Do you have bad credit, evictions, or both? It doesn’t matter if you’ve been blacklisted by a landlord before. You can still rent a house with bad credit and evictions. This article will give you the rundown of how to find properties in your area that are available for renting, what to do when landlords ask about bad credit and evictions, and much more!
What Is Bad Credit and How Does It Impact You From Renting ?
A bad credit score is any credit score lower than a 650 FICO Score. If you have bad credit or a past eviction on your record it can make renting a house difficult. Bad credit can be the result of:
- Late Payments
- Missed Payments
- Not Paying Medical Bills
- Not Paying Student Loans
- Maxing Out Credit Cards
- Court Judgments
- Collection Accounts
- Charged Off Accounts
All of these actions can leave you with a low credit score and a bad credit history making it difficult for you to get loans and even rent a house.
Related: Can Creditors Remove Late Payments From Credit Report?
How Does An Eviction Affect Your Credit?
An eviction is when a landlord issues you an eviction notice, requiring the tenant to leave the property within a certain amount of time. This eviction could happen due to breach of lease agreement, landlord decides to take the rental off the market, the landlord decides to move in, or health and safety violations.
An eviction record will not show up on your credit report but can show up as:
- Collections for unpaid rent if your former landlord contacted a collection agency
- Court judgements if your former landlord has sued you for unpaid debt and wins. Once this happens a court judgement will be issued and it takes 30-60 days to appear on your credit report.
When these negative items show up on your credit report it can be extremely difficult to pass a background check by the landlord. To avoid any issues try to find a landlord or property managers that don’t require background checks.
How Does A Landlord Complete A Background Check?
A landlord will start a screening process of a tenant called a background check. This is a standard process that most landlords will do to reduce the risk of renting to a wrong tenant.
The background check most landlords run will include:
- Credit Reports from all three major credit bureaus
- Previous Evictions
- Criminal Activity
- Proof of Income
The most used background check by landlords is through TransUnion SmartMove.
SmartMove uses a ResidentScore and predicts rental eviction risk 15% better than traditional credit scores. It also has one the largest eviction databases subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
When your landlord sends you an application to fill our a background check you might need to include:
- Your personal information
- Show proof of income (bank statements or W2)
- State if you have a bank account
- Pay any application fees
- State your current monthly rent
Related: Best Rental Credit Checks For Tenants & Landlords: The Complete Guide
Can You Rent A House With Credit or Background Check?
Yes, you can still rent a house with no credit check. Sometimes landlords just need to fill their rentals as they lose money the longer they sit vacant and might decide to pass on running a credit check or background check.
In order to help your chances of not requesting a credit check you can follow these 5 tips on renting a home with a bad credit score.
Related: How To Rent A Car Without A Credit Card
5 Tips On Renting A Home With A Bad Credit Score
- Check Your Credit Report – Before you apply to rent a home you should know what is on your credit report and what your credit score is. Learn how you can get your free credit report here.
- Be Upfront With The Landlord – Landlords like honesty and responsibility when looking at tenants. If you have a bad credit score explain why you have a bad credit score, such as job loss or medical emergency for example, when you apply and how you are working on repairing it. The more upfront and honest you are the better chances they might take a chance on you.
- Use Your Rental History – If you have a good track record of making on-time rent payments show your receipts and payment history to the new landlord. Also include reference letters from your former landlord or employer.
- Pay A Higher Deposit – Offer to pay a higher security deposit before you move in. You can also offer to pay rent in advance to sweeten the offer. Also offer to make automatic payments to avoid missing rent.
- Get A Cosigner Or Roommate – Having someone live with you that has an excellent credit score can greatly increase the odds of renting a house when you have a bad credit score. As long as one person on the application has a great credit score, landlords might over look the other person with a poor credit score. Consider asking a friend or family member for help.
Related: How Can I Report My Rent Payments To Credit Bureaus
How To Find Rentals With Bad Credit?
Just because you have bad credit doesn’t mean you can’t find a great house or apartment. There are plenty of options you can choose from and specialists you can go to for help. Here are a few things you can do to increase your chances of finding a rental property when you have bad credit:
Rent Reporting Services
Try using a rent reporting service like RentReporters which will help landlords see that you have been making on-time rent payments even if you have bad credit.
Search Online For Rental Homes
Online real estate websites such as Zillow, Realtor and Apartments.com can help narrow down your search for rentals. You can find single family homes, 2-3 bedroom apartments, and one bedroom apartments to rent. Make sure to read the descriptions to see if the rental requires a credit check or anyone can apply.
Talk To A Real Estate Agent
Some real estate agents also help tenants find rentals that match their needs. Real estate agents have connections to property managers, large apartment complexes and sellers so they can help find you a place that you can rent with bad credit.
