N.W. asks from Brooklyn, NY on August 02, 2009
Apartment Hunting with Bad Credit
I was recently separated from my husband after an intense battle, however, during the marriage I was the one with the better credit as a result everything was on my name. After he basicly abandoned my children and I, we went from living a decent life, to us being evicted and broke, not to mention that my good credit was ruined. I had to move back in with my mother which was one of the hardest things I ever had to do but my choices were limited. I've been doing better and I am ready to move out and get my life back together but renting an apartment is hell with bad credit. Is their any information or advice anyone can give me that could help me? I feel like such a failure, especially to my kids because this is not how it was suppose to be , they should be happy and comfortable.
1 mom found this helpful
C.B. answers from New York on August 03, 2009
I don't actually have pratical advice. I just want to say that I hope you can see yourself is incredibly brave rather than as a failure! It sounds like you have already improved your situation quite a bit, and are very determined to continue to do so. What better example could you possibly give your kids! Keep focusing on where you'll be in a year; two years; etc.
All the best,
D.F. answers from New York on August 03, 2009
I'm going to give you advice from the point of view of a landlord. You may be better off looking for a house to rent or an apartment in a private house since in those situations you usually deal with the owner of the property and not an impersonal management company or corporation. With an owner you can explain your situation and hope for compassion and understanding. As a landlord of a 2 family house, I actually do not check credit score, since I know that it doesn't explain all. What I look for first is tenants whose rent will not be more than 40-50% of their gross salary. Basically someone who can afford the place without financial struggles every month. I also do a reference check with the person's previous landlord and current job. In your case I think the eviction may hurt you more than your credit score. A landlord is hesitant or will just refuse to rent to a person who has been evicted recently. However, I've rented my apartment to several people who have told me that they are currently living at home with parents or with friends. Who knows they may have been previously evicted! But I never had any issues or problems with them, luckily. So my advise to you is to let a prospective landlord know that you've been through a rough time personally but are ready to go back out on your own, can afford their rent and will pay on time every month and will take good care of their place.
I want you to know that hope is not all gone. And there are possibilities out there. Anyone could be in your situation, you never know. But thankfully you have the support of your mother and the courage to now move out on your own. I wish you the best of luck and keep your spirits up.
L.M. answers from New York on September 27, 2009
If you have not yet found an apartment, pls. send me a private message. I may be able to recommend something for you.
T.E. answers from New York on August 03, 2009
Hi N., I can understand how you feel b/c I have experienced this, and I have four children. I agree that you will probably need a co-signer, or either a mediocre credit score. Having reserves looks better for you, too, if at all possible. I will be moving out of state in another year and I'm hoping to improve my score so that I can get a place with no problem b/c I have no one who can co-sign for me, so I'd better be very careful. Anyhow, keep doing your research on it and everything will work out soon. Take care.
S.C. answers from New York on August 03, 2009
Is your mom willing to co-sign a lease? Perhaps prospective landlords will be more willing to rent to you if they see you have a backup, even if you never use it. My dad co-signed my lease when I had to move to a cheaper apartment after my husband left me for someone else and I couldn't afford our apartment on my own. Like you, everything was in my name because I had the better credit. The ex left me holding the bag. With half the income and twice the expenses, my credit fell apart quickly. In the five years I lived in my new apartment I always paid my rent on time and never had to ask my dad to bail me out, but without his signature on that first lease I would never have gotten an apartment.
Of course, that was nearly 20 years ago and credit requirements have probably been tightened considerably since then, but having your mom co-sign the lease is probably still an option.