- 1 Bad Credit Apartments in Arizona
- 2 How Does Bad Credit Affect Renting an Apartment?
- 3 100 Financing Loans Bad Credit Rentals
- 4 How to Rent an Apartment With Bad Credit
- 5 'Will Bad Credit Hurt My Rental Chances?'
Bad Credit Apartments in Arizona
YES. Apartments in Arizona do qualify renters by running credit reports but this does not mean you will automatically be declined at an apartment because of bad credit. Arizona apartment management companies qualify renters by pulling a report and viewing the credit trade lines or by outsourcing the qualifying to other companies that either use a software program or a process when approving tenants.
So what is the best way to find apartments that accept bad credit? I know I am biased but if you use a Free service such as Apartment Finders you will save yourself a lot of time. Apartment Finders agents already know which Arizona apartments accept bad credit and Apartment Finders if free to any renter needing to find an apartment or home rental in Arizona.
If you prefer to do the legwork on your own then simply ask the apartment community before you pay an application fee what their qualifications are. If you have rental judgments or evictions then make sure you explain that because that is different than just having bad credit.
For more information give us a call at 602-957-7000 or simply fill out the Form Below.
How Does Bad Credit Affect Renting an Apartment?
Poor credit presents serious financial challenges, and renting an apartment may be one of them. However, there's a lot you can do to reduce the effect of bad credit on your ability to rent an apartment. Some landlords don’t check credit (in which case your credit rating has no effect), but this can be a mixed blessing. If the landlord is an individual (renting a converted basement, for example), this may be fine. But many such apartments are in less-than-desirable areas. At the other extreme, poor credit may cause landlords renting high-end luxury apartments to turn down your application. Most landlords will rent to people with bad credit, provided there are some other factors in your favor that make you an acceptable risk.
To see how bad credit affects renting an apartment, it helps to understand what happens when you put in an application for an apartment. The application fee most landlords charge goes to pay for a tenant checking service. A tenant check includes your rental history, your credit record and a check of public records to see if you have any serious criminal record. Most landlords are more concerned with your rental history than anything else. They may turn you down if you’ve had a recent eviction (within three to five years, depending on the landlord’s policy) or if you owe back rent. Breaking a lease or failing to give notice you are moving can also result in an application being denied. However, a bad credit rating won’t necessarily cause a landlord to disapprove your application. Most often, if you have a record of slow payments or even a bankruptcy, the landlord will ask for a larger deposit on the apartment (a 50 percent higher deposit is common).
Minimize the Effect of Bad Credit
You can really run into trouble getting approved for an apartment with bad credit when you have obvious problems with rental history as well. When the landlord looks at your credit report, he will see recent activity as well as your long-term use of credit. If the report shows you're current on all your bills, this helps. You can do a lot to clean up your rental credit record by paying off any back rent due and being sure to give your current landlord adequate notice. If there’s an eviction or broken lease in your past, be prepared to explain why it happened and be honest about it. If you attempt to hide negative factors, it looks even worse. Be prepared to pay a significantly higher deposit. Finally, keep in mind that time can be your ally. Even if you are turned down now, putting your financial affairs in order and keeping them that way will eventually improve even the worst credit and rental history.
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How to Rent an Apartment With Bad Credit
Having a bad credit score can make it difficult to do a lot of things, like obtain a credit card, a mortgage or even to rent an apartment or house. This presents some obvious problems since everyone has to live somewhere. Even people with a low credit rating may need to rent an apartment, including those who faced foreclosure during the housing crisis. Often, credit checks are part of the rental application process and often involve a fee.
Anyone who has been in the market for an apartment has probably seen rental offers such as "Low down payment with your approved credit" or other variation on this theme. These are usually for big apartment complexes which are typically managed by large rental management companies. Typically, these companies have strict, one-size-fits-all policies, and a bad credit score can be an automatic rejection, even for someone with an excellent rental history.
While it can be difficult to rent with a poor credit score, there are several ways to approach the situation and build a case for being a desirable rental applicant and rent an apartment with bad credit.
First, be honest with the potential landlord. Ask if a credit check is part of the application process, and what the minimum required score is and if there is any flexibility with their policy. If you've had credit problems in the past, explain with sincerity and honesty about how the situation arose and steps being taken to avoid similar problems in the future. An individual owner may be more sympathetic, or at least have more leeway to be flexible about the requirements, than someone working for a property management company.
As written about frequently at MyBankTracker, everyone should know their credit score. Use a free service to get your rating, and check the report for errors. Work on addressing those errors, which may take some time.
