what if I have bad credit? Can I still rent a home?

Asked by Tikewa, Elgin, IL Thu Apr 8, 2010

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Dave Gubler, Agent, Foothill Ranch, CA
Wed Apr 14, 2010
It depends in part, on what the specific "bad items" are on your credit report. If you have a judgment from a previous landlord that would dramatically impact your ability to rent. Be prepared to pay higher security deposit if your credit is bad and especially if there is a judgment/collection account from a previous landlord.
Web Reference:  http://www.IMLRealEstate.com
3 votes
Akeisha, Renter, Nashville, TN
Wed Jun 12, 2013
Yes you can rent a home with a bad credit. Make sure that you have VOE, a good income and no criminal background history. EZ Lease Rentals help people with bad credit and those who underwent foreclosures and bankruptcy. I've been in your situation before. They can even help you solve your credit issue.
2 votes
Allie Lenard, Home Buyer, Washington, PA
Mon May 6, 2013
Yes you can! =) Lucky YOU! There are now companies that help people with bad credit rent a place. Coming from my own experience, I tried EZ Lease Rentals, they allow you to rent any home or aparment of your choice just as long as you have a monthly income of at least $4000 and no criminal record. They will get you approved and they will be the one to sign the lease on your behalf. It's amazing and the process is so smooth and easy!
1 vote
Jenna Schre…, , Pasadena, MD
Wed Apr 14, 2010
You can usually find somone to rent to you. You may need to offer an extra months paid rent. If you can provide a good reason for you credit rating and why it will diffrent going forward with documentation it will help your case. Best of Luck,
1 vote
MegSM, Home Owner, Seattle, WA
Thu May 14, 2015
It's very possible that you can still rent a home even if you have bad credit. Bad credit doesn't necessarily mean a bad tenant. The best thing you can do is to educate yourself as to what is on your tenant screening report. This allows you to be upfront with your prospective landlord when you go to apply. Start a dialogue - as them what their criteria standards are for tenant selection. This will let you know before you apply whether or not you have a chance of being accepted.

Great Resource:
MyScreeningReport.com is an applicant initiated tenant screening report. It allows you to be in control of your report - you order it, you review it for accuracy prior to sharing with your prospective landlords. Because this is applicant initiated, it reflects what is called a "soft inquiry" on your credit report - meaning that it will not negatively affect your credit score. Additionally, these are called "portable" reports - you pay one screening fee and have access to sharing with as many landlords as you need for a 30 day period.

Hope this helps!
0 votes
goobygoos751, Renter, Darien, IL
Sun Mar 15, 2015
Rent townhouse in Darien, Westmont, Downer Grove, Woodridge
0 votes
Gloria Donnon, Agent, Moorestown, NJ
Sat Feb 21, 2015
You may still be able to rent. It will be up to the landlord to decide whether or not he/she wants to take the risk. Getting references from former landlords who were paid on time can be helpful. Also, write a letter to the potential landlord to explain your hardship and why you believe this is a problem that is in the past. Explain why your financial past will not impact your current ability to pay rent (i.e. pay raise, alimony payments ending soon). Good luck to you!
0 votes
Kelly Sourwi…, Agent, Downers Grove, IL
Sat Feb 21, 2015
You can still rent. You may be asked to provide additional information such as letters of reference from your employer and past landlords or even need to provide a higher security deposit. If you could find a cosigner then that would be great too.
0 votes
Sonia Mansour, Agent, Downers Grove, IL
Thu Jan 29, 2015
Sure. It all depends on the owner and what their willing to accept.
0 votes
Flag Thu May 14, 2015
Riccardo War…, Agent, Bolingbrook, IL
Tue Jan 13, 2015
Why rent when you can buy, i can get your credit ready to go in no time... lets buy!

Riccardo Wardlow
Sales Manager
NMLS 219402
Cross Country Mortgage
323 546 8066

Specializing in Illinois and California

*We do Conventional loans down to a 620 score
*We do FHA loans down to a 580 score
*We do USDA loans down to a 620 score (no money down)
*We do $100 down payment FHA program
*Unlimited Loan To Value refinances on Fannie/Freddie refinances (only on loans originated before May 31st 2009
*We do VA loans down to a 600 score
*We give free counseling on what needs to be done to improve your credit score.
*We do 203k loans down to a 640 score
*We do reverse mortgages
*We do JUMBO loans to 12 million
*Investment properties
*Closing loans in 3 - 3.5 weeks
0 votes
Sonia Mansour, Agent, Downers Grove, IL
Tue Jan 13, 2015
It just depends on the owner. Sometimes they will look at the circumstances that led to poor credit. There's no 100% answer for this question.
0 votes
Bradley Neum…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Franklin, TN
Mon Oct 13, 2014
Yes, if the credit has improved please contact me and we can see about buying. It's a great time to buy right now.

