When you are trying to rent a home, bad credit can easily get in your way. Rental companies almost always check your credit, and when they find bad credit you are often shot down without anything else being considered. Even if you have a solid rental history, bad credit can prevent you from renting many homes. Fortunately there are some things you can do to improve your chances even with bad credit. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Before you ever start hunting for rental homes, do what you can to clean up your credit rating. Some bad credit is better than tons of bad credit and the more you have the worse off you will be. Even eliminating one or two things on your credit report can make a huge difference to rental companies. Sometimes you will even find false or wrong information on a credit report that is easily removed. Just taking a moment to investigate your credit report can make a huge difference in your search for a rental home.


When you first start looking, don’t be afraid to try to rent from the rental companies. Many of them are in the same tough economy and circumstances that the rest of us are and they might just give you a break. Some will require more deposit money or other such things, but they will often work with folks if they have some reasons to think they are good renters. Put yourself and your family in the best light possible while still being honest.

If you have tons of problems with rental companies, start looking for rental homes and signs that are being rented by individuals. These are usually handwritten signs and obvious because they have no rental company attached. These types of renters are often much more flexible and will be willing to work with folks. They might still check your credit, but at least you will be standing in front of the person that will make the decision.

Once you get to meet the folks that own the property, come ready to pay the deposit. This will impress them a great deal and will give them the natural urge to take the money. The bottom line is, if you have money in hand then you have a much better chance of getting in right away. Bring money with you just in case you really like the property. If you don’t it is easy enough to keep the money in your pocket.

If individual renters ask to run a credit report, let them know upfront that there might be problems. If you are honest and upfront with them and explain the situation, then most renters will at least consider taking you on as a renter. If you lie and paint yourself into something you are not, you will likely be turned down flat.

Finally, always come dressed decent and bring your family along to see the home. The renters should see the people they are renting to. By coming in with respect, you will have an advantage right out of the gate. Showing you cared enough to shave and put on a shirt will go a long ways towards winning them over.