No Credit Apartments
Finding a 60644 apartment with bad credit:
It's hard, if not impossible to do. Improving your credit score might be a better option and it's not that hard to do. We explain why and how.
DO NO CREDIT CHECK APARTMENTS EXIST IN 60644?
No credit check apartments in 60644, or anywhere else for that matter, simply don't exist anymore.
Landlords in 60644 use credit checks because it's the most reliable and objective way of predicting if someone will consistently pay their rent on time, over time.
Agree or disagree, like it or hate it, credit scores are here to stay. They will continue to be used by landlords to make apartment application approval decisions, including Rent Rabbit.
TRYING TO GET AN APARTMENT WITH BAD CREDIT:
Maybe you have, or are about to, try one or all of the below.
Unfortunately, it's not likely to land you an apartment. Credit score matters to landlords.....a lot! If you don't have a good enough score, it's a real long shot that you'll get approved.
Chasing the "bad credit - no problem" advertisements:
I Have a Co-Signer
We know a lot of the landlords in the Austin neighborhood, large and small, and know of none that will accept a co-signer. You may luck out and find one, but it's unlikely at best.
Explanation: There's a good reason my score is low...
Private landlords that don't run credit Checks
There's a lot of chatter on the internet suggesting that finding a small, private landlord that doesn't do credit checks is the path to get approved for an apartment if your score is low, or you have no score at all.
I can afford the rent, I'll pay a big deposit upfront...
The good news:
There's a fairly easy way to get a good credit score (if you have none), or, improve your score (if it's low).
INCREASE YOUR SCORE 100 POINTS WITH A SECURED CREDIT CARD
The big advantage of a secured credit card is solving the dilemma, "how do I get approved for a loan or credit card if I have no credit or bad credit?"
How A secured credit card works:
A secured credit card is secured by a deposit, usually $250 to $500, that you pay to the bank upfront. That secured deposit serves as your credit limit. If you fail to make a payment, the credit card issuer can take your deposit. Other than that, it works just like a regular credit card.
Get A 600 credit score or better:
The goal is to get your score above 600 as fast as possible, and a secured card will get you on that road.
What credit scores are based on:
Credit scores are primarily based on loans and/or lines of credit and how you use that credit (on time payments vs. late payments/defaults). Car loans, student loans, a mortgage, a credit card, or a line of credit (like Fingerhut) are examples.
It's virtually impossible to have a credit score high enough to get approved for an apartment, if you've never had a loan, credit card, or line of credit.
However, it is possible to have a bad credit score without ever having had a loan. That happens if you've had accounts go to collections like cell phone accounts, Peoples Gas accounts, Comcast, etc.
How & where to get A secured credit card:
If you google "secured credit card" you'll find many banks that issue them, as well as reviews of different cards that are out there. Make sure the card issuer will report to all three credit burroughs, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.
Another option is getting the secured card from the bank you're already using, where you have an existing relationship.
Finally, US Bank, which has several branch locations in the Austin neighborhood, has received consistently good reviews for their Secured Credit Card offering. Click here for a link to their card.
For any of the above options you'll need to complete a Secured Credit Card application, and once approved provide the deposit mentioned above.
TO GET THE BEST POSSIBLE SCORE, YOU NEED TO MANAGE THE USE OF THE SECURED CARD:
Make small purchases with the card every month, say $25 or $50 total.
Never, ever, get close to having a balance on the card that's remotly close to your credit limit.
Here's why: 30% of your credit score is based on the ratio of your balance to your credit limit.
So, if your credit limit is $500, and you run your balance to $500, then you've used 100% of your credit limit. Your score will be much, much lower.
If, however, you keep your balance at $50 or $100, then you've only used 10% or 20% of your $500 credit limit, and your score will be much higher.
So, it's critical to keep your balance at less than 20%, every month.
Yes, that means you gave the bank $500, but can't use all of it. Stupid, but absolutely required....if you want a good score
Always make the monthly payment on time.
Here's why: 35% of your credit score is based on making on time payments. Make a single late payment and your score will go down.
Every month you'll receive a statement that will show your balance (let's say $50), and a minimum payment (say $10), and the payment due date. You can choose to pay the entire balance, or the minimum payment. Make sure you pay at least the minimum payment, and make the payment on time!
Don't apply for any other loans (other credit cards, car loans, student loans), or apartment applications (because they run a credit check) for at least six months after you've receive your secured credit card.
Here's why: 10% of your credit score is based is based on new credit applications (someone running a credit check on you). The more applications you request, in a short period of time, the lower your credit score gets.
That's it. Do the four things above and you'll be on your way to a decent credit score.
A score good enough to get approved for most apartments. Good enough to apply for, and receive, a regular credit card (so you can cancel your secured card and get your $500 back). Good enough to get approved for a car loan at a decent interest rate.
How long will it take for my score to improve?
It depends. If you start with no credit score, then after six months with the secured card, you'll have one, and it will likely be above 600. Congratulations - go get approved for an apartment.
If you start with a bad credit score, below 550, it could take a year or more.
How do I find out my score, or if I have A score?
Go to a site like CreditKarma.com that will provide your credit score for free. It also provides a wealth of information on secured credit cards as well as monitoring and improving your score.
While there, check if there's mistakes on your credit report that need to be corrected. All three major credit Burroughs will attempt to fix errors by writing them a letter with an explanation of what the mistake is.
HERE'S WHY LANDLORDS RELY ON CREDIT SCORES:
It's not a perfect system.
There are apartment applicants with a 520 credit score that will pay on time. And, there applicants with a 720 credit score that won't.
However, the chances that a 720 score will pay regularly are much, much, higher than a 520 score. So it becomes a "playing the odds" decision.
Banks and car dealerships use credit scores for the same reason.
Given that reality, we thought that passing along our recommendation for score improvement (with a secured credit card) might be helpful.