How To Qualify For An Apartment With Bad Credit


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.

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Patriarchy Stress Disorder is A Real Thing and this Psychologist Is Helping Women Overcome It

For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.

As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.

Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.

What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein

This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.

Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.

While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.

"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.

Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.

In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.

"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."