[W]hether you’re a returning college student ready to move out of the dorms and into an apartment or a recent graduate getting a full-time job, one of the big decisions you will make is where you’ll live. If you’ve never rented an apartment before, the process may be exciting and even a bit overwhelming. Before you start shopping around, there are some things you should know.
Landlords Do Credit Checks
More landlords are getting copies of credit reports to check your credit history before approving you as a tenant. They want to know you’ve been responsible with other bills before they let you move in. For a first-time renter, you may not have a lot of credit or even no history at all.
Some landlords will overlook the lack of credit and approve you anyway. Others will require your parents to co-sign for the apartment and use their credit history for approval. Make sure your parents are aware of this and are willing to help you out by having a credit review. For those who aren’t quite ready to rent on their own, you can start building your credit with a secured credit card for credit checks in the future.
You May Have to Pay a Deposit for Utilities
More utility companies are also requesting credit reviews before they set up utilities for you. If you have no credit history, they may require a deposit to turn on the electricity, cable or internet in your new apartment.
These deposits can run several hundreds of dollars, adding to the total amount you must have to move out on your own. You usually don’t get the deposit back until you move again.
Not having an established credit history can make life more difficult even for a college student. That is why it is a good idea to begin establishing your history as early as possible. Just make sure it’s a positive credit history so you don’t end up hurting yourself even more in the future. Make any payments on time and pay off balances so you can keep your debt low.
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