There may have been a time in your past when you did not operate with financial integrity. Maybe you bit off a little more than you could chew by getting high limit credit cards and not paying them as agreed. Or you were evicted because you did not pay your rent.
Whether you experienced periods of delinquent loans or repossessions, these transactions have damaged your credit rating. If you are looking for an apartment, your credit history is likely to play a role in getting approved for a rental unit.
At one time or another, many people have experienced bouts with challenging credit. The good news is you do not have to let your rental history keep you from finding a home of your own.
By conducting research and creating a plan, you can find a landlord who is willing to take a chance on you. There are plenty of opportunities for you to find a suitable second chance housing situation that is right for you.
Analyze Your Credit Reports
Your search for your next great living space should begin with your credit report. It is essential for you to be aware of the information that is being reported about you. Being fully aware of the things that are on your credit report will enable you to devise an apartment hunt ‘game plan’.
Think of your search in this manner. When a professional sports team is scouting a potential player, they take all factors into consideration. Not only do the managers want to know about the player’s current abilities, they also want to assess the player’s previous liabilities.
Assessing liabilities will give the managers insight into potential challenges that might lie ahead if they acquire the player. This information will also enable them to correct any issues surrounding the liabilities that might keep them from moving forward.
Your credit report will provide the same insights for you. There may be some inaccuracies that you can fix before you begin your search. You might be able to contact your previous apartment landlord to settle any outstanding balances in exchange for a more favorable credit reporting status.
If your eviction occurred over 7 years ago, you should contact the credit bureau to remove the information. The removal of any outdated information will improve your rental chances.
Some of these ideas may not work in your situation. The point is you should analyze your credit report to find ways to improve your credit score. Your goal in your search is to be as proactive as possible.
Maximize Your Current Credit
After you have analyzed your credit report, you may find there is nothing you can do to correct the mistakes of your past. Make peace with your past financial blunders, and move on. You have a bright future ahead of you. Resist the urge to get stuck in your financial history.
At this moment, make a plan to pay your current expenses on time. This action will enable you to create a new positive pattern on your credit report. As time progresses, you will notice that your credit score will improve.
With an improved credit profile, your history will not matter as much. Prospective landlords will have proof that you have turned over a new financial leaf.
Begin Your Search Early
If possible, you should begin your search for your second chance apartment at least 90 days before you want to move. Getting an early start will provide you with the opportunity to contact potential landlords about their properties. You will get a good picture of the obstacles that you might face as you look for your new home.
Contact Private Owners
Depending on the extent of your credit damage, you might decide to limit your search to units that are owned by private landlords. In many instances, landlords who are renting their units without a property manager may not have rigid guidelines for prospective tenants.
Property managers and corporations tend to use formulas that make their rental policies non-negotiable. When you deal directly with the owner of the unit, you have the opportunity to explain your situation.
Stick to the Facts
As you are looking for a second chance apartment, you should not try to rent your unit based on sympathy. Resist the urge to present prospective landlords with sob stories.
At the end of the day, rental transactions are about money. The only thing prospective landlords want to know is whether you will pay your rent on time each month.
Share only the facts about your previous evictions with your prospective landlord. If your eviction was caused by a period of unemployment, provide those details. However, you should not share any personal details that do not increase your chances of securing an apartment.
Another thing you can do is provide the landlord with the facts about your current financial situation. You can share details about your savings account, current positive credit efforts and your monthly income.
Find Second Chance Apartments
The Great Recession of 2008 caused many Americans to stumble financially. As a result, many people were forced to build new financial portfolios.
Due to the large numbers of consumers with credit challenges, many apartment communities offer second chance rental programs.
Although second chance leasing is available, there are requirements associated with these programs. Some second chance apartment communities require you to make financial amends with your previous landlord through a payment plan. Other second chance communities require a larger security deposit.
Second chance leasing opportunities are available for prospective tenants who:
Breached previous rental agreements;
Owe rent to a prior landlord;
Have a history of paying their rent late; and
Have previous evictions on their credit reports.
Second chance apartments are viable options for people who want to establash themselves as good tenants. For this reason, you should abide by the agreements of the rental contract if you decide to pursue one of these opportunities.
Finding an apartment will take more effort for a renter with a bad credit history than a renter with A-1 credit. However, it is possible for you to overcome the challenges of your rental history and snag a great apartment.