Renting an apartment after bankruptcy can seem daunting, but it’s important to remember that you’ve got options. Regardless of whether you filed a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13, it’s possible to find a rental unit that fits your needs and budget.
The housing market may be tougher than ever, but there’s no reason why bankruptcy should hold you back.
Understand The Impact on Your Credit Report
Your bankruptcy will show up on your credit report, but your score may actually improve. Some landlords go line-by-line on the credit report, and others only look at the score.
Bankruptcies tend to show up on tenant screening apps, but they aren’t necessarily deal breakers. It depends on the software used and the landlord’s own policies. Some see freshly bankrupt renters as good bets since they know it will be almost impossible for you to discharge any debt you might owe to them.
Check into the rental qualification policies at each location before you apply. If a place won’t take bankruptcies, move on.
You might also work with an apartment finder agent to find “second chance” apartments, which are places that don’t penalize you for past bankruptcy. Some will even take tenants who have been through evictions.
If you’re renting from a private landlord, emphasize the steps you’re taking to rebuild your credit and improve your financial situation. This will help reassure them that you’re a responsible tenant working to get back on track.
Be Prepared to Pay a Larger Deposit or Find a Co-Signer
Some landlords are happy to take tenants with bankruptcies as long as the tenants are willing to pay a larger deposit on their rental. Some may ask for an extra month’s rent, as well.
This may mean waiting and saving a little before getting your next apartment, but knowing you’ve got that money in the bank and are ready to go can give you peace of mind while you go through your search.
While nobody loves seeking a co-signer, they can sometimes be unavoidable. If you have a person who has a good credit score and a significant income and is willing to vouch for you, it can make all the difference.
Getting recommendations from previous landlords can be helpful. Those recommendations can attest to your reliability as a tenant and your ability to pay rent on time.
If a past landlord agrees to provide a recommendation, ask them to write a letter or provide a phone number that you can give to potential landlords.
Don’t Let Rental Fears Stop You from Declaring Bankruptcy
Most people improve their ability to pay for basic necessities like rent after filing for bankruptcy.
Don’t let a fear of the rental market keep you from getting a fresh start. If bankruptcy is the right move for you, it will be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.
Contact us for a free consultation to get started today.