When it comes to finances, maybe you’ve had some bumps in the road. Maybe your parents taught you less-than ideal money skills, and maybe in college you blew through a couple credit cards, missed some key payments, and struggled to pay off those student loans. If your credit score is less than ideal, you are certainly not alone.
These days, you’re trying to get back on your feet and start developing more sustainable money practices. Maybe you’re looking for a Columbus apartment, and you know you’re ready to make payments on time, but who will give you the benefit of the doubt? Where do you even begin?
Without further ado, we’ve listed out 6 ways you can get your dream apartment in Columbus … even if your credit score is far from topping the charts.
7 Steps to Renting a Columbus Apartment with Bad Credit
Have someone you trust be your cosigner.
Having a cosigner — whether a close friend, parent, or relative with a good credit score and solid financial history — is an act of good faith. It shows rental companies that if you can’t make a payment for whatever reason, there’s no need to worry — the money will still come from someone who’s got your back.
Using a cosigner doesn’t mean you’re a bad tenant, and it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to pay your rent. It’s just an added security measure, and makes it easier for rental companies to sign with someone who might not have the most glowing financial track record.
It’s always a good idea to talk to your cosigner before allowing them to join you on your rental application. Make sure your cosigner knows that if something comes up and you can’t make rent one month, they’re responsible for the money, and that you’ll pay them back as soon as you can.
Showcase your stellar rental history.
Credit scores aren’t the only thing that rental companies look at. Your history as a renter shows potential leasing companies what they’re likely to expect when they lease to you. Unfortunately, evictions and other issues will show up if they happened within the past seven years.
If your rental history is glowing, be sure to show proof and show it proudly! It lets rental companies know that you have a great track record as a tenant, and that they can trust you to make your payments on time.
Live with a friend or roommate!
Living with a roommate has many benefits, including a greater sense of community, someone to take care of the mail or the dog when you’re away, and — in many cases — a cheaper cost of living.
Roommates can help lighten the financial burden. Instead of paying the entire rental payment every month, you simply split it with a roommate, and takes some financial pressure off.
Get letters of recommendation.
Chances are, you’ve had financial relationships with people that went well. You’ve had previous landlords, credit cards, and other monthly payments that you’ve always paid on time. Get these institutions to provide a letter of recommendation, and you’ll be in much better standing.
Having proof of income helps!
The REAL reason why rental companies care about your credit score is because they want to know if you’re going to pay rent on time every month. They want to know that they’re not going to have to chase you for payments.
Showing proof that you have a solid, consistent income can help instill faith when your credit score is low.
Set up autopay!
For our tenants that live in our various Columbus apartments, we LOVE autopay. And we know that our tenants do too, because it means they don’t even have to think about paying rent every month — it just happens! Setting up autopay is also a great trust indicator for when you have a low credit score because it means that your landlord will get paid on time, guaranteed.
Read our blog post about how to set up autopay, and how it can help take the stress out of monthly rent payments.
Be open and honest about your credit situation.
When it doubt, it always helps to be communicative and honest about your credit situation. A good apartment rental company in Columbus will view you as a human, not as just another number in their ledger. If you talk openly about why your credit score is low, and what you’re doing to fix the situation, apartment rental companies in Columbus will be able to trust you and see you in a better light.
How to raise your credit score
If your credit score is low, it’s not the end of the world! It takes some time and a little bit of planning and effort, but you can eventually get that number up where you want it to be.
Considering how important a good credit score is to your financial health, it’s essential to do everything in your power to raise your score — and keep it sky high. Here are a couple of ways you can bump that number up:
- Pay your bills on time.
Set up autopay for your bills or mark your calendar for when your bills are due — whatever it takes — just make sure you’re paying your bills on time each month. Not paying your bills can be catastrophic for your credit score.
- Make sure your credit cards and all debt are low.
When you put something on the card, pay it down as soon as you can. Don’t just pay the monthly minimum. The lower your credit card balance is, the better. Letting debt sit there for months is just going to end up costing you more in the long run.
Finding The Best Columbus Apartment — Even if You Have a Low Credit Score
Here at Lykens, we want you to feel like you’ve found a community that’s here to support you. If you communicate openly with us and do everything in your power to improve your financial situation, we’ll see what we can do to get you into your perfect Columbus apartment. After all, we’d love to see you join our community.