How to Rent an Apartment with Bad Credit

Looking for an apartment but have bad credit? Here are a few tips on how to rent an apartment with bad credit.

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Bad credit can make it difficult — but not impossible — to find a place to rent. Here are some tips to help you overcome your bad credit and get into the apartment you want.

The first step is to pull your credit report and score so you know where you stand. You can get a free copy of your report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus every 12 months at Check the report for any errors and dispute them if necessary.

Next, try to find a cosigner with good credit who is willing to sign the lease with you. This will help offset your bad credit and make it more likely that you’ll be approved for the apartment.

Another option is to find a sublet or roommate situation, where someone with good credit is already renting the apartment and you would be taking over their lease. This can be a great way to get into an apartment that you might not otherwise be able to afford.

Some landlords are willing to work with tenants who have bad credit, so it’s always worth asking if they’re open to doing a background check or income verification instead of a traditional credit check.

In some cases, you may be able to get approved for an apartment by paying a higher security deposit or advance rent payment. This shows the landlord that you’re serious about renting the apartment and that you have the financial means to do so.

Finally, consider looking for apartments in smaller towns or cities, where there may be less competition for rentals and landlords may be more willing to work with tenants who have bad credit.

Check your credit report for errors

Your credit report is a key factor in determining whether or not you’ll be approved for an apartment, so it’s important to make sure that the information on your report is accurate. If you find any errors, dispute them with the credit bureau immediately.

You can also try to negotiate with your potential landlord. If you have bad credit but are otherwise a good tenant (e.g., you have a steady job and income, you don’t have a criminal record, etc.), some landlords may be willing to work with you. For example, they may require a larger security deposit or agree to allow you to make payments in installments.

Find a co-signer

One way to get around bad credit is to find a co-signer with good credit. A co-signer is somebody who signs the lease with you and agrees to be responsible for the rent if you can’t pay. The co-signer’s credit score will be used to qualify for the apartment, so make sure you find someone you trust who has good credit.

Another option is to get a guarantor. A guarantor is somebody who agrees to pay your rent if you can’t. The guarantor doesn’t have to live in the apartment, but most landlords will require that the guarantor live in the same city as you.

You can also try finding an apartment that doesn’t require a credit check. These apartments are usually sublets or furnished apartments, and they’re typically more expensive than other apartments. But if you need a place to live and can’t find anything else, they’re worth considering.

Get a letter of explanation

If you have bad credit, one of the ways you can convince a prospective landlord to rent to you is to provide a letter of explanation. This letter should detail why you have bad credit and what steps you’re taking to improve your creditworthiness. For example, if you’ve been working steady for the past six months and have started making payments on time, be sure to mention this in your letter. You can also offer to pay a higher deposit or agree to a shorter lease term.

Look for a no-credit-check apartment

There are a limited number of apartments that will not require a credit check, but they are often in lower quality buildings or in less desirable neighborhoods. Look for classified ads that specifically say “no credit check” or “bad credit OK.” Another possibility is to sublet an apartment from someone who is already renting; the landlord is unlikely to run a credit check on the person subletting since they have already been approved.

If you have bad credit but still want to rent a nice apartment, you may be able to find a cosigner with good credit who will agree to sign the lease with you. The cosigner becomes responsible for the rent if you can’t pay, so this arrangement generally only works between friends or family members who trust each other.

Offer to pay a higher security deposit

If you’re looking to rent an apartment with bad credit, one option is to offer to pay a higher security deposit. This shows the landlord that you’re aware of your credit situation and are willing to take steps to mitigate their risk. If possible, try to offer at least 2-3 times the standard security deposit. In addition, be sure to have a solid plan in place for how you’ll make rent each month, as this will help convince the landlord that you’re a responsible tenant despite your bad credit.


In conclusion, it is possible to rent an apartment with bad credit, but it may be more difficult and you may have to pay a higher deposit. There are a few things you can do to improve your chances, such as finding a cosigner, increasing your income, or finding ano-credit-check apartment. Be sure to do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions. With a little work, you should be able to find the perfect place to call home.

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