How to Rent with Low or Bad Credit

    Renting a HomeThe past few years have been hard on everyone. Unemployment and changes to the real estate market have drastically affected credit ratings for a lot of people. With the rise of foreclosures and short sale homes, many are turning back to the rental market for a more viable option. However, landlords are still checking credit ratings on possible tenants, and in some cases, may prevent you from renting if you have low or bad credit. But there are a few solutions to this problem.

    Solution #1: Examine Your Credit Rating
     
    Before you start scrolling down the lists of homes for rent in the Jacksonville area, get a copy of your credit rating and see which issues might raise red flags to the landlords. If you address any possible issues, like paying off old debts and writing explanations for other ones (ex: school loans), the landlord might be more likely to understand your predicament. You can even add notes to your credit report before applying for rent.
     
    Solution #2: Try Paying a Larger Deposit
     
    If your low or bad credit is discouraging landlords from renting out a house to you, try paying a larger deposit as a sign of good faith. To the landlord, it offers financial security and will cover any losses/damages they might receive.
     
    Solution #3: Demonstrate Strong Income
     
    Typically, landlords will conduct a rent-to-income ratio on possible tenants in order to assess if they can afford the rent – and if they’re a liabililty. If landlords see that you have a steady income and can regularly pay the rent from your salary, they’ll be more inclined to rent the property to you. So show some documentation on your income and get the negotiations started.
     
    Solution #4: Get a Cosigner
     
    Having someone cosign a lease with you will show the landlord there’ll be someone to help payments on the rent and will be legally obligated for any costs. It’ll build trust and security for the landlord, making him comfortable with renting the home to you. But keep in mind, the cosigner needs a good credit rating or the landlord is no better off than before.
     
    Solution #5: Search for Independent Landlords
     
    Large, corporate landlords typically have to obey by Fair Housing Laws, which makes them inflexible in certain areas to renting a home or apartment. Some may even have set criteria for possible renters, making it even harder for you. But if you narrow your search to more “mom & pop” owners, they’ll be more flexible and willing to rent out a home to you. They’ll work individually with you and possibly won’t do a credit check on you. The search results may not be as good, but then again, this is a last resort.

    Learn more about homes for rent in the Jacksonville area by searching our guide pages: