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By Jared Gruber | Broker in Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia property management – rental application credit checks

Philadelphia property management – rental application credit checks

tips on applying for philadelphia apartments with poor credit

“Can I still rent an apartment in Philadelphia with bad credit?” We hear this a lot, and the answer is not so straightforward.

Rental applications are reviewed as a whole. This means that your income, employment, prior rental history, references and yes, your credit are all taken into careful consideration. The final decision on whether or not to approve the application comes from the property owner. Different owners have their own minimum qualifications that they look for. Some have very specific minimum credit score requirements; most don’t. So can you rent an apartment if your credit isn’t great? Yes, it’s possible, but here are some suggestions for improving your overall rental application:

  • if you know you have poor credit, don’t lie about it. Being upfront about something you know might be an issue will not only show that you’re honest, but also that you’re aware and concerned about the situation. Someone who is actively monitoring their credit is probably also someone who is actively trying to fix it.
  • Get references from prior landlords. A responsible owner or Philadelphia property management company will call prior landlords anyway, but it doesn’t hurt for you to already have a written reference letter in hand. Did you pay your rent on time each month? Were any utilities included in the rent? How many people were you living with? In what condition was the apartment left when you moved out? These are all important questions, and the answers could be the deciding factor on approval.
  • Prove that you can pay. This is probably more important than credit – a property owner wants to be sure that you can afford the apartment for which you’re applying. Submit multiple paystubs, print out a bank statement showing that you have a substantial amount in savings – the more evidence you can provide in your favor, the better. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as listed on Trulia, you should be paying no more than 30% of your gross income for housing and utilities.
  • Offer to pay an extra month for security deposit. This might be a requirement for tenants with low credit scores anyway.

Philadelphia Apartments - Why Credit Matters

But why does credit score matter? The landlord doesn’t know you. Your credit report is your financial fingerprint. Sure, you might be a very responsible person who made some mistakes in the past and has since learned from them. Unfortunately, there’s really no way to prove it. Would you lend someone money who was known for never paying people back? I would be hesitant to do so, even if that person was a friend.


Philadelphia landlords – Do you have minimum scores that you look for? Have you ever accepted an applicant with bad credit?

Philadelphia tenants - If you have found it very difficult to rent an apartment in philly, we’d love to hear your point of view and ways you’ve tried to get through a strict application process.

Make sure to keep tabs on Jg Real Estate's blog for more tenant and landlord tips.


By Fred Glick,  Thu Jan 19 2012, 15:28
You can get your credit report for free once a year at http://www.annualcreditreport.com
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