What Credit Score Do You Need to Rent an Apartment?

If you’re looking to rent an apartment, you might be wondering what credit score you need to qualify. Here’s a look at what landlords are looking for and what you can do to improve your chances of getting approved.

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A credit score is a three digit number that lenders use to decide whether or not to give you a loan. A high credit score means you’re a low-risk borrower, which could lead to a lower interest rate on a loan. A low credit score could lead to a higher interest rate and could mean you won’t be approved for a loan at all.

When you’re looking for an apartment, your credit score is one of the things landlords will look at to decide if you’re qualified to rent their apartment. There’s no magic number that will guarantee you an apartment, but in general, the higher your credit score, the easier it will be to find an apartment.

If you’re not sure what your credit score is, you can check it for free on websites like Credit Karma or Credit Sesame. Once you know your credit score, use this guide to figure out what kind of apartments you might be able to rent.

The Importance of Credit

Your credit score is one of the most important pieces of financial information about you. It is used by lenders to determine whether or not to give you a loan and, if so, at what interest rate. Your credit score is also used by landlords to decide whether or not to rent to you.

Although there are a few landlord credit score requirements that are set in stone (like the Experian minimum credit score for an FHA loan), most landlords use credit scores as just one factor in their decision-making process. This means that even if your credit score is below the landlord credit score requirements, you may still be able to rent an apartment if your other qualifications are strong.

Even if you don’t have a perfect credit score, there are things you can do to improve your chances of getting an apartment, such as providing a larger security deposit or finding a co-signer.

What is a Good Credit Score?

A good credit score is generally considered to be a score of 700 or above. This is the benchmark that most lenders use to determine whether or not you’re a good candidate for a loan. If your score is below this, you may still be able to qualify for a loan, but you may have to pay a higher interest rate.

If you’re looking to rent an apartment, your credit score is one of the factors that landlords will consider when determining whether or not to approve your application. Most landlords require a minimum credit score of 600, but some may require a higher score.

If you’re not sure what your credit score is, you can check it for free on websites like Credit Karma or Annual Credit Report.

How to Rent an Apartment with Bad Credit

Bad credit can make it difficult – but not impossible – to rent an apartment. Here are five tips for renting an apartment with bad credit.

1. Find an Apartment That Uses a “Non-Traditional” Credit Score
There are some apartments that don’t use a standard credit score to make their decision. Instead, they may look at factors like your job history, rental history, and income. If you can find one of these apartments, it may be easier to get approved.

2. Get a Co-Signer
If you can’t find an apartment that uses a non-traditional credit score, you may be able to get approved by getting a co-signer with good credit. A co-signer is someone who agrees to sign the lease with you and is legally responsible for paying the rent if you don’t. This can be a friend or family member who trusts you to make the payments on time.

3. Offer to Pay More Deposits or Prepay Rent
Some landlords may be willing to overlook bad credit if you’re willing to pay extra security deposits or prepay rent for several months in advance. This shows that you’re serious about being a good tenant and that you have the financial resources to cover the rent even if something happens and your income decreases.

4. Get a Letter of Recommendation from Your Previous Landlord
If you have bad credit but were always prompt with your rent payments in the past, ask your previous landlord for a letter of recommendation. This letter can show potential landlords that despite your bad credit, you’re trustworthy and capable of paying your rent on time.

5. Find an Apartment That Offers Incentives for Good Credit Scores
Some apartment complexes offer incentives like free rent or gift cards for tenants with good credit scores. If you have bad credit but are close to qualifying for one of these incentives, it may be worth trying to improve your score before applying for an apartment so that you can take advantage of the incentive

Steps to Improve Your Credit Score

If your credit score is below 600, it may be difficult to rent an apartment. There are a few steps you can take to improve your credit score:

-Pay your bills on time. This is the single most important factor in determining your credit score.
-Keep your balances low. Your credit utilization, or the amount of debt you have relative to your credit limit, makes up 30% of your credit score.
-Establish or rebuild your credit history. If you don’t have a long credit history, or if you have mistakes in your past, you can still improve your score by paying all of your bills on time and keeping balances low relative to your credit limits.

Improving your credit score takes time, but it’s worth it in the long run. A better credit score will help you get approved for the apartment you want and save you money on interest charges down the road.


It’s important to remember that every landlord is different and that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Some landlords may be more lenient with credit score requirements, while others may require a perfect score. In general, however, it’s a good idea to have a credit score of at least 650 before beginning your apartment search. With a score in this range, you should have no problem finding a place to rent.

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