What Credit Score Do I Need to Rent an Apartment?

Have you found your dream flat? It is an exciting experience to finally find a flat that ticks off everything you want and need. However, new flat applicants often find themselves at a loss to know that there is a required credit score required to rent a flat. It is foremost a business deal that you need to close with your landlord. Thus, you should expect that there will be a process where you will come in as a great fit to be a tenant.


Before you can rent a flat, you have to prove that you are financially capable of paying throughout your contract. You should pass the essential measures of the whole tenant screening process. It would include your past rental history and your credit records too.


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Why are Credit Checks Essential to Rent a Flat?


Flat owners and landlords conduct tenant assessments, which includes credit checks. It gives them crucial information on previous rental debts, payment history, as well as past bankruptcies. These data will help landlords determine if the tenant applicant is likely to be an excellent rental payer.


Credit records can be sourced from three major reporting agencies - Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Your credit history will be presented for the landlord to assess your credit health. Often, property managers and landlords have a minimum credit score that must be met by potential tenants to be considered for the vacant unit. This number can vary widely and is affected by various factors depending on the location and the landlords. Thus, would-be-renters often find themselves asking, what credit score do I need to rent a flat? Here are some tips for you to know.


Ideal Credit Score to Rent a Flat


Typically, applicants for a flat rental need to have a “good” credit rating to be considered a potential tenant in the rental application process. Each of the major credit reporting agencies uses a range of scores to describe your credit health. But the most common terms are - low, fair, reasonable, perfect, and exceptional. Still, your credit health can be described and rated differently by each agency.


More so, you will not find any stable cut-offs indicating the difference between one rating to another. For instance, the difference between a “big” and “excellent” rating is hard to determine using a single measure. Fortunately, there is a widely utilized scale to check these ranges. A Poor rating typically goes from 300 to 579, Fair is 580 to 669, Good is at 670 to 739, Very Good is 740 to 799, and Exceptional is from 800 to 850.


Most landlords check for a “Good” credit rating for renting a flat, and the minimum that they require is 650. This number can still vary depending on the market. If the location is a busy metropolis, you might need a higher credit rating and income to present to your future landlord.


You can check your credit scores first before applying for a flat rental. It will help you prepare and address any issues that might come up during the process. Additionally, landlords have free rein on which credit reporting agency to source out your scores. It can differ significantly from one agency to another. It can help if you know which agency the landlord uses to verify your scores first.


Is it Possible to Rent An Flat on a Low Credit Score?

credit score


Not everyone has a good or better credit rating. Everyone has a unique financial situation, and the credit scores typically reflect this. People who are still building their credit or those still recovering from bankruptcy might have a low credit score. But don’t worry, even if you have a lower than 650 credit score, you might still qualify and be approved to rent your dream flat. However, you need some additional effort for it to happen. Here are some tips for you when you have a low credit score, and you want to rent a flat.


Be Honest About Your Scores


Don’t try to hide it if your credit scores are low. Property managers and landlords perform extensive screening processes on applicants, and it will include checking on your credit records. If you can, bring it up during the interview with your landlord before they perform the checks, it might give you a chance to win your dream flat.


Inform Potential Landlords of Your Financial Situation


Each individual has a unique financial status, and when you know your scores, you know where the issues are. You can explain to your potential landlord the reason why your scores are low. It will be significantly beneficial for applicants with low scores due to some mistakes in the past.  


Be Prepared


Apart from knowing more about your credit flaws, you should also provide proof to drive your point. Present some paperwork to show your employment and proof of income. You may also include bank statements and payslips to show that you are now in a better position financially.


Offer Higher Security Deposit


If it is really your dream flat and you can afford it, you can offer to pay a higher security deposit. Renting out a property has many risks, and landlords are even more prone to threats when they rent out a property to renters with below 650 credit rating. By offering higher security, you mitigate their perception that you are a high-risk applicant. Likewise, make sure to pay rents on time and respect the property.

When searching for the perfect flat, you’ll find various options available. But to find one that hits it up with all your requirements is a fantastic opportunity. Make sure you are ready for the screening process with your landlord. The ideal credit score falls at a minimum of 650. The higher the rating, the better your chances of getting approved. But don’t stress out if you have lower scores. You can take some steps to ensure you are considered a future tenant in your dream flat.