Renter with Bad Credit

Renter with bad credit: it's one of the top reasons why a prospective landlord will reject an otherwise acceptable tenant application.So how does a renter with bad credit deal with this black mark on their app? 

Make sure you highlight all the good attributes you bring with you as a tenant and consider the below list of things to help tackle your bad credit part of your app.

Renter with Bad Credit: 
ways to offset bad credit in your tenant application

1) Write a personal note and include it in your rental package

Address a personal note to either "Dear Prospective Landlord" or "To Whom It May Concern" or similar. Keep it short, just one or two paragraphs is perfect. Handwritten or typed with your signature at the bottom, both good. Briefly state the reason for your bad credit score. Did you go through a terrible divorce? Get laid off? Have a foreclosure or bad accident? Everyone goes through difficulties in life. If your bad credit score is due to something OTHER THAN simply choosing to pay your bills late every month... give a short explanation.  Oftentimes landlords appreciate the extra effort to explain. If you are currently working on fixing your credit, say so! 

2) Include a reference letter from your most current landlord(s)

You may have bad credit, but if you've paid every rent payment on time every month and your landlord would rent to you again... that's HUGE. Ask your current landlord to write a brief paragraph describing you as a tenant, giving a brief rent payment history. IF you've paid on time each month... THAT is the usually THE most important thing a landlord wants to know. 

Your rental payment history is not something prospective landlords will automatically see. If your rental payment history is GOOD... make sure you get that information into your rental package via a Landlord Reference Form OR a short reference letter from your landlord.

3) Pull ALL THREE Credit Bureau Reports, one is usually the best!

IF the rental package lets you provide your own recent credit report, make sure you pull ALL THREE. Experion, Transunion, Equifax are the 3 credit reporting agencies that collect and score your credit information. However, each uses a slightly different scoring system. What does that mean?  One usually gives a HIGHER credit score than the others! It's nearly impossible to have the same credit score across all three agencies. So pull all three, and use the highest credit score report!


And remember. Realtor services are normally FREE to tenants. 

So if you want help finding the best rental property, navigating the rental application process, or are having trouble due to a low credit report score... hire an experienced rental agent to help! It's the LANDLORD that pays the agent! A WIN for tenants!!