Apartments and Credit

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Donna, Aug 6, 2001.

  1. Donna

    Donna Well-Known Member

    Hi Everyone.

    If anyone can give me some info on how good your credit must look to rent an apartment, I'd sure appreciate it.

    Within the next year or so, my husband and I want to buy a home. However, in the interim, we need a bigger place. The tiny apartment we're currently in is bursting at the seams.

    My Transunion report is in good shape, no negatives. However, not so with Equifax and Experian.

    Equifax is driving me crazy! A few weeks back, I mentioned that my now three-year-old paid chargeoff has been reinserted. Well, that was bad enough! But today when I checked my report...I don't know, I just had one of those feelings that I'd better look...the derogs from my JCPenney account were back on there. AAARRRGGGHHH!!! This is after JCPenney has sent letters confirming that the derogatory info would be removed. Transunion, and even hard-nosed Experian, made the deletions immediately, but not Equifax. Anyway, my score took a hit. It dropped from 675 to 645 and the timing is bad because we want to go apartment hunting. In fact, we'd like to find a place this weekend.

    My Experian report has three negatives on it, including the aforementioned paid chargeoff...the two others are late pays...but my score is a little higher at 655. Of course, I'm still working on improving my Equifax and Experian reports.

    With these scores, though, do you think we'll be able to get an apartment? The last negative showing is a late pay and is over two years old. My credit was good when I moved in to our current place so that wasn't an issue then.

    Please, if anyone has any thoughts or experiences, I'm all ears. This credit business is so incredibly frustrating! I've been at this repair stuff since March of 2,000 and sometimes I feel as if I'm just spinning my wheels. Yes, my credit life is better but I obviously still have a ways to go.

    Thanks for any help.


    GEORGE Well-Known Member

    WHEN I WAS YOUNG...all I needed was FIRST/LAST/SECURITY...

    They didn't care where the money came from...and the "ON SITE" manager came KNOCKING (on the second day of the month) if your payment was not in the office by the first day of the month...
  3. Donna

    Donna Well-Known Member

    Yeah, George, apartment renting was like that when I was young, too.

    The last time I rented a place (which was about six years ago) the landlord definitely did a credit check. I know because I had to pay a $25 fee for the privilege of having my credit report pulled.

  4. frankowes

    frankowes Well-Known Member

    I know somebody who manages apartments. He checks credit reports to make sure they can actually afford to pay the rent. He checks they're debt to income. Also current late payments. To see if they are getting into financial trouble. Old late payments don't matter. paid chargeoffs don't matter, but it could matter depending on how many people are applying for the apartment, and how many have better credit than you. Also I now know somebody who was denied an apartment because of a bankruptcy about 2 years ago. Keep in mind this is in southern california not kansas.
  5. molly

    molly Well-Known Member

    Two and a half years ago I almost got denied an apartment because I had 9 out 13 negatives on the report they pulled. They didn't look at scores just the info. They said no but I asked if I could pay double security or have a cosigner. Luckily I had someone who was willing to cosign. This was in LA area.
  6. Donna

    Donna Well-Known Member


    Thanks much for the info. Southern Cal is exactly where I am so your reply was especially helpful.

  7. frankowes

    frankowes Well-Known Member

    Yep. That'll do it too.
  8. Donna

    Donna Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Molly. Since I do have several positive accounts showing on all three reports, and I don't have any recent negatives, maybe I'll be okay.

  9. frankowes

    frankowes Well-Known Member

    One time about 5 years ago I had to rent an apartment and they pulled my credit reports. I had about 30 grand in student loans. My income was about $1000 a month if that. She asked me how I was going to pay the rent and my student loans. I said " Oh don't worry about it, I don't pay my student loans" she said bye. :)
  10. sam

    sam Well-Known Member

    I paid a full months rent, for deposit here. $950, at my one year anniversary of perfect payments, they took $800 of that and credited it back against my rent.

    So its kinda like a secured apartment (heh) for a year.

    Standard deposit for good credit is $150.

    Any collections from previous rental facilities = automatic denial regardless of cash deposit.
  11. molly

    molly Well-Known Member

    I am going to be moving in the next month or so and am still scared that I may get denied. I have zero negs on TRans, 2 on Equifax and 2 on Experian. I am trying real hard to get these removed within the next 30 days. I'll keep you guys posted.
  12. Donna

    Donna Well-Known Member


    I've forgotten where you live but, unless you had a connection somewhere, I can't imagine renting any place in Southern Cal with only a $150 deposit. We'll have to pay significantly more, I know, but that's okay. We're prepared.

    Our current landlord likes us and will probably hate to see us go. If asked to do so, he'll serve as a good reference.

  13. GEORGE

    GEORGE Well-Known Member

    The place I moved to after that asked for no deposit, no last (ARN'T PARENTS GREAT) they owned the tri-plex.
  14. kbelle72

    kbelle72 Well-Known Member

    I have crappy credit (a charge off and a couple of collections). I didn't pay one dime in deposit, paid a $25 application fee, and have a $44K in student loans outstanding. I live in a so-called luxury apartment complex as well. I pay $1000 a month for a one bedroom. In my opinion, they are a lot more concerned with your rent/income ratio and criminal check than they are anything else. Generally, I've found that if your monthly rent is less than or equal to 25% of your monthly income, you are good to go.
  15. Donna

    Donna Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    After reading your post, I feel more hopeful. Our household income is good and we can easily meet our monthly obligations. In fact, we've been able to stash a good chunk in savings in preparation for buying a house. Hopefully, a prospective landlord will look on us favorably.

  16. sam

    sam Well-Known Member

    they really criminal check for apt?? Thats crazy!!


    anyways. If you have good rent history, and they are desperate they'll take just about anybody.

    Here's what you do. Sit down or phone with the manager. He is the final say on approvals, not the leasing agents, their only concern is the $50-100 buck bonus for getting you to apply..

    Manager pretty much can do just about anything. Some property management companies that don't own the properties themselves are governed by the rules of the true owner.
  17. GEORGE

    GEORGE Well-Known Member

    IF YOU ARE REALLY DESPERATE...and have access to can pay 6 months in advance...
  18. Nia

    Nia Well-Known Member

    Donna there is hope for you. All of my scores are considerably lower than yours. I do have recent late payments (in the last 6 months) no BK or Chargeoffs though. My income is about 32k and I just got approved at two apt complexes. One which was a luxury apt complex. Both times I went in the person who pulled my credit said I was fine. The first lady even told me that I didnt know what bad credit was if I thought mine was bad. So hold your head up! They did not even show up as an inquiry on my CR. I just started here so I hope that I can one day be giving out good advice but until then I will just encourage those who are in my situtuation. Thanks board!!!!!
  19. GEORGE

    GEORGE Well-Known Member

    The first lady even told me that I didnt know what bad credit was if I thought mine was bad.

    Unless they are "LURKING" NOBODY on this BOARD has a score under 500 (of the score that have been stated)...BUT YOU COULD GO DOWN TO 300!!!
  20. Lionel

    Lionel Well-Known Member

    Oh Donna --

    I rented an apt in the San Fernando Valley over a year and a half ago with my credit score either in the low or mid 600s (I didn't have acces to them way back then). I was able to rent without any additional security deposit, just the same that they would ask of anybody.
    I do know people with some credit issues who have been asked to increase their deposit by 50% or 100%, but it doesn't sound like you should have a problem.

    Happy hunting!

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