Can I Rent an Apartment Without a Credit History?

Your credit history can help your landlord determine if they can trust you to pay rent on time and not default. But what if you don’t have a credit history? Can you still get an apartment?

Here are some options you can use to help you get approved with no credit:

1. Bring Proof of Income

If you don’t have a credit history, providing proof of a stable income that is adequate to cover your rent can help you convince your landlord to let you rent an apartment or house. Ideally, your rent should be one-third of your monthly income.

2. Find A Roommate with A Credit

Finding a roommate to cosign, hold the lease or become a co-tenant can help you get approved for rent. Sharing responsibility with a roommate with a good credit history can put your landlord at ease about rent payment.

3. Explain Why You Have No Credit History

People with no credit are often grouped with those with bad credit. However, the two scenarios are vastly different. Where someone has a low credit score due to late payments, someone with no credit history is simply starting afresh. Explaining how you can be an ideal tenant can help persuade your landlord to let you rent the apartment.

4. Get A Cosigner

If you can get a friend, family member or parent to cosign an apartment with you, you are more likely to be approved for the rental. However, this does place additional responsibility on the cosigner as they can be held accountable for missed payments on your part.

How To Build Credit to Get an Apartment

It is important to remember that establishing a substantial credit history takes time. However, here are a few ways you can help establish credit if you have no credit history:

1. Become an Authorized User

You can start establishing credit without having your own credit card by becoming an authorized user on a family member or friend’s card. First, however, make sure that the primary account is in good standing and that they report authorized-user accounts to the credit bureau.

2. Apply For a Store or Gas Card

Store or gas cards are typically easier to get approved for than credit cards. If you’re a frequent customer at a particular store or gas station, you can apply for a store card and use it while paying for groceries or gas. However, to avoid high financial charges, always pay off the balance by the end of each month.

3. Apply For a Secured Credit Card

A secured credit card is often easier to apply for than an unsecured credit card and can quickly help you establish a credit history. This is because there is an upfront deposit that you must pay to secure your credit line.

4. Get Credit for Paying Utilities and Cell Phone Bills on Time

Some financial institutions allow you to use your cell phone bills and utility payments to establish credit, either for free or for small fees.

Next Steps

Once you’ve started establishing credit, it is essential that you don’t jeopardize your credit history. To help ensure your credit history remains in good standing, you can:

  • Clear any outstanding debt as quickly as possible
  • Pay your bills on time
  • Keep track of your credit and spending

Furthermore, it is highly beneficial to use rental payment reporting if you are trying to establish your credit history. A rent reporting service can help you build, establish and have a positive impact on your credit.