If you are planning on renting a home or apartment and have a past bankruptcy, there are some things you should know.
First, you need to determine who you are planning to rent from - meaning a private party or a property management company.
Why does it matter? Because each one usually approaches the rental process very differently. If you don't know what their process is, you could end up being out $30-60 in credit report fees.
There are a number of strategies you can use to increase your chances of being approved for a home or apartment rental. I know, because I have used them when renting in the past - both from private parties and property management companies.
I'm not going to cover every single strategy here, as there isn't enough room, but here's one you can start with:
If you are applying for a rental with a property management company, find out what their rental criteria is. It sounds like common sense, but a lot of people submit a rental application, with a non-refundable credit report fee, only to be turned down because of their credit history.
Don't let this happen to you! If you know what the criteria is in advance, and you find out by asking, you will at least have an idea of whether or not you can qualify.
If you have a bankruptcy it doesn't necessarily mean you'll be declined. Much depends on the property management company's guidelines. For example, a property management company may still rent to you - but maybe they'll ask for a higher security deposit.
In After Bankruptcy Credit Solutions I go into more detail on specific strategies you can use to increase your chances of qualifying for an apartment or home rental.
I do not have enough room in this article to discuss strategies when it comes from renting from private parties. However, it can be a much different experience than renting from property management companies.
In my experience, private parties tend to be less rigid in their rental screening process. This means there are some things you should NOT do during the rental screening process - otherwise you could end up being turned down pretty quickly. But I'll save those for another article on renting after bankruptcy.