For mortgage help, call (855) 893-1177 or email for a free pre-approval in less than 10 minutes. We lend our own money and are licensed in 49 states and you can apply online at http://www.myccmortgagebn.com. We can do: FHA, Conventional, USDA, VA, HARP, Interest Only, Home Equity, Fixed, and Variable. Find out which product is right for you by calling Brad at (855) 893-1177.

Brad Neumann
Branch Manager
Crosscountry Mortgage Inc.
Phone: (855) 893-1177
Email: bneumann@myccmortgage.com
NMLS# 948036
0 votes
Don Groff, Agent, Austin, TX
Wed Jun 12, 2013
Each home is individually owned so it will depend on your circumstances. I would recommend you write a letter of explanation and explain what happened for you to be in the situation you are in and the corrective measures you have taken to make sure it does not happen again.

Hope this helps.

Don Groff | REALTOR® & Mortgage Broker
Austin Real Estate Pros & 360 Lending Group
o 512.669.5599 | m 512.633.4157 | listings@dongroff.com
websites: http://www.AustinListed.com | http://www.360LendingGroup.com
Web Reference:  http://www.AustinListed.com
0 votes
Terry Kauffm…, Agent, Lisle, IL
Sun May 19, 2013
Be careful, there are many companies that will help you rent if you have bad credit but it will probably be at a premium rental price. I recommend working on and improving your credit score first. There are many things you can do on your own to improve your credit score for free. I do not recommend paying a company a large amount of money to do what you can do yourself for free. Call me at 630-788-9298 and we can talk about options for improving your credit score.
0 votes
Don Groff, Agent, Austin, TX
Sat Apr 16, 2011
It really does depend on the landlord. I just completed a short sale for a client and promised I would help them find housing to rent as well so they could get back on track. We found a great place and I explained their situation to the landlord. They had too much house and got behind and now they needed to downsize and get their finances back on track.

He was fine with that. Their story made sense and their income supported the rent so they now have a new home and their old home short sale will be completed in a couple more weeks.

Find a good agent that will go to bat for you. Tell them about your circumstances so you can position that to prospective landlords. More people are renting now so landlords have more options. If necessary you can also get a co-signer.

Good luck to you.

Don Groff
REALTOR | Mortgage Broker | Consultant
Buy - Sell - Lease - Invest
Keller Williams Realty | 360 Lending Group
o.512.669.5599 m.512.633.4157
0 votes
Sharon Hardi…, , Schaumburg, IL
Sat Apr 16, 2011
It depends on the landlord as they are each looking for different qualifications. You could offer an incentive such as extra security deposit or additional rent to help the landlord consider your application for a rental. Hope this helps! Good luck finding a rental!
0 votes
Edward Mende…, , Elmwood Park, IL
Thu Nov 25, 2010
My answer would be yes.
As a former landlord I would take tenants with bad credit. But is also depended on the credit check, and I would also ask for higher security deposits.
0 votes
Yes, this makes sense, as other landlords have also said: Ask for MORE money! NOT! With rents as high as they are, and people having to rent because their credit stinks to get a mortgage, it is probably a sure bet that these people do not have extra income around to put toward more security. This is not a good business practice, and there are other ways to rent to less credit worthy people, such as having an ounce of compassion! I believe the only thing you need is to prove GOOD income, period!
Flag Sun Sep 13, 2015
Excelsia Ska…, Agent, Schaumburg, IL
Tue Nov 23, 2010
Yes, of course! I think most of the renters right now have credit issues, I suggest that you write a Hardship Letter, this will make the landlord feel better knowing you and your situation and it works, and as what other agent says, be prepared to have months of security deposit. Good luck to you!
Web Reference:  http://www.exsellshomes.com
0 votes
Thomas Gusta…, , 60517
Tue Nov 23, 2010
Yes ...In this day and age the landlords are more willing to look past some credit issues..If you have a current landlord, use them as a referance.
0 votes
Don Groff, Agent, Austin, TX
Tue Jun 8, 2010
You most likely can. It all depends on the landlord. They may require an additional deposit. I have seen many apartments and homes listed for rent on craigslist that offer no verification or credit checks. So there are opportunities out there. If you can show that your previous rental history was excellent that would be a very big help.

