Renting an Apartment without Credit

The start of the collegiate year is right around the corner and students nationwide will be leaving their homes in search of a dormitory or apartment to rent on or near their college campus. Many co-eds are paying their own bills and without a credit history, they may not be able to get approved for an apartment. Here are a couple of tips to lease an apartment without credit.

Pay a Couple of Months Rent Upfront

Many property owners want some sort of landlord insurance to cover any possible damage that tenants may inflict. So, offer to pay a few months of rent upfront. This may encourage them to rent to you because they’ll have cash in hand and won’t run the risk of you not paying or being unable to cover potential damage.

Rent from an Individual

Many apartment complexes or managing companies require a credit check. Browse the internet for an apartment that an individual owner is renting. Generally, the landlord will still ask you to provide proof of income stability, but may waive the credit check.

Reference Letters

Show your character by providing reference letters to your future landlord from teachers, employers, or other professionals that you know. Be sure to provide a contact number so that the property owner can follow up with them if need-be. The general rule of thumb is that those who are  responsible in most aspects of their lives will also be responsible with their finances.

Ask to Pay Month-to-Month

It could take a landlord months to evict a non-paying tenant if they’re unwilling to leave. By signing a short lease or paying month to month, the landlord can choose to not renew you for a longer term if you’re unable to pay.


There is always the option of subleasing a room in a house from a friend, peer, or coworker. Generally, you will already know the person that you intend to sublet from and they will trust in you to pay rent in a timely and efficient manner.

Proof of Income

A landlord will be more willing to lease an apartment to somebody who has a steady income or savings balance. If you don’t have an established credit history, bring two to three months of payment stubs to your landlord, or show them proof of a high savings balance.

Get a Cosigner

Consider asking a close friend or family member with good credit to cosign for you. Fully understand that if this person consents, they’ll be liable for any rent you don’t pay. To keep your personal relationship intact, always make sure you pay fully and on time.

Once you land your new apartment, you can not only start enjoying your new digs, but you can also start building credit.

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