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What Credit Score Do I Need to Rent an Apartment?
August 13, 2020

So you’re ready to rent an apartment – but maybe you’re worried about landlords checking your credit. What credit score do they require, and will you pass? Landlords take a big risk when they rent an apartment. They want to know their tenant is financially responsible and more likely to pay rent than default on it.

The higher your credit score is the better your chances of approval.

A Great Credit Score is Best

As you might expect, the higher your credit score is the better your chances of approval. Landlords want responsible renters – they don’t want to take on tenants that may or may not pay their rent. Since 680 is the average credit score in America, landlords tend to look for a 680 or higher credit score. Of course, check your area to see what the average landlord requires.

A Busy Market Requires Higher Credit Scores

If you’re renting in the middle of nowhere in Montana, you may only need a 620 credit score. On the other hand, if you’re renting in the heart of New York City, you may need a 740 or higher. 

The busier the market is, the more competition you’ll have to face. 

The exact credit score required varies by the landlord, the area, and the circumstances. A more competitive market means more renters are looking for homes and landlords can hold out for those with higher credit scores. A slower market may give you a little more freedom. Factors that increase the competition are location, time of year, and amenities. Just like when you buy a home, the busier the market is, the more competition you’ll have to face. 

Bottom Line

To landlords, your rent defines your risk. There is no one magic credit score that will get your application approved. With an increased competition in a busier market, landlords will be looking for higher credit scores to approve. To better your chances of getting your dream apartment, take steps to build your credit to be representative of you!

How do I make my credit score more competative?

Show off your best self and build your credit score for free with Kikoff!