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    How to find an apartment in New York City with bad credit

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    How to find an apartment in New York City with bad credit

    Cratering your credit can happen to anyone. It’s actually incredibly easy to do it. Fall behind on student loan or your credit card repayments and you’re there. Even something misfortunate like a health crisis can leave you with a hefty medical bill. Sometimes that’s enough to send your score plummeting. And we all know how hard it is to find an apartment in New York City with bad credit. Most landlords would like to see the scores of 700 and above. And of course, the higher the score is the higher your chances of scoring an apartment are.

    So, with bad credit, the stakes are high. However, there are some things you can do to make up your chances and maybe even speed up your family relocation in NYC. Here’s what you can do to encourage the landlords to see a little further than numbers and hand you over the keys.¬†

    Check if you can boost your credit ahead of time

    If you know that you’ll be moving to the Big Apple in the near future, check your credit. Do this before you even start thinking about how to organize your NYC relocation. If something’s dragging your score down, find out what that is. Know that requesting your score report won’t harm it further down the line, so you can feel free to do this.

    If there’s more than one thing that’s damaging your score and you don’t know which one to tackle first, think about using a credit repair service. It’s better to invest some cash in credit repair than to pay a larger security deposit. And that is what professionals think. Of course, none of this can be done over the night, so be sure to give yourself at least a month or two to work on improving your score.

    A man holding a credit card in front of computer thinking about how to find an apartment in New York City with bad credit.

    If you want to find an apartment in New York City with bad credit, you may have to stop shopping for a while.

    Find a good broker, he can advocate for you

    While preparing for this article, we’ve talked to some brokers on the subject, and what they told us was interesting. It seems that their role is a little misunderstood. It turns out that they are the people that are best suited to help you to find an apartment in New York City with bad credit.

    A good broker will make an effort to advocate for you to landlords, and you’ll be surprised how long way this can go. If you inform them about everything as soon as you find the right match, you’ll be able to settle down in your new neighborhood in no time.

    Get references from anywhere you can

    One more thing you can do to boost your chances of scoring the desired apartment in NYC with bad credit is to get reference letters from previous landlords. Those should confirm that despite your current credit situation you have always paid your rent in time and in full. Landlords trust each other and can give each other a good perspective. So, this can be a good trick even if you’re doing something like moving¬†from CA to New York.

    Also, if you have a good employment history you can use that too. Get references from your employers. Or simply write a cover letter and honestly describe the situation that you’re in. Let them know your history of renting in NYC. Also, note the financial information from which you can benefit. All the information that you give can boost your prospects as a renter. And sometimes, all that is needed is the right landlord.

    Man writing on a piece of paper.

    Get references from your previous landlords, and write a personal cover letter to boost your chances.

    Show that you have multiple income sources

    Now, this always depends, but our professionals from tell us that some landlords are willing to look past a low credit score if you can prove that you have a solid financial background in other respects. That can be via an IRA, royalties, investments that you did, or simply with a bank account in another country.

    The last one applies especially if you’re moving into the U.S. from another country. This way, you won’t even have any credit at all. And sometimes, it’s even better to have no credit than a bad one. So if you’re coming from a land that is far far away, you don’t have to worry. Landlords will usually gladly take international renters.

    Take timing, neighborhood, and building type into consideration

    If you didn’t know it, winter is the time when the pace of New York’s real estate market slows down. If you can postpone your move for that period, it may be a good decision. Owners are a little bit more giving about who they approve during these months. This is happening because, during the summer, they have applications flying over their desks, so when the lull comes they are much more forgiving. No one wants an apartment to sit vacant when we’re heading into the holidays.

    Another thing that you must consider when trying to find an apartment in New York City with bad credit is the area that you’re looking in. Many people nowadays are moving to Harlem for its charm and affordability. While there are some neighborhoods that are perpetually in demand, so the competition among renters is vicious. The typical examples of those are Soho and West Village. So, if you have a credit score lower than 700, you’re going to need lots of luck to find an apartment here.

    Additionally, even some types of buildings are going to be less flexible than others. Know that for instance, renting in co-op may be a no-go if you have bad credit. Especially if there’s a board approval involved. So, just stick to rental buildings.

    Bridge in Harlem.

    Investigate a little around Harlem and Brooklyn if you want to find more flexible landlords.

    Pay up

    So, if everything else fails, there’s still one thing you can do to find an apartment in New York City with bad credit. And that is to pay up. Some landlords will want a security deposit in value of month’s rent, while others will demand at least six months upfront. This will depend on the state of your credit, the apartment itself, and of course, the location of the building. Sometimes even on the landlord. So, arm yourself with patience and lucky charms and start your apartment hunt. Good luck.

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