You’ve found your dream apartment, and you envision all the things you are going to fill it with to make it your salvation and the place you come home to after a long day of work. You find yourself skimming through magazines and scouting ideas on aesthetics from the wall hangings and furniture, right down to the curtains and bedding. But, there’s one thing keeping you from landing that apartment; your credit isn’t exactly stellar. Whatever the reason may be as to why your credit isn’t up to par, there are ways you can work around it, however, you may have to take a step down from the ultimate dream apartment to one that works within your current credit situation.
Here are four ways to land an apartment with bad credit as you work on getting your credit back on track for the future.
1. Find a co-signer
If you are considered unqualified for a rental, you could enlist the help of a co-signer. A co-signer will agree to pay any outstanding rent should you fail to make payments. Having a co-signer may provide a landlord with financial reassurance. However, your co-signer will have a serious responsibility as well as take on a financial burden should you default. It’s important for both you and your co-signer to be able to afford the rent on the apartment. Have a detailed conversation with your co-signer before you both sign the lease. Another option would be to find a roommate that has good credit.
A roommate with good credit can be a better alternative as you can split the rent expense and put extra money away or towards paying outstanding debt, which in turn will help repair your credit. Once your lease is up, you may be in a better position credit-wise to get a place on your own and not have to worry about a co-signer or a roommate.
2. Offer a larger deposit
Tenants with bad credit pose a risk for landlords. Try offering a larger deposit to secure yourself in obtaining the apartment if you have the means to do so. By paying a few months’ rent in advance, the landlord may consider having you as a tenant and ease any doubts about you being financially negligent in paying your rent. Keep in mind that rental deposits are capped in some states, so find out what how much you can pay up front in your area.
By paying a few months’ rent in advance, the landlord may consider having you as a tenant
3. Find an Independent Property Owner
If your bad credit is keeping you from getting an apartment, you may have a better chance of landing an apartment with an independent owner as opposed to a property management company. Private owners may be more willing to work with someone who has poor credit, however, make sure you do your homework to safeguard against any issues with the property. Finding reviews of independent owners could be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Before signing a lease with an independent landlord, you can check public records that can reveal a host of information from foreclosures to lawsuits brought about by previous tenants. If there are multiple units on the property, talk to the current tenants about their experiences living there.
It’s best to wait if you can until you rebuild your credit and raise your credit score. Photo Courtesy of Kingston Apartments
4. Get letters of Recommendation
A letter of recommendation could be a good way to prove you will be a responsible tenant. If you left your previous apartment on good terms and were prompt with your rent payments each month, ask your former landlord to give you a recommendation. You can also ask your current employer for a letter verifying your income as well as attest that you are a responsible employee.
Showing that you have cash flow enabling you to manage monthly rent payments and a description of your good character could be the deciding factor to get the apartment if the landlord was initially on the fence.
While you may want to get into that new apartment sooner than later, it’s best to wait if you can until you rebuild your credit and raise your credit score. If you choose to wait, take this period of recovery to set a budget and stick to it, make your loan and credit card payments on time, and try not to use your credit cards or apply for any new lines of credit to keep your credit utilization low. Once you are back on track, you’ll find you will have better apartment options that suit your needs.
Women in the workplace have always experienced a certain degree of discrimination from male colleagues, and according to new studies, it appears that it is becoming even more difficult for women to get acclimated to modern day work environments, in wake of the #MeToo Movement.
In a recent study conducted by LeanIn.org, in partnership with SurveyMonkey, 60% of male managers confessed to feeling uncomfortable engaging in social situations with women in and outside of the workplace. This includes interactions such as mentorships, meetings, and basic work activities. This statistic comes as a shocking 32% rise from 2018.
What appears the be the crux of the matter is that men are afraid of being accused of sexual harassment. While it is impossible to discredit this fear as incidents of wrongful accusations have taken place, the extent to which it has burgeoned is unacceptable. The #MeToo movement was never a movement against men, but an empowering opportunity for women to speak up about their experiences as victims of sexual harassment. Not only were women supporting one another in sharing to the public that these incidents do occur, and are often swept under the rug, but offered men insight into behaviors and conversations that are typically deemed unwelcomed and unwarranted.
