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If I have bad credit can I rent a home?

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April 25 2012 - Fairhope
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Profile picture for coachsuesberry
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October 07 2013
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Yes, but you may have to put extra security up or provide your last landlord as a reference if you have one.

People have bad credit for a variety of reasons from a divorce to a car accident. Landlords may look past that if you have medical bills or even are a late payer on your credit cards, but they are unlikely to look past it if you have had a previous eviction or are consistently late with the rent.
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April 27 2012
I would be honest and upfront with rental owners.  Most people are willing to give someone a second chance if you are honest and sincere.  Stay away from rental companies and apartments.  Look for private homeowners or investors.
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April 27 2012
Some homeowners will ask for an extra month or two in security with proof of funds from your bank account along with recent pay check stubs. 

Many people go through tough times but if you are still able to pay the rent, you will find there are still homes available to you for rent.

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April 27 2012

    The best way to get an apartment when you have bad credit is to find a landlord that doesn't do credit checks. Typically, apartment complexes are owned by large property management companies that require a credit check on all applications. These are the types of apartments that are most likely to turn you down if you have bad credit. So, start your search elsewhere.
    Start by looking on craigslist, an online classified listing. In the housing section of Craiglist, apartment owners advertise rentals (apartments, condos, townhouses, and houses) they have available. Years ago, very few management-owned apartment complexes listed here and it was easier to find individual landlords. Now you'll find all type of rentals in the mix. Landlords still advertise here, but you'll have to sort through lots of listings to find them.
    The classified section of your local newspaper (or that of the area you're interested in moving to) is another place where property owners advertise for rentals. Sunday's paper usually has the most advertisements. Many newspapers have their classified ads listed online, too, so explore this option if you're moving out of town.
    Many homeowners, especially those who live out of town, use real estate agents to rent their homes. Check with real estate agents in your area to find an apartment, townhouse, condo, or house to rent.
    You can feel out landlords to figure out if they do a credit check. As you inquire about an apartment, ask the landlord what criteria is used to approve tenants for the rental. If credit check isn't one of them, then you have one less thing to worry about. However, if there is a credit check involved, you have some additional options for getting approved.
    Getting someone to vouch for your financial responsibility can help dampen the effect of negative entries on your credit report. Contact people with whom you've have a financial relationship – previous landlords, your bank, current/previous employers.
    Unpaid past due balances, especially to other landlords or utility companies, are more likely to get you denied. If you have past due accounts on your credit report, pay them off and get the creditor or lender to write a letter stating the account has been paid in full.
Soften the negativity of your credit report with a letter that explains the situation that caused your financial problems to persuade the landlord to rent to you. Divorce, medical bills, and job loss are common situations that lead to bad credit. Make sure your letter describes how you've cleaned up your finances and why you can handle a rent.
    Be careful about the situations in which you use letters of recommendation. If a landlord hasn't checked your credit and isn't aware of your credit history he may become unnecessarily suspicious when you hand him a letter explaining your past financial problems. Landlords have to get your permission before checking your credit, so it won't be a surprise when they do
    Getting someone to co-sign your lease is another option. Your co-signer will need to meet the necessary credit qualifications.Keep in mind that if you skip out on your rent or get evicted for any reason, the landlord can legally go after the co-signer for the value of the lease. Use other people's credit sparingly and be more careful with it than your own.Whether you're able to get around the credit check altogether or you get approved for an apartment despite your credit history, expect to pay more money upfront. You'll might be required to pay a higher security deposit or several months of rent to move into your new apartment.
    If you don't have the best credit and will be moving in the near future, start setting some money aside and begin looking for a new place as early as possible. The sooner you start looking, the more time you'll have to prepare.
    A bad credit history doesn't mean you won't pay your rent on time. Unfortunately, your credit report score might tell a different story. Even though you can work around some credit checks, you often end up paying more than you would have otherwise. That's why it's important to take steps to ensure your credit report matches your bill-paying habits.

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April 27 2012
Profile picture for Caveat Emptor
If you avoid the big complexes and asset management firms you can sometimes find landlords willing to rent without any background/credit check at all.

but yes, there are even landlords who specialize in low-income and poor credit risks.
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April 27 2012
Certainly, think of all the people out there renting right now, not everyone has perfect credit. You may have a harder time finding someone to accept your application. I would be prepared for higher security deposits, first and last months rent, etc.

Have you found issues to date due to your credit?
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April 26 2012
 
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