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Can I get a Boston apartment with bad credit?  Yes, but it won’t be easy. The good news, because of the pandemic many Boston apartment owners have lowered their standards because of the high vacancy rate.

Finding a Boston Apartment for Rent

Let’s look at what you can do to be approved by a landlord when you don’t have the best credit scores. Hopefully, by the time you are done reading this Boston real estate blog post, you’ll know how to get an apartment when you have bad credit or no credit.

Renting an Apartment Without Rental History

Landlords like to see that you have a history of renting. It gives them confidence that you will be a good tenant for them. References from your previous landlords will show them that you were a good tenant and are less likely to cause problems in the future. 

Boston Real Estate References

If you haven’t rented before, references can still help get the apartment that you want. Character references from a source that the landlord can trust, like an employer or a teacher, should show that you will be a dependable tenant.

Renting a Room from a Friend or Relative

Alternatively, you could begin to build a rental history by renting a room from a friend or family member. You can then get a reference from them when you find a Beacon Hill apartment.

Highlighting Your Salary to Rent an Apartment

If you have a decent income, even without great credit, it can impress the landlord. If you can prove an income that is 30 or 40 times the rent, the landlord may be happy to overlook a poor credit score. You should have pay stubs going back a year, if possible.

Set Aside Savings to Show The Landlord

Another option when renting with bad credit or no credit is to have savings to cover a few months’ rent. If you can show the landlord your bank statements with enough money to pay the rent for many months, they will be more likely to overlook other problems.

With savings set aside to pay the rent, you will be less of a risk to the landlord. It could be enough to overcome a lack of rental history or good credit.

Automatic Rent Payments May Help

If you can set up autopay for apartment rent, it can make the landlord more confident about having you as their tenant. This will mean that the money will be taken out of your account each month, without you needing to do anything.

Write a letter to the landlord explaining why you don’t have good credit.

If the apartment is owned by an individual landlord rather than a management company, you will stand a better chance. An individual landlord has more discretion to change their requirements if they like what you have to say.

If you have worked on the past problems with better budgeting plans and more responsible behavior, let them know.

Paying More Apartment Rent Up Front

When you are renting an apartment with bad credit, you can make the landlord’s decision easier by offering to pay more upfront.  Typically, when renting an apartment, you will need to provide a security deposit, and if you have bad credit, you could offer to pay more. This reduces the landlord’s risk and could change their mind if you don’t otherwise meet all their requirements.

Get Help From a Co-Signer

As a last resort, you may want to get a co-signer when trying to rent an apartment with bad credit. If none of the other options will work, a co-signer may allow you to rent an apartment with bad credit.

It would be best if you had someone with good credit to agree to guarantee to the landlord that the rent will be paid each month. If you don’t pay, it will be the responsibility of the co-signer.

Boston Real Estate and the Bottom Line

Finding a landlord who will rent their apartment or home to you when you have bad credit will not be easy. You can expect to be turned down in a few places before you finally land a rental. By following the rental guidance here, you should be able to increase your odds of being successful.

Boston Apartments for Rent


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