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How a Poor Credit Score Affects your Ability to Rent

By Jynette DeMarco

Having a poor credit score makes the difficult task of finding a home to rent even harder. Many landlords use your credit score to decide if they feel comfortable holding you accountable for paying rent each month. As a result, how your credit affects your ability to rent a house depends on how much the landlord values these scores. If they weigh credit history heavily, it is less likely that you will be able to rent from them. This is especially true for new and more expensive houses.

On the other hand, some landlords do not pay much attention to credit scores. These landlords simply wish to rent out their vacant homes as soon as they can. With the current economic conditions, many landlords would prefer to rent out their vacant homes quickly rather than worry too much about a renter's credit score, provided they can still pay rent.

In the case that the landlord of the house you want to rent does rely on credit history, there are still a few ways to increase your chances of renting with a low score. The first way you could do this is by getting a recommendation from the landlord of where you used to live. The recommendation will show that you are a reliable renter that has a history of paying rent on time.

A second way to optimize your chances of renting is to offer to pay more money upfront. Landlords like this offer because they are guaranteed money right away and it shows that you have some extra funds to use for paying rent in the future.

Having a cosigner on your lease is also appealing to landlords because they know there is an alternate source of money in the case that you could not pay your rent at any point.

If none of these suggestions do the trick, avoiding a landlord that checks credit all together may be your best option. Some landlords simply do not care about credit scores. These landlords are often found in cheap ads and free newspapers.

Although a poor credit score does affect your ability to rent by making the process more difficult, it is still very possible to find the right option for you! By following these suggestions, you are sure to find a landlord that is ready and willing to rent their house to you.

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