It's no secret that credit plays a role in your ability to rent a house or apartment, and if yours is less than stellar, here's some good news: Your landlord might not care about your credit as much as you think.
According to a 2009 survey by Rent.com, 81 percent of property managers have seen a decline in the creditworthiness or credit score of prospective renters, and due to the shift, 43 three percent of landlords reduced their credit policy standards in order to fill vacancies.
"Given the economic climate, many property managers are still experiencing higher vacancy rates, and some might be willing to bend the rules a bit in order to keep their units occupied," says Peggy Abkemeier, president of Rent.com, an online rental listing company based in Santa Monica, Calif. In fact, the average credit score dropped two points in January 2010 to 669, marking the first time that the average score has dropped below 670 in 12 months, according to the consumer credit site Credit Karma.com, which bases its scores on data from the credit bureau Trans Union.
What landlords are looking for Property managers come up with their own criteria for selecting applicants, and those standards often depend on the local rental market.
"I had to write the apartment manager a letter explaining the situation," she says.