If you are trying to rent a house with bad credit, it can prove to be a challenge. However, when you have bad credit and a history of evictions, those difficulties can become so much worse.
Rental companies and landlords are looking for some sort of guarantee that you’ll be able to pay what you owe them. Those kinds of negative remarks are just the thing to convince them otherwise.
However, that doesn’t mean that you’re entirely out of luck. There are a few tips and tricks that can help you get around those marks and get you into a house sooner than you could even imagine. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind if you’re thinking of trying to rent a home with bad credit and other issues anytime soon.
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In Order to Rent a House With Bad Credit, You First Need to Understand Your FICO Credit Score
First things first, you need to know and understand what your current FICO credit score is. As a real estate agent, I help people all the time finding rentals and homes to buy. Most of the time, someone with bad credit doesn’t even know what is on their report.
Check your report with all three credit bureaus: Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. Doing so will give you a much better idea of what plan of action you need to take to get your credit repaired. I recommend going to Credit Karma to get a baseline of what is on your credit report.
There is a chance that there is false information on your report. False negatives could be causing you to have a much lower score than you deserve.
Incorrect information on your report can have a tremendous impact on your credit score. So getting that sorted out as quickly as possible will be crucial in ensuring that you’re able to rent the kind of house you deserve.
Make sure that you use your disputes wisely and get those items removed as soon as you can so that you can fight bad credit.
AT&T at one point had a delinquent collections account on my credit report (wasn’t mine). I removed this negative account with three very easy actionable steps:
- Wrote a dispute letter stating that the listed account was not mine (it really wasn’t).
- Sent to AT&T corporate via certified mail.
- Waited patiently
By taking the five minutes to write that letter and the cost of a certified letter, I boosted my credit score by 50 points when they corrected my report!
Have a Steady and Provable Income
Another critical factor in making sure that you’re able to rent a beautiful home will be having proof of a steady paycheck.
Whomever you’re renting from wants to make sure that they’ll be able to receive the payment every month. Being able to show the landlord that you do have steady funds will give them the confidence they need to rent to you.
Keep in mind that your paycheck should be able to cover the rent, and housing expenses such as water and electric, as well as other necessities. Generally speaking, rental agents like to see a monthly paycheck that’s about three or four times what you would be paying just for the rent alone.
However, it’s important to remember that one month’s pay won’t be enough to prove you can maintain this position. The longer you’ve been at this particular job, the better. However, for the most part, three or four months worth of paystubs is expected when you try and prove stable income.
Find a Co-Signer to bypass your bad credit and rent a house
The biggest problem facing individuals who are looking to rent a house with bad credit and evictions will be the lack of credibility that they bring to the table.
A landlord may overlook this if you have someone with a good credit history that can co-sign your rental agreement.
Having someone co-sign your lease will help guarantee that the landlord will receive payment one way or another. If you happen to miss a payment, your co-signer will be responsible for the difference of the unpaid amount.
Make sure that you find someone you trust and who has complete confidence in your ability to pay so that they’ll be willing to co-sign.
Look for Opportunities That Don’t Check Credit Reports
Believe it or not, there are a lot of homes for rent that don’t require credit checks as part of their application process. Generally speaking, you can find these opportunities through individuals who are renting their property without a property manager or rental agency.
Individuals looking to rent out their homes are much more willing to give you a chance as long as you have the necessary proof of income.
An excellent place to look for these opportunities is Craigslist. I often see snowbirds looking to rent their house out for six months when they fly down south for the winter.
Have Recommendations Letters
Negatives on your credit report can drop your score for up to seven and a half years. When dealing with delinquent accounts, always request a pay-for-delete option. In short, this means you will pay the balance owed if the creditor agrees to delete the negative statement.
If the creditor is not willing to do this, having the delinquency marked as paid is still better than it showing a balance owed. From there, you can request a proof-of-payment letter from the creditor.
Providing a proof-of-payment letter to your landlord acts as a good faith recommendation. Look, we all make our fair share of mistakes, and most landlords know this.
Put together letters of recommendations from your past creditors, previous residence, and even your employer. You need to show your future landlord that you are doing everything in your power to correct your past mistakes.
Trying to rent a house with bad credit can seem like an impossible challenge, especially if you have no idea where to even start. However, these kinds of negative marks don’t have to mean that you’re entirely out of luck. There is a wide range of tricks that can help get you into a safe and comfortable house in no time at all. Keep these tips in mind, and start your search for the perfect home today.