rent out their vacant homes as soon as they can. This has especially been the case with the recent economic downturn. In the past few years more than ever many landlords will ignore low scores as long as you have a way to prove you can pay the rent.

If the landlord you are working with does check credit scores, there are a few tips you can follow to improve your chances of renting. One way is to offer to pay more money upfront. If a landlord has the immediate guarantee of money, they are more likely to take your offer more seriously. This money upfront adds appeal to you renting by showing that you have some extra funds to pay off your rent in the future.

Having a cosigner on your lease can also improve your chances of renting. This option is attractive to landlords because they know that there is an alternate source of payment should you ever be incapable of producing the monthly rent.

Another option is to get a recommendation from one of your prior landlords. Low credit scores are not always the result of not paying rent, but are often the result of other expenses. Proving this to a landlord with a recommendation helps show that you are reliable, will pay rent on time, and were respectful of the previous house you inhabited.

If these tips do not do the trick, try avoiding a credit check all together. Many landlords that advertise in cheap ads or free newspapers are less likely to check scores thoroughly. If you have a very bad score, this route may be your best option for finding somewhere to live.

It may be harder to rent a house with a bad credit score, but it is far from impossible. There are countless of understanding landlords who are ready and willing to rent out their houses as quickly as they can.

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