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How To Get Approved For An Apartment With Bad Credit And/Or Evictions

Updated on January 25, 2011

Help With Bad Credit And Evictions

For most individuals who have had past credit issues, finding a new apartment or home where the landlord will work with them is hard. In this day and age however it is very unlikely that even the person with the best job has superb credit and that's why it is not all a lost cost. Let me tell you from personal experiences that I have had the worst credit but always been able to find an apartment after a handful of financial difficulties when I was younger. As time went on and I learned how to budget and manage my money, I have proven that I am trustworthy even if my credit score is still considered "BAD"!!! See the key is if you know your credit is bad and you have judegments from the past then the best thing to do is be honest with all potential renters and lenders for a more professional approach.

Let me tell you that all info in this article has worked for me or my associates at one time or another. This is true proven info that has succeeded in helping me get my rental history in order. My latest landlord worked with me and gave me a chance and it made me never want to go through evictions and credit problems again. I am still working on my issues but I have been at my present address for 18 months and have only been late twice. It feels good to have a landlord that can vouch for me if I ever decide to move.

Judgements And Your Credit

Judgement - After a creditor wins a lawsuit against a debtor he is awarded what is called a judgment by the court. A judgement is what is usually entered when you owe rent and are asked to vacate if you cannot pay what is owed. There is a time limit for collecting that judgment. However, many states allow judgments to be renewed one or more times, which could substantially extend the enforceability of a judgment. If the creditor is vigilant about the renewals. This can potentially result in a permanent legal obligation until it is paid.

When you deal with a private landlord verses an Apartment Complex or a Realty Company, if you are evicted or a judgement is issued against you it usually doesn't show up on your credit report right away or sometimes never.  Now I can't say this for all private owners because they still have the option to pursue you for payment way after you have left their premises for payment of owed rent. On the other hand, It definitely will show up in the local courts as soon as the judgement is entered unfortunately. This is where you have to be smart, honest and sometimes patient when it comes to applying for new housing. Remember, a judgement does not have to just consist of apartments or foreclosures. It can be anything that shows you were taken to court and found responsible for payment to the creditor, period!!! In some cases and states, there is a "Statute of Limitations" on the amount of time a judgement can be seen in the local courts by the public. (Check Out The Chart Below For Your States SOL)

Statute Of Limitations On Judgments By State

SOL (Years)
No Limit
North Carolina
North Dakota
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

Here Are Some Options That Are Sure To Help You Get An Apartment With Bad Credit

1. Of course you will need to research and find some private owners or network with other renters who can refer you to some. This may make the process a little longer but that will give you time to stack your money. Call around and be honest with these people. You may say that's crazy but in the end, a landlord will respect you more if you are honest about your past issues. Remember, even if they do not do a Credit Check, they can still type your name in the local courts to see if you have been as upfront as possible with them. If they are still being difficult, offer them first and last months rent as well as a security deposit. This will ensure that you are planning on being there at least a year and it shows you are trying to prove your loyalty.

2. Try to stay with a friend or start by renting a room to build up a little history before the next move so that you will have another person (other than the creditor with the judgement against you) that can verify that you are a good tenant. Try renting your parents basement for six months. You can look on Craigslist etc. and find rooms that rent weekly. This is very useful because as long as you are working and can prove that you have overcome your financial obstacles, you may just get a lucky break.

3. Whether you deal with a private landlord or a realty company, you can always be straight up and ask can they give you a month to month lease. This is a great option for people with bad credit and judgements because it is less risk to the renter. It also will give you a chance to show that you are a good tenant despite your past credit issues. Always offer to pay a higher deposit or extra months rent just to show your loyalty too keeping your word.

4. Consult with a friend who may have good credit but needs more income to get approved for a place. This will benefit both of you in the end because you all will be able to save money and split the cost while helping each other out.

5. Get a Co-signer. I know people hate this option but it is still useful. It is hard to find someone who will be your co-signer especially when they know your past credit woes but it is not a lost cost and it doesn't hurt to ask.

6. Money talks and BS walks. Remember that some landlords are owed rent from other tenants or are desperate to rent new rental units and they will overlook credit just to make a quick buck. Be careful with these types also because sometimes they are hiding something fishy themselves. Always check out the property adequately and never just take the first apartment offered because you are desperate, It will hurt you in the long run.

Remember: If you are lucky enough to get a second chance, be more financially stable with your budget. Cut back on cable and things that really don't matter to save money. If you find yourself falling short on rent or mortgages payments, It looks so much better if you at least pay something so that they won't possibly take you to court. If you do end up in court, work out a payment plan with the court mediator and your landlord for the remaining past due balance to be paid as well as future payments.

If you have not been evicted yet but you are behind in rent, there are a lot of local resources by state that help with past due rent and emergency rental assistance. Try Googling "ERAP" (Emergency Rental Assistance Program) for your city and state and see what comes up in your local area. Low income individuals usually get the first priority help with these programs. Your local Salvation Army or Catholic Charities can also assist in many ways with these emergency rental assistance problems. 

If all else fails,  take some much needed time to get your credit in order.  Talk to a Debt Consolidator or pull all three of your credit reports and call the creditors to workout a settlement on your own.  This can be time consuming but it helps when people see that you have credit issues but are attempting to pay them off. It can be a hard struggle but if I bounced back so can you, Good Luck!!!


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you for the information it was very helpful and I am going to try those methods...god bless

    • stacies29 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Washington DC

      U r so welcome Janellelk. Hope things get better and I hope this article really helps your situation. God Bless!!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Something we're got sure going through right now. Thank you for shedding some light and hope! It can be so daunting to face.

    • stacies29 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Washington DC

      Thank you AllSuretyBonds. Yes that strategy has really helped me the last few years. It feels great!!!

    • AllSuretyBonds profile image


      7 years ago

      Great Hub. I agree with what you said about being more finacially stable with your budget and try and cut back on things that really don't matter to save money.


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