A debt settlement program is not a bankruptcy action. Therefore, you do not need court approval or approval from a debt settlement company to enter a rental agreement. However, the landlord may have some reservations about renting you an apartment because of a poor credit rating.
Most individuals enter a debt settlement program after they are behind with their bills. Unfortunately, missing just a few payments to creditors significantly decreases your credit score. It also alarms potential landlords who check your credit report. They may assume you will eventually default on your rental payments.
Therefore, you need to make yourself more attractive as a tenant. First, explain that the debt settlement program is a way to repay your debts instead of discharging them through a bankruptcy case.
Apartment Debt Settlement Letter
One of the most helpful things you may be able to do is get a letter from the debt settlement company that helps the landlord understand that you are serious to eliminate your debt.
As such, you may be able to get an apartment debt settlement letter. Please see the one that we put together for someone who was in our debt settlement program. We can provide you access to this template as well.
If you would like access to this template, we would love to provide it to you. You would just need to fill out the information below.
Let’s cover 7 additional things that may help you rent an apartment while in a debt settlement program.
7 Things To Help You Rent An Apartment
If a specific event caused your financial trouble, such as the death of a spouse, unemployment, or illness, you might want to consider sharing that with the landlord. Emphasize that you are financially stable now, and the debt settlement program is one of the steps you took to rebuild your finances after an unexpected event.
Other ways you can improve your chances of renting an apartment while in a debt settlement program include:
Proof of Income
Present proof of income showing sufficient income to afford the rent payments. Landlords are mainly concerned with income and rent payment records. You may also want to point out that the debt settlement program increases your disposable income each month. Additionally, include a written employment history highlighting your stable employment record.
Letters From Previous Landlords
Provide reference letters from prior landlords that establish a history of on-time rent payments. Also, ask your landlords to include details explaining why you are an ideal renter, such as being quiet, responsible, having no complaints from neighbors, and having no problems with damage to the property.
Letters of Recommendation from Employers
In addition to reference letters from prior landlords, include reference letters from your employer. A reference letter from your employer establishes that you are gainfully employed and are a responsible employee. Landlords want dependable renters.
Locate a Roommate with Better Credit
Having a roommate with better credit can solve your problem of renting an apartment while in a debt settlement program. You could rent a room from someone already renting an apartment or house. You could find a landlord willing to rent to both you and the other person.
However, finding a trustworthy, compatible roommate can be challenging. Therefore, you need to be careful when renting from someone you just met.
Find a Co-Signer for the Rental Agreement
If the primary signer defaults, a co-signer agrees to be legally responsible for a debt. If you have a co-signer, the landlord can sue the co-signer for any unpaid amounts owed under the rental contract if you default.
However, there is a risk in obtaining a co-signer. You are putting the co-signer at risk of owing the debt if you cannot pay the rent payments. In addition, defaulting on the rent payments could ruin your relationship and create a financial hardship for your friend or family member.
Offer to Pay Rent In Advance or Set Up Automatic Payments
If possible, offer the landlord two monthly deposit as a sign of good faith and creditworthiness. You may also offer to set up automatic drafts each month. By doing so, you let the landlord know that you are willing to take extra steps to reduce the risk the landlord may assume with renters in debt settlement programs.
Find Rentals Without Credit Checks
Some landlords do not check credit reports. In addition, smaller rental properties and private owners may not run credit checks.
Ways to Resolve Your Debt Problems
Debt settlement programs are just one way to get out of debt. There are pros and cons of entering a debt settlement program. Therefore, before you decide debt settlement is your best option or eliminating debt, you may want to explore all debt-relief options.
You might find that debt management or debt payoff planning works better in your situation. On the other hand, filing for bankruptcy may be the best way to get out of debt. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can discharge debts as soon as four to six months after filing. A Chapter 13 repayment plan can help you eliminate debts that might not be dischargeable in bankruptcy, protect assets, and keep your home.
Contact Ascend for more information. We are here to help you take the steps on the road to a fresh start and a debt-free life.