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How to Get an Apartment With Bad Credit (Yes, It’s Possible)

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The time has come to upgrade your space. Too bad you got dinged a couple of times on your credit report for bills left unpaid. (Hey, it happens!) But does that mean you’re out of luck when it comes to locking in that new lease? Not necessarily. We checked in with a credit expert, but also someone at a property management firm to find out exactly how to get an apartment with bad credit. Trust us, it’s a lot less daunting than you think.

Before You Apply, Do Your Homework So You Know Where You Stand

Bad credit, no credit—there are still ways you can get approved for a lease. But before you get to the point when you’re filling out a rental application, you should have a sense of where you stand so you know what to expect when your future landlord goes to run a credit check. Free sites like Credit Karma or Lending Tree make it a breeze to quickly generate a report. Using one ahead of submitting an application for a rental also gives you an opportunity to clear up any discrepancies—or, worse, inaccuracies—that may be the reason your score took a hit. (That $50 copay that went unpaid four years ago because you moved and never got the bill? The time to look into that is now.)

More importantly, getting up to speed on your credit score before your landlord asks for it puts you on the offense instead of the defense. In other words, it positions you to explain the low number right when you submit your application versus defending it after the fact. (More on this later.)

How to Get an Apartment with Bad Credit

1. Submit Your Application with References

To a future landlord, a stellar rental history can carry more weight than a perfect credit report for a number of reasons. For one thing, a recent reference proves that you know how to be a good tenant (no raging parties, no excessive damage), but also that you always paid the rent in full and on time. To provide a reference, simply include the contact info of your most recent landlord with your application. (Bonus points if you submit a letter that spells out your amazing track record, too.)

If this is a first apartment, there are still work-arounds. Get a reference from an employer or a colleague, even a teacher—someone who can vouch that you are a reliable and dependable person.

2. Show Your Cell Phone and Utilities Payment History

Per Colleen McCreary, Chief People Officer and financial advocate at Credit Karma, showing your future landlord your cell phone and utility payment history can help offset a bad credit report. “The goal is to show other places where you make regular payments on time without late fees,” McCreary explains.

3. Provide a Recent Bank Statement

Even though your credit is sub-par, you can prove you’re good to make payments on time by showing a recent bank statement as evidence that you have a strong financial cushion. This could be a checking account, a savings account or both. Ideally, you can demonstrate to a future landlord that you have several months’ worth of rent payments set aside and ready to access in the bank.

4. Offer to Pay More Upfront

What better proof that you’re good for the rent than to pay for multiple months up front? Hey, you have it in your savings designated for this anyway. Typically, first and last month’s rent, plus a security deposit is required. Up the ante—and show you’re good for the rent—by paying an extra month or two ahead of schedule.

5. Submit a Solid Letter of Employment

Yes, this is similar to a reference, but a letter of employment not only speaks to your character, but it includes your current salary. (This is meaningful to a future landlord because if you’re getting paid, the odds are good that they’ll get paid, too.) In many cases, landlords require that your salary is 40 times the monthly rent. If you’re moving in with a roommate or partner, your combined income should be 40 times the rent amount.

6. Get a Co-Signer or Roommate with Better Credit

Last resort: You can offset a bad credit report by getting a cosigner or roommate that has a better credit report. This gives you time to improve your credit score and build a solid rental history at the same time. Just remember with a co-signer, they’re on the hook to pay rent should you miss a payment, so you want to be certain they understand the terms of the agreement before they sign on the dotted line.

How to Explain a Bad Credit Report

As discussed above, you should know your credit score—good or bad—before you submit an application for a rental. That way, you can be upfront about where you stand with your credit before your future landlord runs a credit check themselves. “Don’t wait for the report to come back to set expectations with the landlord,” says McCreary. “Share how you’re proactively working to improve your credit so they know you have a plan.”

Some examples: Say, you’re a recent college graduate and you’re still working to build your credit, you can let your landlord know that. Or if you have a few dings on your credit report, but you have a plan to tackle those and improve your score, share that info, too, so they know you’re working hard to reach a better standing.

“Having a candid conversation early on in the process may help build trust between the two of you early on and prove you aren’t trying to hide a bad score,” McCreary adds.

