If you are concerned about your credit history, here are some strategies to help you increase your chances of submitting a successful rental application.
- Be Honest – If you know that you have credit issues and that a potential landlord will be running a credit report on you, let them know about your issues before they discover them on their own. This will demonstrate your honesty, and allow you to remain in control of how the information is received by the landlord.
- Explain your Situation – Landlords may be more likely to accept you as a tenant if you can explain how you arrived at your current situation. For example, if you experienced an injury that put you out of work, or had to take care of a family member for an extended period of time, your credit history may speak more to those previous life circumstances, rather than an inability to manage your money in the future.
- Prove Financial Security – Show the landlord that your current situation will allow you to pay your full rent on time. Proof of your financial security may include pay stubs, a letter of employment, confirmation of government benefits, or a statement of the available amount on a line of credit or other loan.
- Prove Reliability – Show the landlord that you can be trusted to pay your full rent on time by providing positive examples of past behaviour. References from previous landlords stating that you always paid your rent on time, a letter from your current employer indicating your ability to meet deadlines, and statements from other people in your life who have experienced your reliability are all good examples.
If you would like help managing your debt, you can access free credit counseling services through the Credit Counseling Society at or www.nomoredebts.org.