Can you rent an apartment after filing bankruptcy?
The short answer is:
- Yes you can
Bankruptcy doesn’t automatically mean that you won’t be able to rent an apartment.
You can find a new apartment quicker and easier by knowing more about what landlords want from their tenants.
Here’s what you need to know.
Considering Bankruptcy But Worried About Renting Afterwards?
You already know that filing for bankruptcy is life-altering, and can limit the things that you can do financially, for years afterwards.
It can leave you struggling to take out a loan, get a credit card with reasonable interest rates, and much more.
You know that taking out a new mortgage within two years of your bankruptcy will probably be impossible, but you have to live somewhere.
However, help is at hand.
Understanding how to navigate this post-bankruptcy apartment finding process will make it easier for you to have a quality home.
The Credit Check
In many cases landlords will:
- Conduct a credit check when you apply to rent an apartment.
- Be able to see your bankruptcy and past payment records
Your credit check will also show your most recent efforts to pay your bills.
Don’t be alarmed, as most of the time bankruptcy improves your credit because it wipes out or discharges all of the bad debts and collections.
- Landlords are more willing to work with people who have a bankruptcy than they are to work with people how have judgments and collections
This is because people with a bankruptcy have no debt, no judgments and no collections.
Landlords know that people with judgments are likely to get their paychecks garnished, meaning they can’t pay rent.
Getting the Apartment You Need
You need an apartment to stay in, whether you’re just getting back on your feet following bankruptcy proceedings or your bankruptcy is months in your past.
There are several strategies you can use to make it easier to get an apartment after bankruptcy.
Here’s what we recommend.
Be honest about your bankruptcy
Yes, you had to file for bankruptcy and it’s going to show as soon as your potential landlord takes a look at your credit report, so:
- Be honest with your landlord up front and explain your situation
You don’t need to tell the detailed sob story about how debt took over your life, or how you struggled to pay your bills after your significant medical incident.
But, you should be honest about your situation, and explain you’ve turned over a new leaf.
Being honest will increase the odds that a landlord will think you’ll be a good tenant.
Offer a larger security deposit
If your landlord is worried about being able to collect rent from you:
- Offer to pay a larger security deposit up front
Your deposit could comprise 2-3 rent payments.
This will give your landlord peace of mind about your intent to stay, and pay your rent, long-term.
It can also be a better incentive for your landlord, despite your financial history.
Bring in references and your rental history
The fact that you’ve filed for bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily make you a bad tenant.
You steadily paid your rent on time until you hit a run of bad luck, and took excellent care of your previous houses or apartments.
However, don’t expect your new potential landlord to take your word on that.
- Put together a sheet of references, including past landlords
Remember to talk to these individuals beforehand to ensure that they’ll give you the great references you need.
Bring a co-signer along with you
Do you have a parent or a good friend who would be willing to co-sign on your rental application with you?
- A co-signer with great credit can help you significantly
They will mitigate the impact of your poor credit, since this can give landlords increased trust that your rent will be paid, and paid on time.
Do All Apartment Complexes Run Credit Checks?
- No, not every apartment complex will run a credit check before renting to a new applicant
This can sometimes make it easier for you to get an apartment after filing bankruptcy.
Remember, landlords with apartments near colleges and universities are used to renting to individuals without much of a credit history or with few references.
This can make it much easier for you to get the apartment you want without your credit check working against you.
Working with an independent landlord, rather than going through an impersonal agency, can also make it easier for you to build your case, and ensure that your application won’t be automatically turned down.
After bankruptcy, finding an apartment can be a bigger challenge than it was before.
However, you can still find a great apartment that’s just right for you, and one that fits your new budget and plans.
If you’re struggling with the aftermath of bankruptcy or still moving through the process, contact us today at 612-824-4357 to learn how we can help make the process easier, provide clear advice, and ensure that you have what you need to move on with your life.