Minimum Credit Score Needed to Rent an Apartment

credit score

Your credit score is becoming one of the most important components of your credit profile This is especially true when it comes to renting your next apartment home. Many management companies that oversee large communities are now using the overall all score as one of the major metrics in the decision process.  Bad credit leads to high interest rates on credit cards, outright denials for loans, and can complicate matters in your life when it comes to getting that much needed credit. That’s why it’s so important to keep your score up. But will your landlord deny your application just because your score is low? Yes they do!

Why Your Apartment Application Got Denied 

Apartment rejection happens. Many times this could be avoided if you just read the requirements mandated by the complex. But who really reads the terms and conditions in any agreement anymore. 

Typical denial arises from broken leases and evictions. But now your Credit Score could be the cause. One reason is that it’s very easy for your landlord to check out your score online. And it’s very cheap to do so. 

A low score can also make it problematic for you to get a home loan as well. Lower scores usually equate to higher interest rates. That means you have to make more money to purchase a house compared to someone who has a higher score.  

But you can also check your score online too. Rather than playing a guessing game, you can see where your problems are coming from. This can certainly give you a head start in rectifying issues. 

According to Credit Karma, here are a list of common items that cause a drop in your score. 

  • Missed credit card payments 
  • Charge-offs
  • High debts
  • Bankruptcies 
  • Tax liens
  • Hard pulls

Correcting these are another matter. But preventing these from happening in the first place certainly will help you keep your report blemish free.  Before you apply, ask your future landlord if they have a minimum acceptable credit score. 

The Screening Process

The application process is a thorough one. The management company is going to check everything about you. They want to make sure you are who you say you are. Here are the documents you will need for them to begin the process. 

  • Social Security Number
  • Check stubs or Bank Account information 
  • List of previous apartments or landlords 
  • Even professional references are sometimes requested
  • Your driver’s license 

Many times you can find out the results of your apartment application in a day. In other situations, it can be longer. 

If you owe another community money, chances are extremely high that you will get denied. So before you apply, you want to take care of these items. Here are some of the most common items.

Broken Lease

This means you didn’t fulfill the terms of your apartment lease. You might have left the apartment in the middle of your lease. Track down the management company. Many times you can negotiate a lower payment than you actually owe. Make sure you get a receipt and that it’s in writing. Ask them to contact the credit bureaus with the updated status. 


Technically not a broken lease, sometimes you leave your apartment community in good standing, but you still owe them money. How is this possible? Suppose you damaged your previous apartments in League CIty TX and the security deposit didn’t cover the expense.  You are required to pay to the damages if they exceed normal wear and tear, or are caused by your negligence.

Great rental history and the absence of money owed to another complex, can clear the way for fast approval. 

Other Avenues for Acceptance 

So you have done everything else possible to raise your score, but it is still low. What can you do to acquiesce the landlord’s concerns?  Offer to put down a large down payment. Whether it’s a few months of rent, or you double the security deposit, additional money can certainly go a long way.  

Low credit scores usually come from the inability to make payments. If you can “show them the money” it’s possible you might lower their fears. 

Get a Co-Signer

A cosigner is usually a family member or extremely close friend who will sign on your behalf. Simply put, if you fail to make payments, they will be on the hook. Although they won’t be living in the apartment with you, they are financially responsible for it. 

Quick Note: A co-signer should be someone with a strong credit profile. They will also have to pass qualification based upon the landlord’s requirements. 

Good rental history isn’t enough in many cases in order for your application to become approved. A credit score can tell a lot about a person. So keep your overall debt low, and pay off any previous creditors you might owe money to. 


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