If the errors aren't resolved by the time meetings with landlords have been set up, be sure to take good notes and bring them along to explain the nature of the errors. Make a calm case for the errors without including any drama. Show that the problem is being tactfully and skillfully addressed and the potential landlord is likely to be impressed by the professionalism.
While most property management companies (which can include real estate agents) and apartment rental agencies have strict policies about credit, many individual owners are less likely to want to deal with the paperwork involved in running credit checks on potential renters. Instead, they may be more interested in the character of the applicant and what sort of lifestyle they lead -- whether or not the renters will lively quietly and take care of the apartment well.
Offer a higher security deposit
Be prepared to save up for a hefty deposit on a rental when applying with a low credit score. Showing the ability to pay more up front, totaling several months of rent in addition to first and last month's rent and a security deposit, is a good way to alleviate a landlord's fears about default.
Provide proof of solid income
Anyone making a good salary and strong work history who is looking at apartments within their means has a better profile to a prospective landlord than someone who does not. When going to look at an apartment, bring copies of pay stubs, copies of prior years' tax returns and any proof of additional income. It will not only provide proof of income, but also of being an organized person who is serious about taking care of business.
Anyone who has been the victim of a company closure or layoff in the last year or two may need to show a period of industriousness while laid off. Bring along any proof of income earned in that down time, such as eBay sales, or odd jobs done for friends and neighbors. Offer references when possible, and explain that living expenses were made first priority.
Start collecting letters of reference to provide to a potential landlord. Include employers past and present, coworkers and other business affiliates, in addition to prior landlords and roommates.
In some cases, a potential landlord may consider allowing a friend or relative with good credit and solid income to cosign as an applicant, even though they won't live in the apartment. By cosigning, they agree to take over payments in the case of default, so be certain the situation is a good one and won't lead to problems down the road.
One option may be to move in with another person who already has an established place to live. Be careful, however, because most property management companies require all tenants to pass a credit check and require all adults to be named on the lease.
'Will Bad Credit Hurt My Rental Chances?'
I do not have the best credit, I have two bad spots but they are fairly old. Is that a problem when trying to find apartments?
— Credit Worthy in Brooklyn
Most landlords will run a credit check on a prospective tenant. I’ve even seen ads requiring a FICO credit score of at least 650 to be considered for an apartment. Landlords take a gamble renting their places, so they need to be careful and make sure that the new tenant will pay the rent regularly.
That your problems “are fairly old” may mean that you don’t have much of a problem at all. If you have paid your bills on time since then, you should be in a good position with a small landlord. A big management company may be a bit tougher to deal with, but if the trend is favorable you will still probably be OK.
When was the last time you checked your credit score? For New York residents, satisfied judgments and paid collections remain on your report for five years. Most other negative information stays on for seven to 10 years. Good news, such as timely payments and paid-off debts, stays around for 10 years.
The first thing you need to do is get a copy of your credit reports as compiled by the big three reporting firms of Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. They will try to lure you into paying for regular access to your information but don’t go there. They are required by law to make your report available to your free once a year. Go here to see them. If you find anything incorrect, the reporting agency is required to correct it. If you dispute something or want to explain circumstances, you can request that the agency includes a written statement from you.
Unfortunately, the one thing you won’t get on your credit reports is your all-important FICO score, which each reporting firm calculates slightly differently. Again, in order to see your score, the agencies will try to lure you into an open-ended $30 a month “credit monitoring” program that is useless to you. Instead, go here and estimate your score. Don’t fall for the $60 offer to let you see your actual scores. The best way to actually see your score is to make a good impression on your prospective landlord. Tell him your situation and ask if he’ll share the report with you. Why not? You’re probably paying for it.
David Crook is a veteran journalist and author of The Complete Wall Street Journal Real-Estate Investing and Homeowner’s Guidebooks. Do you have a question about anything real estate-related in NYC? Write him at [email protected]. For verification purposes, please include your name and a phone number; neither will be published. Note: Nothing in this column should be considered professional legal advice. If you have a legal issue, consult an attorney.
David Crook is a former writer and editor at The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and other publications. After 15 years covering the entertainment industry, David moved to the East Coast to create The Journal's residential and commercial real estate sections. Later, he launched The Wall Street Journal Sunday, an 11-million circulation personal-finance and investing supplement that ran in more than 80 newspapers around the country. David is the author of two Wall Street Journal Guidebooks, on real estate investing and home owning. David, who grew up renovating old houses, has owned residential and rental properties in California, Florida, New York and Connecticut. He and his family divide their time between a mid-century modern apartment in Manhattan and a 1780 farmhouse in Litchfield County.