If you have credit problems, finding an affordable place to rent is becoming increasingly difficult. However, there are things you can do. Here are some tips & strategies to help find a new spot to call home.
- Examine your cash flow. Know how much rent and utilities you can afford to pay each month before you start scouting for your next residence.
- Ask family, friends, and co-workers, along with checking out newspapers, rental companies. Check with real estate agents, social media sites, churches, local housing authorities, and everyone you can think of for rental leads. In Minnesota, check out the Housing Link website for listings.
- Reach out to local and county human services, homeless shelters, and community assistance agencies to learn about programs in your area. United Way 211 is a great resource for this info.
- Be prepared to explain your situation and assure the potential landlord that you will pay your rent on time. It may help to bring proof of income and records of paying your bills on time. Also, bring a list of references who can confirm your good character and bill paying habits.
- Expect to pay a larger security deposit. Save as much money as you can first. Then offer to pay extra for the deposit to show you are serious and committed to being a good renter.
- Landlords may or may not do ‘tenant screening’. This includes pulling rental history &/or a credit report when considering an application. Bring a copy of your credit report and ask if your credit status will pass preliminary approval before you pay a non-refundable fee.
- Work on rebuilding your credit. Request your free credit reports annually from annualcreditreport.com or call (877) 322-8228.
Need to improve your credit and you’re not sure where to start? Call LSS at 888.577.2227 for your free credit report review. Our certified financial counselors will help you determine what you need to do to increase your score. We can also help create a budget and prioritize spending so you can save up money. Plus if you have student loans or credit cards, counselors will provide you with your options for paying off those debts, which is another way to improve credit. If you don’t want to wait, click below to get started with your free and confidential online session.