Another reason to volunteer this info? The reason for your bad credit matters a lot to a landlord. “A bad credit score can hurt any application, but we really have to look at all the components of a credit report to best understand the overall score,” says Joyce Iskander, who works at a real estate development and management firm. “What is most important to us is the general trend of payment activity in the last two to five years. If an applicant was late in college debt payments more than five years ago, but has demonstrated a solid financial standing ever since, then we tend to be more forgiving.”

RELATED: I Bumped My Credit Score from 590 to 815…Here’s How

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ASK THE MONEY LADY: What you need to know about protecting your credit score | Regional-Lifestyles | Lifestyles

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Dear Greg,

Most people never want to share their social insurance number for fear of a hit to their credit bureau, but unfortunately, you may find it a necessity when asked by your lender, who now needs to ensure identity due to increased consumer fraud.

If you apply for credit at a bank, open a bank account or finance a vehicle, chances are you will need to disclose your social insurance number (SIN).

Many people still believe that they should never agree to an inquiry or give out their SIN number too many times to obtain credit. They think their credit will either become damaged or their credit bureau rating and score will go down. This is sometimes not true – so to help you out, Greg, I’m going to dispel all the myths and also let you know what the banks are looking for.

There are two major credit bureau companies that all financial institutions and merchants use today. They are Equifax and TransCanada Union – agencies that rank and provide an overall score to each person who uses credit.

The system for measuring hits to your credit score is indeed intuitive, meaning it measures and evaluates the type of merchant and inquiry. So, it knows if you are shopping around. If you have several inquiries from different banks because you are rate shopping for a mortgage, you will usually not see any decline in your score, (however, these inquiries must be contained within a 30-day period).

It’s the same thing when you are shopping for a vehicle – multiple hits to your credit bureau from car dealers will not alter the score if contained within 30 days.

But, on the other hand, if you are truly shopping and going to different stores, applying for multiple credit cards, personal and retail loans, or buying items on deferred payment plans, then yes, this will drop your score regardless of the 30-day limit.

Protect your credit

First and foremost, you want to protect your credit. This is the foundation of all lending and is the only way for lenders to judge your creditworthiness for the future. If you always pay your bills on time and have never declared bankruptcy, chances are you will have good credit.

But if you are the opposite, and your credit score is too low, you may find it very difficult to get future credit. Your credit bureau score can range from 300 to 900.

As a general guideline, banks and A-Lenders are looking for clients with scores above 680 and will generally automatically decline applications with scores under 600. Credit card companies are a little more lenient and will go down as low as 530, with auto declines for scores under 500.

Here are some tips to improve your credit and maintain a good rating:

1. Pay your bills two to three days before they are due. Paying them on the due date (especially through online banking) will make you one to two days late. This is recorded on your credit bureau and will definitely lower your score without you knowing it.

2. Do not carry balances on credit cards or personal loans month over month. This means your credit is revolving and will automatically drop your score.

3. Resist the urge to have a lot of open credit cards, even if they have zero balances.

4. You must have some credit. If you had previous bad credit and now are just using cash, you are essentially handcuffing your future. Without re-establishing good credit, the banks will decline you every time.

5. Property taxes and support payments in arrears can also drop your score once they are reported.

6. Mortgage and vehicle payments in arrears once reported (which usually happens after 60 days), are a major hit to your score. Please try to avoid this.

I have heard in the past that some merchants or banks do soft hits to your credit. Please do not get fooled by this. There is no such thing as a “soft hit” or a “hard hit” to your credit bureau. If they have your verbal consent, (even if they don’t have your SIN number) when they adjudicate a consumer credit request, they will hit your credit and it will adjust your score.

Good luck and best wishes,

Christine Ibbotson


Written by Christine Ibbotson, author of four finance books, including the Canadian best-selling book, “How to Retire Debt-Free & Wealthy.” Go to www.askthemoneylady.ca or send a question to i[email protected]

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Bad Credit Credit Cards – Bad Credit Credit Cards – ‘My refund has been sent to a credit card that I cancelled’ – your rights to lost money | Fintech Zoom | Fintech Zoom

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Bad Credit Credit Cards – Bad Credit Credit Cards – ‘My refund has been sent to a credit card that I cancelled’ – your rights to lost money | Fintech Zoom

Bad Credit Credit Cards – ‘My refund has been sent to a credit card that I cancelled’ – your rights to lost money

Thanks to Covid, traders have been processing significant numbers of refunds due to events, such as holidays and weddings, being cancelled.

