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How do you find a place to live with bad credit?

I was so excited to put in an application for a new apartment but was denied because she said "credit was no good". I have never checked my credit (how do I do that?) but I only have 1 credit card that I make regular payments on, and only have 1 outstanding debt for only $160 which I plan on paying off when I get my taxes back. It can't be that bad compared to some people and they all have places to live! What do I do?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 4:32 PM on Feb. 3, 2012 in Money & Work

Answers (14)
  • Pay off your bad debt and show the companies your receipts that you have paid or wait to see if it comes off after you pay. Your only other option is renting from an owner directly who does not check credit or maybe getting a co-signer.

    Answer by gemgem at 4:35 PM on Feb. 3, 2012

  • It might be that you have too LITTLE credit which yes can be a bad thing! Try going to a Credit Union and opening a savings or checking account (as little as $25 usually) and then talk to them about checking your credit report and opening up a small loan or something to help build your credit. Something reasonable that you would pay off within 6months or something... Alot of people don't realize that not having any real credit history can look bad on a housing app just like having WAY too much credit history (if its bad history). Good luck though and I hope you find a place! :)

    Answer by DreainCO at 4:35 PM on Feb. 3, 2012

  • Look for low income apts in your area. They generally have a max. income limit and you have to pay first and last months rent to move in.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:37 PM on Feb. 3, 2012

  • i don't know if you live in the states or not but here in Canada there is a thing called the economic action plan and no matter how bad your credit is you will still get approved for a place if you do live in the states look it up on your government website and see if you have that .... or at least something similar

    Answer by emmy12345 at 4:38 PM on Feb. 3, 2012

  • The government allows people to get a free credit report each year through all 3 major reporting agencies.

    Answer by KayGia0704 at 4:43 PM on Feb. 3, 2012

  • I'm on several waitlists for low income apartments around here. They are all 1-3 year waitlists and I need somewhere to live until then lol. I just checked my credit, I have 2 accounts in good standing an nothing negative listed on there (not event the $160 I know I owe) so I don't know what's up...

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 4:45 PM on Feb. 3, 2012

  • I'd go back with that information and ask her what negative credit she is talking about.

    Answer by meooma at 4:51 PM on Feb. 3, 2012

  • OP :

    if you're seeing an application fee, skip it. It's a big picky corporation. Look for a single family home, townhome, duplex, rental condo, etc. With the housing crash a lot of people are renting their houses out long term instead of trying to sell them. If you find something PERFECT for you don't be afraid to ask about contract for deed (AKA rent to own)

    Go into a tour (AKA interview!) dressed well, speaking well, cell phone off, awesome manners, etc. Also I encourage you to bring along best behaved child for the interview/tour to show a little about how you conduct yourself as a family. Quiet, calm, responsible, not partyers, and so on. Have cash in hand in hand and don't be afraid to say "as long as my references are to your satisfaction, here's a money order. Could I arrange for the keys next weekend" ? etc. Speedy will get you in fast bypassing the credit check

    Answer by hibbingmom at 4:56 PM on Feb. 3, 2012

  • Wow so my husband and I are a big picky corporation that owns a whopping 11 buildings because we require an application fee? An application fee is to cover our costs of driving in to show it and run the background and credit check. Also when someone comes in and asks to hand us money right then and there without allowing us to check the references and what not even with saying "as long as my references are in order" that is a big red flag for us.

    My advice to the OP is get a credit card that you pay off each month to establish some credit because that may be the issue. We don't penalize for not having credit though ourselves. Also fill out the application COMPLETELY. Even if it doesn't apply write Not Applicable in that section. Act professional and don't try to rush things. Again I will saying a person trying to rush things is a HUGE red flag in my book.

    Good luck.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:05 PM on Feb. 3, 2012

  • You could offer to pay 4 or 5 months in advance

    Answer by Syphon at 5:07 PM on Feb. 3, 2012

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