Good luck to you.
0 votes
Chick Briner, Agent, Downers Grove, IL
Tue Jun 8, 2010
It depends on the landlord. You will have to prove good income and give a solid deposit.
0 votes
Anna Matsuna…, Agent, University Place, WA
Wed Apr 14, 2010
This will depend on who you rent from. Your best bet would be some one who manages their own single family and duplex properties. These landlords are much more likely to care about your deposits, your rental history and your references.

Do be prepared to be asked to rent for at least a 1 year contract and be prepared for some non refundable deposits, this is worthwhile however since land lords who require this often are more responsive to your needs and take better care of their properties and their renters than folks who will just rent to any one.....
0 votes
Ronald Logal…, Agent, Northport, NY
Wed Apr 14, 2010
Yes...Most Landlords will require at least 2 months in security to protect themselves though.
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Wed Apr 14, 2010
I represent many families in Dallas Fort Worth area for leasing.

If you have poor credit be prepared for the following:
1. Double to triple rents for deposit
2. 1st months rent
3. Pet deposits

All of these are paid up front prior to move in

RECOMMEND : Use a Realtor there are many scams out there for renters we have had over 7 families with loss of $xx,xxx believing they were leasing from a property owner IT WAS A SCAM

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes
Pat & Steve…, Agent, Westlake, OH
Wed Apr 14, 2010

You've received some great advice. If you have bad credit, I believe an important point for the landlord is where you are living not, how much rent you are paying & why you want to move.

Also, be aware that many landlords are starting to use Management Companies to handle their rental properties. It has become a reasonalble cost -- only 10% of the monthly rent. Those companies don't have a heart-- they only look at the data they gather. When you look for a place to rent, you may want to concentrate on the landlords who only have one or two rental houses, doubles or a fourplex to will listen to your bad debt story.
0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Wed Apr 14, 2010
No. Anyone with bad credit is required to live in a cardboard box under a bridge.

Bada Bing!

Used to be that anyone with bad credit was required to buy a home with Countrywide as the lender.

Bada Bing!

Of course you can rent. What do you think's happened to many/most of the people who've done short sales or been foreclosed upon? They still have to live somewhere, and they're not all living with their relatives.

There's a lot of good advice below. One thing I'd add is that some investors (and thus some landlords) have different categories of "bad credit." For instance, if you'd had good credit and then something bad happened--job loss, illness, etc.--that damaged your credit, but now you're rebuilding it, that's a good thing. That's forgiveable. On the other hand, if someone is a habitual deadbeat--consistently skipping out on landlords, regularly not paying bills on time--that's bad. To the extent possible, you want to show that you fall into that first category . . . that you know what good credit is, that you're on your way to restoring your credit, and so on.

Hope that helps.
0 votes
Lisa Boucher, Agent, Manchester, NH
Wed Apr 14, 2010
This will depend on the landlord. I have represented landlords who only look at the credit score and I have represented others who look at the bigger picture - Have you paid you rent on time in the past? Can you show that you pay certain bills on a regular basis? Are you open to direct debit from your bank account?

You will find leniancy with landlords rather than corporate owned rentals. In this case, renting is a personal arrangement with another individual. If you can work the personal relationship and show them that you are good on your word, anything is possible.
0 votes
Don Groff, Agent, Austin, TX
Wed Apr 14, 2010
Yes you can if you can show that in the past you have paid your rent on time. Even if that is not always the case that will not rule you out entirely. I am very picky of my renters and although somebody like myself may not want to rent to you there is always somebody who is more likely to take some added risk to get somebody into a property.