Restricting interaction with women in the workplace is not a solution, but a mere attempt at deflecting from the core issue. Resorting to isolation and exclusion relays the message that if men can't treat women how they want, then they rather not deal with them at all. Educating both men and women on what behaviors are unacceptable while also creating a work environment where men and women are held accountable for their actions would be the ideal scenario. However, the impact of denying women opportunities of mentorship and productive one-on-one meetings hinders growth within their careers and professional networks.
Women, particularly women of color, have always had far fewer opportunities for mentorship which makes it impossible to achieve growth within their careers without them. If women are given limited opportunities to network in and outside of a work environment, then men must limit those opportunities amongst each other, as well. At the most basic level, men should be approaching female colleagues as they would approach their male colleagues. Striving to achieve gender equality within the workplace is essential towards creating a safer environment.
While restricted communication and interaction may diminish the possibility of men being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment, it creates a hostile
environment that perpetuates women-shaming and victim-blaming. Creating distance between men and women only prompts women to believe that male colleagues who avoid them will look away from or entirely discredit sexual harassment they experience from other men in the workplace. This creates an unsafe working environment for both parties where the problem at hand is not solved, but overlooked.
According to LeanIn's study, only 85% of women said they feel safe on the job, a 5% drop from 2018. In the report, Jillesa Gebhardt wrote, "Media coverage that is intended to hold aggressors accountable also seems to create a sense of threat, and people don't seem to feel like aggressors are held accountable." Unfortunately, only 16% of workers believed that harassers holding high positions are held accountable for their actions which inevitably puts victims in difficult, and quite possibly dangerous, situations. 50% of workers also believe that there are more repercussions for the victims than harassers when speaking up.
In a research poll conducted by Edison Research in 2018, 30% of women agreed that their employers did not handle harassment situations properly while 53% percent of men agreed that they did. Often times, male harassers hold a significant amount of power within their careers that gives them a sense of security and freedom to go forward with sexual misconduct. This can be seen in cases such as that of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and R. Kelly. Men in power seemingly have little to no fear that they will face punishment for their actions.
Source-Alex Brandon, AP
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and founder of LeanIn.org., believes that in order for there to be positive changes within work environments, more women should be in higher positions. In an interview with CNBC's Julia Boorstin, Sandberg stated, "you know where the least sexual harassment is? Organizations that have more women in senior leadership roles. And so, we need to mentor women, we need to sponsor women, we need to have one-on-one conversations with them that get them promoted." Fortunately, the number of women in leadership positions are slowly increasing which means the prospect of gender equality and safer work environments are looking up.
Despite these concerning statistics, Sandberg does not believe that movements such as the Times Up and Me Too movements, have been responsible for the hardship women have been experiencing in the workplace. "I don't believe they've had negative implications. I believe they're overwhelmingly positive. Because half of women have been sexually harassed. But the thing is it is not enough. It is really important not to harass anyone. But that's pretty basic. We also need to not be ignored," she stated. While men may be feeling uncomfortable, putting an unrealistic amount of distance between themselves and female coworkers is more harmful to all parties than it is beneficial. Men cannot avoid working with women and vice versa. Creating such a hostile environment is also detrimental to any business as productivity and communication will significantly decrease.
The fear or being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment is a legitimate fear that deserves recognition and understanding. However, restricting interactions with women in the workplace is not a sensible solution as it can have negatively impact a woman's career. Companies are in need of proper training and resources to help both men and women understand what is appropriate workplace behavior. Refraining from physical interactions, commenting on physical appearance, making lewd or sexist jokes and inquiring about personal information are also beneficial steps towards respecting your colleagues' personal space. There is still much work to be done in order to create safe work environments, but with more and more women speaking up and taking on higher positions, women can feel safer and hopefully have less contributions to make to the #MeToo movement.