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Trying to rent in New York? Double check your credit score.

Finding a perfect apartment in New York is not an easy feat. Once you find that perfect space, the application process begins. But what happens if your credit score is causing difficulty?

What role does your credit score play when trying to rent? When it comes to renting in a tough market like New York, landlords look at more than just an incoming salary and references. It is very common for landlords to also check your credit score. This score can impact your ability to rent a unit, or could have you paying a higher security deposit.

Landlords may also look at the credit check to see how many credit requests were recently made and whether or not you have a history of making timely payments to creditors.

What is a good credit score? The score that each renting agency looks for may vary, but a score below 700 may raise concerns about your ability to pay rent.

What if I have a low credit score? There are proactive steps that can help those with a lower credit score still get the rental property they want. This can include:

  • Finding the right landlord. It can help to avoid larger rental companies. Instead, look for an independent landlord and attempt to discuss the positive attributes you bring as a potential renter.
  • Negotiating the security deposit. If the landlord seems hesitant, consider offering a higher security deposit. This may increase your credibility while reducing the financial risk that the landlord may feel comes with accepting a lower credit score.
  • Offering a full year’s rent. This provides another negotiating tool to mitigate any potential risk that is concerning to the landlord. If you can afford it, offer a full year’s rental payment up front.

These tips provide a proactive way for tenants to move forward with a rental agreement. They may not work with every landlord, of course. Apartment hunting in NYC is always challenging, even under the best circumstances. With some diligence, however, you may well find the apartment that’s right for you.

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