Second Chance Apartments
Many cities across the United States offer second chance apartments. These are properties where bad credit and evictions don’t stop applicants from renting a house to live in. Residents of these buildings must be drug free, have good work history and references as well as take care of their rental property. You can find second chance apartments by googling it within your city or check secondchanceapartments.com
Related: 16 Best Rent Reporting Services To Increase Your Credit Score
How To Rent A House With A Past Eviction?
Finding a place to rent after you have been evicted can be a challenging process. Most landlords and property managers will require background checks and tenant screening reports to determine if they should risk the tenant living in their home. A prior eviction can be a red flag to a landlord and if you couldn’t get your eviction expunged from your public record you can still rent by:
- Increase your credit score. Landlords like responsible tenants so if you have a good credit score, and good income to cover the cost of the rent they might ignore the eviction.
- Write a letter. Have a letter ready to send to a new landlord or property manager explaining the eviction honestly. Share how you will take the steps to keep a good rental history.
- Ask for references from previous landlords, before the eviction, and your employers who will share your character and responsibility.
- Share your employment background, bank statements and proof of income to the landlords to show your true character and that you are more than just an eviction. Only show this if you have a good employment background as landlords like stability.
Related: The Easiest Ways To Increase Your Credit Score
How To Get An Eviction Removed From My Record?
Removing an eviction from your record can be difficult and may not always work for everyone but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Here are a few things you can do to help get an eviction removed from your record:
- Talk to your landlord and come to an agreement about any unpaid rent for a notarized statement about the agreement. Paying the debt, in full or partial can help clear will make both you and landlord feel better about the situation. You can start to remove the eviction and your landlord gets some or all of the money they are owed.
- Have your landlord or property manager remove any collection activity relating to the eviction from your credit report. Make sure you have everything in writing and proof of the paid debt before you dispute the collection.
- Ask to have the eviction removed from tenant-screening reports and background checks. Make sure you get this agreement in writing for proof.
- Collect and prepare documents to have the eviction expunged from public records. The documents you might need include: notarized statement from landlord agreeing to debt, your credit report, bank statements, a credit dispute letter, and any other documents with relevant information.
- Go to the court and have them expunge your eviction record. You can win the case by including any evidence you have of inaccurate information, agreements with your landlord or legality of the eviction. Make sure to brush up on tenants laws to make sure the eviction was done legally.
- Contact the major credit bureaus to dispute any of the eviction relating information from your credit report including any debts or collections.
Related: How To Dispute Your Credit Report Information
If you choose to fix your credit on your own you can access the best credit repair software for removing collections and inquiries here
How Many Points Does An Eviction Drop Your Credit Score?
Evictions are not reported on your credit report so having an eviction will not lower your credit score. However, collections, unpaid debt and judgements related to your eviction is reported to your credit report and can lower your credit score. While every credit situation is different for anyone, eviction related costs can lower your credit score by 50 points.
The unpaid debt and collections is what can really lower someone’s credit score. The FICO Score, which is the most used credit score by lenders, calculates their credit score as on-time payments making up 35% of your score. Having collections and any unpaid debts can really hurt your credit score.
Related: How To Deal With Creditors When You Can’t Pay Your Bills
How Long Do Evictions Stay On Your Public Record?
Evictions can stay on your public record for seven years. While evictions don’t show up on your credit report it will show up each time you have a background check and tenant screening reports. This is negatively impact you whenever you apply for a job that requires background checks, apply for housing and hurt your chances of getting loans due to any unpaid debt you have.
Related: What Does Consumer Disputes After Resolution Mean On A Credit Report
How To Get A Good Credit Score
There are several ways you can turn a poor credit score into a good credit score. The main areas to work on to increase your credit score include:
- Make Payments On-Time. Set automatic payments so you never miss payments and sign up for rent reporting services to report your on time monthly rent payments.
- Keep Debts Low– Try to utilize 30% or less of your available credit limit. If you have a lot of debt work on paying it off or consolidate your date with a loan.
- Open New Credit Accounts – if you haven’t applied for a new credit card in the past 6 months apply for a new card to increase your available credit limit. You can also open a 0% interest balance transfer credit card to pay down your debt too.
- Apply For A Mix Of Credit– Your credit increase when you have a history of credit cards or revolving credit like auto loans, students loans, or mortgages. This shows you can handle different kinds of debts.
- Keep Tradelines Open – Never close down tradelines such as credit cards. When you close a credit card you will lose the credit history from the time you opened the credit card and lower your available credit limit.
Related: How To Increase Credit Limit Wells Fargo
Having bad credit and evictions on your record can make it difficult trying to find a rental but it’s not impossible. Try finding rentals that don’t require tenant screening, or find second chance apartments. Talk to your landlord and come to an agreement to work out the unpaid rent and clear the eviction from your public records. Dispute any collections that still remain on your credit report after you handle the eviction or the eviction will remain on your public record for seven years or more. Try to avoid a eviction at all costs or it might cost you more money in the long run.