1. Rent an apartment from an individual owner
Many apartment complexes will give you a run down and require a full credit check. However, private landlords will let you move in without established credit.
Usually, all that is required by these individual landlords is for you to prove income stability. We do recommend that you only rent apartments within your budget, even if you can get approved for a more expensive place.
You may be able to rent a place without a credit history if you’re able to move in immediately.
2. Offer landlord that you can move in right away
Managing multiple vacancies is expensive for private landlords. They still have their mortgage and utility responsibilities and if they don’t get reimbursed, they are at a loss. Because of this — especially if you live in a place with low rental demand — you may be able to rent a place without a credit history if you’re able to move in immediately.
3. Show your proven income or savings balance
If you don’t have an established credit history, you may be approved if your income is stable and will adequately cover the rent. It’s generally recommended that you keep rent expenses to less than 1/3 of your take-home pay, so if you make $3,000 a month, you’ll want to look at apartments with a monthly rent of less than $1,000.
If you don’t have a stable income, a high savings balance may suffice. The savings required will vary depending on the apartment complex or management company, but ideally it should cover several months of rent payments.
4. Tell landlord you can pay extra upfront deposit
Landlords will be more likely to rent to you if they have the rent money in hand for a few months. By paying two to three months upfront, your landlord won’t run the risk of you not paying, at least for a period of time. Make sure this payment is well documented, so you can get it back at the end of your lease.
5. Reference letters will help your cause
Prove your character by providing professional references from past employers, professors or teachers. The general assumption is those who are responsible at work and school are more likely to be responsible with their money. These character references are a good way to show you’re a hardworking, responsible person who won’t be late with the rent.
6. Ask for a month-to-month or short lease
It can take a landlord months to evict a non-paying tenant if the tenant refuses to leave. By signing a three-month lease, or going month-to-month, the landlord can opt to not renew you for a longer term if you aren’t paying. Of course, you know you’ll always pay the rent on time, but you have to prove that to your landlord with a good track record of on-time rent payments.
7. If all else fails, get a co-signer
If there aren’t any other options, ask a close friend or family member with good credit to co-sign for you. Understand that if this person agrees, he or she will be liable for your rent payment if you fail to make it in a timely manner. To keep your personal relationships intact, always make your payment in full and on time.
There are several options for renting without a credit profile. If you have some time before renting your first apartment, follow these ideas for building your credit from scratch. If not, use one or more of the ideas above. Enjoy your new digs!