Can I rent with bad credit?
I have good income but bad credit and want to rent my first apartment. What are my chances for getting approved for a place?
Income is the most important factor for most landlords because you have to be able to pay your rent. You want to make 3x your expected rent to be comfortable (if your rent is $1000/month, then you need to make $3K/month in income). You may find a landlord that my accept less, but you are setting yourself up for a problem. In regards to credit, landlords can vary. For some, they have a specific credit score that you must have (ex. 650), but others are more flexible because many people have credit issues. Often times, the issue is not bad credit, but what caused the bad credit. If you went through a divorce or bankruptcy, you may be ok since these are one-time issues. However, if you have a lot of collections on what are considered monthly bills (ex. cell phone), then you may have a problem. A good approach is to be upfront with the landlord of your potential property. It can save you from wasting an application fee, and they will appreciate your honesty. Based on your credit issues, paying extra security deposit or prepaying rent (ex. first and last month's rent) may help. Basically, the landlord wants to decrease their risk, so have a prepared plan that you can offer them.