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MichaelintheLBC

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What do rental properties look for in a credit report?
I'm trying to negotiate a fair security deposit and prove that I qualify for renting an apartment, within the next 2-3 months. It's important for me, as the location ensures my daughter's enrollment in a good school - I'm a single father, though I know that's somewhat irrelevant information. Please look over my situation, and offer any advice. I appreciate your help, in advance.



Here is my situation:

For the past couple years since graduating college, I've been working on cleaning up my credit. All of my student loans (a total of 8, 2 of which are paid off) are in good standing. All of my open credit card accounts (total of 3) are in good standing. And, all of those accounts have good payment history. I've never been evicted. And, my income meets the 2.5x monthly rent requirement.

However, I have 3 collection accounts. 1 account is actually paid in full and in good standing - it's closed but related to a charge-off. The other 2 collection accounts are currently open and show as delinquent. I'm working on cleaning those up, ASAP. Hopefully, they'll either be deleted or updated as paid in full and in good standing, before I apply for my apartment (within the next 2 months).

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If you can negotiate (in writing) a "pay for delete" on the collections, that could help.  Showing "paid in full" on the accounts on your credit report is good even though the fact they had gone to collecions wwill be noted on credit reports for 7 years f you are not able to get a "pay for delete" agreement because the accounts are part of your credit history.  A lot depends on the qualifications set by the apartment owner/manager so there s no "one answer fits all."

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MichaelintheLBC

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Thank you for your response, jwsister.

As far as the collection accounts go, I'm actually trying to dispute one of the two currently opened, as I've tried to validate it - and they haven't responded, and it's almost been 30days. But, I definitely agree: removing is ideal.

If I were a landlord, I wouldn't be as concerned with closed accounts - as it's an indication that there is no longer an obligation to pay.  My concern, as a landlord, would be less open/ active "debts" - as the tenant would be more likely not to miss rental payments because they have less on their plate, so to speak.

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Update

It's been nearly a year since I initially posted.  And, I wanted to update my experience, in case anybody finds themselves in the same situation.

As jwsister had noted, it really depends on the apartment manager/ owner.  In my case, the apartment is managed by an onsite "third party" management company.  Luckily, I met all of the qualifications for the apartment, as defined by the apartment application.  There is no way around meeting the minimum requirements, at least not with management companies.  I feel, however, if the apartment community were significantly smaller and more closely managed, there may be some room for negotiation.

My predicament was more with regards to negotiating a fair deposit.  Prior to applying for my apartment (which me and my daughter have been living in since last August), I managed to payoff, though not remove, 2 of 3 collection accounts.  My credit score was rather low at the time (610 TransUnion, "new account" model), but met the apartment communty's minimum requirement, thankfully.  If I had a higher credit score, the leasing office gave no indication that they were in any position to negotiate.  However!  This particular community is constantly offering move-in specials.  Fortunately, the unit I was interested in had a special available, which lowered my monthly rent and lowered the deposit.

My advice, if you're in a similar situation:

1) Meet the apartment community's minimum requirements.

2) Look for move-in specials, as long as the apartment itself meets YOUR living standards.

3) Negotiation is more plausible with smaller communities, but it doesn't hurt to try.

I hope this helps!

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