Renting in Manhattan without a credit history.

Asked by Gabriele Del Prete, Wed Jan 30, 2013

I'm looking for suggestions on how to rent a studio or a 1-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, New York city (Kips Bay or East Village) without having a credit history.

The reason I haven't got a credit history is, I just moved to the US from Italy as a permanent resident (i.e. a Green Card holder).

I do have a job, a bank account and recently was approved for a non-secured, standard credit card, but I was told it might take up to 2 years to build a good credit score. What would prospective renters/agencies accept in exchange of a credit history?


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Charlie Summ…, Agent, New York, NY
Wed Jan 30, 2013
Welcome to New York! Most landlords will consider a range of information on you including previous landlord references, employment, income, and assets in the bank. Some will substitute larger security deposits or pre-paid rent for lack of security, especially individual owners of condo units (rather than large management companies for instance). There are possibilities out there for you depending on what kind of overall picture we're talking about, I can help if you need me. Best of luck in any case! Charlie Summers, Bellmarc, 917-376-1648
1 vote
Adina Greenb…, , New York, NY
Wed Jan 30, 2013
If you aren't able to find a guarantor, work with an agent that works with individual landlords. You may be able to find something with one or two months extra security .
From my own experience, it doesn't have to take so long before you build up credit. I was in the same position, being from Europe as well. My bank manager advised me to take, in addition to the credit card, a small loan ($500) to be paid back in 12 months. The advise was to pay the monthly agreed number and pay the remainder after 6 months. I had a credit listing of 740 after 3 months.
Talk with someone at your bank, you may be surprised how quick it can go. Meanwhile, you can opt to rent something furnished for a few months till you are ready.
Good luck.
1 vote
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Wed Jan 30, 2013
You could consider a guarantor; be prepared to show proof of employment/pay stubs, you could pre-pay some of the rent, could consider additional security, etc.; consider working with an agent of your own, he/she will be your best guide...
1 vote
I'd rather avoid guarantors; my parents are in Italy, and I'd rather not ask my colleagues.
Flag Wed Jan 30, 2013
Michele Port…, Agent, New York, NY
Mon May 20, 2013
If you do not have a guarantor, there is a company that will guarantor you and charge you a fee. The company is Insurent. I have had clients use them successfully in the past.
Michele Portnof
associate broker
Rutenberg realty
0 votes
Joseph Hasti…, Agent, Bayside, NY
Fri Feb 1, 2013
Hi Gabrielle. Yes, renting is a challenge if you're a New Yorker. It can be a real pain if you're not from here.

Do you have anyone who can guarantee for you? While most owners want a New York state guarantor, many are ok with a tri-state guarantor (NY, NJ and CT). You'll need a letter of employment stating your salary and length of employment. Since you have a Bank account, bring a recent statement to show assets. Since there is no credit report, I would recommend Mr. Tully's suggestion below with insurent as you have no guarantor here. Other than the Insurent option, you would need to prepay the year or come to another arrangement with the landlord. Good luck!
0 votes
The Wheelock…, Agent, New York, NY
Wed Jan 30, 2013
Hello Gabriele,

There are three options, and not every landlord will accept them.

1. Find a US Guarantor with established good credit, and who can demonstrate income that is at least 80 times the monthly rent of the apartment in question.

2. - Insurent will act as your guarantor, based on your Italian guarantor's credit and income, but will charge you about 110% of a month's rent.

3. Pay a full year of rent up front.

Best of luck in your search!


Matthew Tully
NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

C: 610.310.0051
0 votes
Jenet Levy, Agent, New York, NY
Wed Jan 30, 2013
The advice below about having someone be your guarantor is not the best advice if your guarantor is in Italy. Landlords and management companies want a guarantor to be not just in the US but in NY. That is so that they have recourse if you were not able to pay, which is the whole point of having a guarantor. Without a credit history, the best thing is to offer to pre-pay as many months as possible and to offer a bigger security deposit.

Jenet Levy
Halstead Property, LLC
212 381-4268
0 votes
Nick Agostin…, Agent, New York, NY
Wed Jan 30, 2013

I hope all is well! There are a couple things you can do. Working with a broker will help you identify which buildings are easier to deal with international students/residents. Some residences will allow you to use Insurent, which is where you pay a company to be your personal guarantor. Insurent would look over your financials and see what their charge would be.

Second, you could pay for the entire term up front.

Please let me know if you have anymore questions, feel free to email me at

Nick A. Agostinelli
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
office 212.729.5712 EXT. 144
353 Lexington Avenue, Fifth Floor
New York, NY 10016
Real Estate & Development
0 votes
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