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Renting While Rebuilding Credit

There are many reasons why renting a home is a good option for a family. You may need time to prepare for homeownership, or may only plan to live in the home for a short time. Another reason you may consider renting is that you are in the process of rebuilding credit.  Unfortunately, credit issues can also make it difficult to find a suitable rental.

 Increase your chances of finding a great rental home while rebuilding credit

Prove Your Income

If you are preparing to rent, you should have your regular income. It should be steady and easy to prove with a pay stub and they will likely want to see three payment stubs. If you are self-employed, be sure the money you make is deposited in your bank so it can be reflected.  Your tax return will also help to prove your income. If you have additional income such as child support, make sure you keep all statements as proof.

Expand your Search Area

High-interest areas will house landlords with plenty of tenants to choose from. Try to look at areas a little outside of those areas to increase your chances of being chosen for the rental you identify. There are usually some nice, quiet neighborhoods outside of city centers, which tend to be in the highest demand. You may also find that these rentals are priced lower as well. A bigger house or a lower price may fit your needs best, even if there is a little more of a commute to work. Flexibility is key when trying to find a rental house with imperfect credit.

Offer Increased Security

There are a few ways to convince an agent or landlord to consider your application if rebuilding credit is an issue. Save up a little extra money to put towards your deposit. Some property managers will accept credit issues in your past if you agree to pay a larger deposit. This deposit should be refundable upon your move out date. You can also offer to set up automatic payments through your bank account for the monthly rent payment, which may put your future landlord at ease regarding your ability to pay on time.

Rental History

If you have a current rental history at an apartment or house, be sure to have the proof on hand. Owners of rental properties like to see that you have been responsible in the past. Make sure to save everything that shows you have paid your bills on time. Bank statements, check stubs, and receipts will be helpful. A reference from your current or past landlord will also be a good addition to your portfolio, especially while rebuilding credit. If you live with friends or family, have them draw up a proper lease form to show you are serious about your portion of the bills. You can also get a roommate to write a personal reference attesting to your positive payment history.

Put in the Extra Effort

It may take a little longer to find a home while rebuilding credit, but it can certainly be done. It is important to apply to multiple properties to increase your chances. Take the time to look through the listings frequently, as rentals become available daily. Plan to start well ahead of time you will need to secure a rental or move to ensure that you aren’t facing tight deadlines that force you to make impulsive decisions.

If you apply for a rental property and face a rejection, try not to take these rejections personally. Remember, you are not your past credit issues. It isn’t personal, and you are building a new future with every wise financial choice you make. Continue to show why you are a good choice for a tenant by documenting your positive attributes. Prepare appropriately, offer extra security, and show your income properly. The right place is waiting for you.

If you are experiencing financial difficulty and are looking for a solution, non-profit credit counseling can help you make sense of all your options. Contact us today for a free financial assessment with one of our certified credit counselors.

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Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.


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