In many cases, these refunds have been sent back to the credit cards used to pay for the purchase – but this has caused a new problem to emerge in relation to card purchases.

When a trader provides a refund, it usually goes back via the same method as the original payment. So if you pay by credit card, the refund is sent back to that card.

However, many people have cancelled credit cards during the pandemic and have therefore found they cannot access the cash.

So what happens to your refund?

Will I get my money back?



If you’ve cancelled the card, the money will be sent to a holding account

The good news is that your refund is safe, as the money will simply be put into a holding ­account by the card provider.

The bad news is that it can take a long time to retrieve the money.

My advice, if you’re waiting for a refund for goods or services you paid for with a card you have now cancelled, tell the trader immediately and ask for the refund to be paid via an alternative method.

Get the latest money advice, news and help straight to your inbox – sign up at mirror.co.uk/email

Positive balance credit card accounts

When a refund is processed back to a card, it can create a positive balance on your account – usually when you have already paid the most recent card bill.

This potentially presents issues as credit cards are not designed to ‘hold’ money in the same way as a current or savings account.

For this reason, consumers are not encouraged to hold positive balances on a credit card.

If your card has a positive balance and you are likely to use it again soon, your next purchases will rectify the situation.

But if you are not planning to use your credit card again in the short-term, ask the card company to transfer the surplus to your ­current account. Do not withdraw the money via an ATM as this may attract fees.

Credit card cash withdrawals

Financial experts warn that you should not get money out from a credit card as it can have a major impact on your credit rating.

This is because there is a very high interest rate attached to withdrawals and companies will flag any withdrawals up, impacting a customer’s credit file.

Bad Credit Credit Cards – ‘My refund has been sent to a credit card that I cancelled’ – your rights to lost money

Bad Credit Credit Cards – Bad Credit Credit Cards – ‘My refund has been sent to a credit card that I cancelled’ – your rights to lost money | Fintech Zoom

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Workout My Credit Solutions Rises as an Authority in Credit Repair and Financial Education

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Quality of life is impacted by numerous factors, and one of its most significant determinants is a person’s financial health. For the most part, financial stability involves the ability to provide for themselves or their family members without putting a significant dent in their wallets. As a concept, financial stability as well as financial freedom is easy to understand but achieving and maintaining it is a whole new story. Today, millions of individuals around the world are struggling with money issues, some of which are caused by the outbreak of COVID-19. However, there are those contending with bad credit, in particular, as a result of ill-informed decisions, mismanagement, and more. Widely acclaimed for the extent to which it helps clients get their credit into shape, Workout My Credit Solutions, LLC has emerged as a go-to venture that is currently making waves in the industry.

Also Read | Top 9 Upcoming Credit Repair Companies

This emerging powerhouse was launched by Nicole Fisher, a 25-year-old serial entrepreneur who has earned recognition for her all-out attitude toward lending people a hand through her initiatives. Highly cognizant of the impact of bad credit on one’s financial health, she started Workout My Credit Solutions in May 2020 and, since then, has been making it possible for clients to get approved for credit cards, mortgage loans, and auto loans, to name a few.

In just a year, the credit repair company has seen impressive growth, reaching remarkable heights due to its consistent delivery of top-notch services. Apart from restoring one’s credit into its former glory, Workout My Credit Solutions also delivers financial education because it believes in the importance of equipping clients with the knowledge they need to handle their money better. It acknowledges the existing gaps in the current educational system where ample attention is not given to arming people with the skills they need to secure a financially stable future. “Our goal is to help clients understand how credit works while they are in the process of getting it fixed,” shares Nicole Fisher.

Also Read | Top 9 Upcoming Credit Repair Companies

Additionally, Workout My Credit Solutions, under the leadership of Nicole Fisher, enables clients to get pre-approved mortgage loans after having their credit repaired by this five-star company. The additional service is strategically designed and incorporated into its inventory of offerings to translate into reality the dreams of those wishing to own a home.

On track to taking center stage, Workout My Credit Solutions has been on the receiving end of excellent reviews from everyone who has come under its wing. It takes pride in the long list of accomplishments it managed to snag under its belt shortly after its establishment and is set to reach the forefront of the industry in the coming years.

With its dedication to pushing people toward financial freedom, Workout My Credit Solutions is bound to remain an impressive force. As it carves a path toward the summit, it plans to continue serving as a leading authority in credit repair and financial education.

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