You can do things like offering to pay 2 months security deposit or something else that would show your positive intentions to getting a fresh start. If you are having problems finding a place try to think outside the box for new ways to appeal to landlords or apartment owners to make yourself more appealing. In the end if you have a good rental history that will be your best asset to show to a potential landlord.
0 votes
Jessica Tacc…, Agent, Staten Island, NY
Wed Apr 14, 2010
Sometimes people pay their rent on time but let their other bills fall behind in order to do so. In those situations it helps to have copies of cancelled cks showing timely rent pmts made to your current landlord (if you were able to do that). I have found that those, plus good employment history can make all the difference if you are looking for a new place but have poor credit. A positive note from your current landlord can also help.
0 votes
Edward Blake…, Agent, Murfreesboro, TN
Wed Apr 14, 2010
Every landlord will have different standards for credit. Have you rented before and if so how has your rental history been? I manage an apartment complex myself and former rental history is the #1 thing that I look at. If you have a 500 credit score but have always paid your rent and can prove it, then I would rent to you.

Good Luck,

Edward Blakeman
0 votes
dave, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Wed Apr 14, 2010
The advice everyone here seems to be giving you is accurate. It will depend on the landlord. I know when I am showing rentals to a potential renter they always require a credit check.

You should be up front with the landlord about your situation adn maybe offer an additional month security deposit to rent the home. You would be lightening the risk the landlord feels they are taking by renting the place to you.

Landlords look at your credit report as a basis of how you repay your bills and feel that track record will carry over tou you paying on your rent....If you have special circumstances that casued your situation let them know up front as well.

Dave diCecco
0 votes
Dp2, , Virginia
Wed Apr 14, 2010
As an investor, I always check a potential tenant's credit and background. I learned early on the harsh lesson of being "too nice". Gary's idea of offering to pay an additional deposit is good, and it definitely would help.
0 votes
Gary King, Agent, Knoxville, TN
Wed Apr 14, 2010
Yes but it depends on your landlord and how bad your credit. I might suggest that you bring it up at the onset and offer to pay an additional deposit. That might make a prospective landlord feel more comfortable.

If the prospective landlord doesn't mention running credit, no need to bring it up but in order to get good references, you will need to have a good rental history.

good Luck.
0 votes
Carmen Di Bi…, Agent, Nyack, NY
Fri Apr 9, 2010
As others have said, it depends on the landlord. The majority require a credit check but will take into account factors such as loss of job or illness. However, if your report shows frequent and chronic delinquencies with no justifiable explanation, renting will be difficult without significant concessions or a co-signer.
0 votes
Michael Cline, , Chicago, IL
Fri Apr 9, 2010
It's up to the landlord if they will rent the home to you. Be cautious of the "rent to own" lease. The landlord may give you 1 year to fix your credit & purchase the home but many times 1 year is not enough time to fix credit depending on just how bad it is. Bottom line...you won't know until you ask. Good luck!

Michael Cline
0 votes
Brandon Schu…, Agent, Western Springs, IL
Fri Apr 9, 2010
Hey Tikewa,

When the real estate market was better a few years ago owners were a little more tight on credit. Today many families have lost their homes due to foreclosure and those families are out looking to rent homes.

I have seen many home owners rent to people with troubled credit just because they see things a little different then what a bank does. Maybe the family lost their home to a $2,500.00 mortgage payment, but they can afford $1,500.00 a month rent. A bank would most likely deny you for "any" credit because of the credit history, but a home owner who's renting their home may have a little more understanding.

Good Luck.
0 votes
Carrie Cleme…, Agent, Downers Grove, IL
Thu Apr 8, 2010

I always recommend to my landlords to get a credit report on any potential tenant(s). I also tell them not to rule anyone out solely based on their credit score, they need to take into consideration the circumstances. As stated before there could be legitimate issues. I also tell any tenants that I am representing to be honest with the landlord and tell them up front of any issues. Most landlords are willing to listen and if you can offer a larger security deposit, etc, then they will probably work with you to get you.

I hope this helps and good luck to you!
0 votes
Richard Schu…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Thu Apr 8, 2010
Be willing to offer concessions. For example, perhaps you can offer 2 months rent security deposit instead of the standard 1 month rent.

Good luck,

Richard Schulman
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes
Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Thu Apr 8, 2010
It all depends on the landlord. Some do not check credit, many do. It also depends on why you have bad credit. If you simply forgot to pay for stuff that is very different than if you had medical problems you could not handle.

I have read that some people with bad credit end up living in hotels because that is the only way they can rent. Not sure if it is true or not.
0 votes
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