Renting an apartment with bad credit in Chicago

 

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Originally posted on October 26, 2010

The challenging economy has adversely affected millions of people's credit and prevented them from getting financed for homes, cars and other essentials. But how do credit problems effect people looking to rent apartments in Chicago? While many landlords and management companies have strict approval guidelines, there is a growing number of apartment owners that may be flexible in certain cases. Applications are generally approved or denied based on credit, employment and rental history. Thus, if you are strong in at least two of the criteria, your application has a chance.  The following are some good tips on how to get your application approved even when it is less than perfect.

- Know your credit score. It is easier to be pro-active in the process when you know what you are working with. If you have a low score, try and provide a documented explanation or status. Even a judgment may not look as serious when accompanied by a "Paid in Full" letter.

- Make sure the rent is within your budget. Most landlords require that the rent not exceed 30% of your gross monthly income. Pay stubs or tax records are the best source of documentation.

- Get letters of reference from past landlords. Many landlords consider on-time rent payments the most important of all the criteria.

- If your application is rejected you can offer to pay an extra security deposit, pre-pay the rent or get a co-signer. Requesting a meeting with the owner to plead your case is another last minute option but this last ditch effort typically works better with private owners.

Overall, be up front with your credit issues and contact a leasing professional at The Apartment People who know which landlords and management companies have more flexibility.

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