Do you need an apartment fast? You may be wondering if your credit score is enough to get an apartment.
What credit score do you need to rent an apartment?
Landlord standards vary, but you should have a score in the 600s. Scores in the 700s and 800s allow you to get approved for most apartments. Anything below 600 will lower your chances of approval.
However, a low credit score doesn’t mean an automatic rejection. Many landlords are still willing to work with low-credit tenants.
This article will provide an in-depth view of suitable apartment credit scores. Read further to know more.
What’s a Perfect Credit Score to Rent an Apartment?
Overall, the ideal credit score is a minimum of 620 or above. From a landlord’s perspective, anything below 620 indicates a high-risk applicant. Landlords typically receive multiple rental applications, especially in popular areas.
Overall, they will choose applicants with the highest credit scores. If you have a score that’s less than 620, this doesn’t mean you won’t stand a chance. Many landlords are interested in the reasons behind the low credit score instead of the number itself.
If you have a wage garnishment, for example, landlords may conclude that you’re unable to pay rent due to financial obligations to other parties. As a result, you’re more likely to face rejection. They also apply the same logic to late payments or unpaid balances.
Conversely, you may have medical or student loan debt that dragged down your credit score. If you continue to make timely payments, however, landlords may be willing to overlook your debt burdens. This is also true for consumer debt, such as credit card balances.
What’s Considered a Good Credit Score?
To know which category your credit score falls into, refer to the following breakdown:
- 300-579: Poor
- 580-669: Fair
- 670-739: Good
- 740-799: Very Good
- 800-850: Excellent
This guideline is the general standard that most people use when judging credit scores, including landlords. If you fall into the poor or fair category, you can boost your credit score in a shorter timeframe than you think.
How Can I Build My Credit?
Above all, make as many timely payments as possible. For example, car payments can have a positive impact on your score if you meet the payment deadlines.
That said, not all payments will boost your score automatically. Contrary to popular belief, rental and utility payments don’t enhance your credit score.
However, you can use Experian Boost to include rental and utility payments on your credit report. Other credit agencies, such as TransUnion and Equifax, don’t have similar programs.
Studies indicate that people who use Experian Boost can bump their credit score by around 10 points. Also, you could boost it as high as 19 points if you have fewer balances on your credit.
Other ways to increase your score include the following:
- Pay down your balances: Try to reduce your debt load as much as possible. This tactic will lower your debt ratio. High debt ratios are red flags to landlords.
- Don’t open too many credit card accounts: Opening too many accounts can harm your credit score. Instead, only open a credit card account when necessary.
- Don’t close credit cards you don’t use: Closing down credit card accounts with the same debt burden can hurt your score. If the cards don’t have pricey annual fees, keep the accounts open.
- Check your credit report routinely: You should check your credit report at least once a year for errors. Errors can drag down your score exponentially. You’re entitled to a free credit report annually.
Overall, you can boost your credit by a few points in weeks. For more significant repairs, the process could take months or years. Improving your score largely depends on your financial circumstance. If you don’t have the time to improve your credit, you may still have a chance of renting an apartment.
How Can I Get an Apartment With a Low Credit Score?
If you have a low credit score, avoid apartments that have property management companies. Property managers usually assess applications and scores on behalf of the landlord. The problem with property management companies is that their application standards are more rigid than individual landlords.
Rather, talk to landlords directly and explain your situation. You can find many landlords that don’t have property management companies, and they are more flexible.
With that, it’s important to be upfront and honest about your financial plight. Don’t hide anything when talking to landlords. Landlords without property management companies will still look heavily into your financial history.
Moreover, you can make more headway with in-person interaction. Conveying your story and building a rapport with landlords can work in your favor.
You can also offer a higher deposit. Many landlords will charge a higher deposit for high-risk tenants.
Also, try to gather as many references as you can. The references can be family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers. References can vouch for your character, and landlords may be more willing to trust you.
What Credit Score Do You Need to Rent an Apartment?
If you’re asking, “What credit score do you need to rent an apartment?”, the answer is a minimum score of 620. If you’re trying to improve your score, try to boost it as high as possible to increase the odds of approval.
Even low-credit applicants can still get an apartment. If you have a low credit score, you can pledge a higher deposit or obtain more references.
Want to know some other factors that can lower a credit score? Click here to learn more.