By Emma Moore
on July 8, 2024
Read in 2 min

When you're on the hunt for an apartment, there are all kinds of things you need to be mindful of. One of the biggest is your credit score. If it's lackluster, landlords are going to be understandably skeptical about renting to you. These six tips will help to increase your odds of having a lease approved.

1. Find the right place

The right place doesn't necessarily mean "the perfect place". You should be realistic about what kind of place you'll be able to get. Look for apartments in your price range and make sure that your basic needs will be met. Make a list of potential neighborhoods in order of preference and decide which one would work best.

2. Check it

Ignoring it won't do you any good. It might be frightening to check and see just how low it is, but chances are that it's not as bad as you think. Credit-checking sites break down your various accounts and show how much you owe. This can help you to have a much better understanding of how your score is affected by your financial actions.

3. Try to increase it

You can't just shoot it up three figures overnight, but you can better it. Do your best to wipe out or greatly reduce debts. Try to pay more than the minimum on your credit cards each month. This will help to tick it up and show that you can be trusted. Even if you have debt, your score can still be fairly robust by paying your bills on time and keeping your credit utilization as low as possible.

4. Find a co-signer

Even if it's is lacking, you can still get a lease approved. Getting someone to co-sign a lease can help to improve your chances of being approved. This should be someone with a great one. It could be a family member or friend. They should not be expected to cover your expenses. When you ask someone to be a co-signer, make sure that they know that you will be handling rent and that their co-signing is just a matter of helping you to get approved.

5. Have a good income

You can increase a landlord's confidence in renting to you if you have a good earning history. Since you'll need to include income verification, you should emphasize how you'll be able to pay rent on time. A weak one can be less of a liability if you have high paychecks to help soften the blow.

6. Discuss it

Landlords are human, and they understand that sometimes people go through tough times that can affect their financial standing. You might've had yours knocked down due to medical expenses or because of a sudden financial emergency that required you to max out a card. Don't try to act arrogant or like you're entitled to being approved for an apartment due to your hardship. Appeal to your landlord's sense of decency by showing how you've picked yourself up from this situation and are ready to move on.

If it isn't where you want it to be, don't beat yourself up. It can be an important teaching tool as you work to get it up. Consider as many of these tips as possible as you set your sights on a lease for an apartment you know you'll love.

This is not legal or financial advice. Please consult a legal or financial advisor for your specific situation.