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11 Ways to Rent No Credit Check Apartments

September 27, 2022
No credit check apartments can be hard to find on your own. Use this guide to learn 11 ways to secure no credit check housing in an area you love.

A no credit check apartment can seem like a lifeline for those without credit or low credit scores. However, no credit check apartments aren’t the only option for those without credit.

In this article, we’ll cover all you need to know about no credit check apartments, including these 11 ways to rent them:

1. Provide Proof of Income

Have proof of income to demonstrate your financial security and ability to pay rent. Most landlords look for a monthly pre-tax income that is at least three times the cost of the rent.

Use our rent calculator to help you determine how much you can comfortably afford in rent.

2. Find a Character Reference

In some cases, positive landlord references can be just as influential as a high credit score. So if you have a positive landlord reference, highlight this for your new prospective landlord.

In addition to providing evidence of your history of on-time rent payments, a landlord reference can provide bonus points in the responsible tenant category.

3. Offer a Higher Security Deposit

Typically, a landlord will collect a security deposit to offset the potential costs of property damage, missed rent payments, cleanings, and key replacements.

Refer to your state laws to see if you can offer a bit more for your security deposit. You may be able to offer a higher deposit upfront to show your landlord you’re serious abou trenting the apartment and aren’t afraid to put your money on the line.

4. Find a Cosigner

A cosigner is someone who voluntarily takes on the responsibility of paying rent if you cannot pay. From a landlord's perspective, this offers a stronger guarantee that they will receive rent payments.

5. Secure a Guarantor

A lease guarantor is someone who will co-sign an apartment lease with you. The lease guarantor will pay for your rent if you cannot cover it. Make sure you know the difference between a lease guarantor and a co-signer.

6. Explore Private Properties

For rent by owner properties are rental homes that the property owner privately rents out. These differ from traditional apartments, which property management companies rent out.

Since these properties are privately owned, the landlords have more control and flexibility over what requirements are needed to rent and may be an option for no credit check housing.

7. Find Month-to-Month Leases

A month-to-month lease is a rental agreement between the landlord and tenant that allows renters to lease a unit monthly. Since these leases are more short-term, you can sometimes find landlords who do not require credit checks.

8. Showcase Your Assets

While getting an apartment without credit can seem challenging, it just requires a bit of finessing. You can showcase your assets to your prospective landlord when all else fails. For example, show proof of on-time payments and other positive rental qualities to help prove your case.

9. Speed Up Your Move-In Date

Another tactic to get an apartment without credit is to consider speeding up your move-in date. Sometimes, landlords who are in a hurry to rent their units may opt to forgo formal credit checks as they can take extra time.

10. Live With a Roommate

Renting with roommates can have benefits that extend well beyond the reduced rent rate. If you're lucky enough to rent with roommates with good credit scores and meet all the other criteria of good tenancy, your prospective landlord might be more willing to rent to you.

Not only will this lower your rent burden (indicating that you'll have an easier time paying it), but your roommates will serve as informal cosigners.

11. Build Your Credit

If you want to strengthen your position as a prospective tenant, boosting your credit score can make a big difference.

Although credit scores are notorious for taking a long time to increase, there are some simple ways to improve your credit score in a few weeks rather than months. Here are a few tips to help you improve your credit score in a short period.

Pay Down Debts

Ideally, you want to keep your credit use below 30% of your available credit, or your score may be negatively impacted. You can pay down your debts to reduce this number, increasing your credit score.

Monitor Your Credit History

Sometimes, your credit score may dip due to an error in your credit report. Unfortunately, these errors can be challenging to identify and even harder to remove. That said, it’s worth reviewing your credit report to ensure it’s error-free.

Become an Authorized User

Ask a close relative or loved one whether they would be willing to make you an authorized user on their credit card account. If they have a history of excellent credit and a high limit, you may experience a substantial credit score boost as an authorized user.

Make On-Time Payments

Now is the time to start making on-time payments. This tactic is one of the quickest ways to build your credit back up.

Set Goals

Instead of searching for apartments without credit checks, you can begin focusing efforts on setting goals for yourself to help build your credit. Create a budget to help keep you on track.

Apply for a Secured Credit Card

A secured card is a great way to build a credit history if you don’t have one, which can help improve your overall credit score. The idea is you’re borrowing your own money and may have the option to upgrade to a traditional credit card in the future.

Final Thoughts

Prospective tenants should have a credit score of 650 or higher to rent an apartment. The good news is that many landlords won't discount a tenant solely because of the results of their credit check.

However, you will have your work cut out for you. You'll either have to look into renting with no credit with a no credit check apartment or put in a little extra effort to help convince a landlord that you are a great prospective tenant.

No Credit Check Apartment FAQs

What Are No-Credit-Check Apartments?

No credit check apartments are apartment units that don't require a credit check as part of the rental process. This is a shift from the traditional rental process, where landlords perform a credit check during tenant screening.

Do You Need Good Credit to Rent an Apartment?

Prospective tenants should have a credit score of 650 or higher to rent an apartment. However, many landlords won't discount a tenant solely because of the results of their credit check.

Why Do Landlords Perform Credit Checks?

The primary goal of credit checks for landlords is to vet prospective tenants to ensure they will fulfill the duties of a good tenant.

Can You Rent an Apartment With No Credit Score?

Yes, you can rent an apartment with no credit score. However, you may need to narrow your search to no credit check rentals or for-rent-by-owner apartments to increase your chances.

Can You Get an Apartment With a Credit Score of 500?

While most landlords look for a credit score of 650 or higher, this may vary. If you find that most landlords in your area want a credit score higher than 500, you can look for no credit check apartments or try to build credit quickly.

Do Apartments Do Hard Credit Checks?

The type of credit checks pulled by apartments will vary. If you’re trying to avoid hard inquiries, you might want to consider apartments for rent with no credit check.

Which Credit Report Do Landlords Use?

Most landlords will use FICO credit scores to determine if an applicant qualifies for an apartment. The most common credit reports come from Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion.

How Can I Improve My Credit Fast?

If you’re having difficulty finding apartments with no credit check required, there are a few ways to build your credit. Paying down debts, monitoring your credit history, becoming an authorized user, making on-time payments, setting goals, and applying for a secured credit card are all ways to help improve your credit.

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Davina Ward is a contributing author at Apartment List and freelance writer specializing in real estate and digital marketing. She received her B. Read More
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