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Sometimes, when you are facing a mountain of debt, and you have run out of other debt-relief options, bankruptcy is the only option you are left with. While filing for bankruptcy may sound scary, it can actually be one of the best things you can do to regain financial stability. A common bankruptcy myth is that people who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief never recover financially. Many people believe they cannot qualify for credit cards or loans. They also believe they can never own a new car or a home again. These assumptions are not accurate. Bankruptcy is not a death sentence for your finances nor does it mean that renting after bankruptcy will never happen. In fact, getting out of debt can open doors that may not be open when you still have thousands of dollars of missed payments. Let’s take a look at how you can recover from bankruptcy and get into an apartment after something like a Chapter 7 bankruptcy

How To Rent An Apartment or House After Bankruptcy

When you file Chapter 7, the bankruptcy filing appears on your credit report for ten years. Most landlords check credit reports before approving a rental application. Landlords view bankruptcy filings in different ways. 

Some landlords may be hesitant to rent to someone who filed Chapter 7. However, other landlords may view the Chapter 7 case as getting rid of your debts, thereby making it more likely you can afford rent payments. Therefore, renting after Chapter 7 may be more difficult, but it is not impossible. 

Ways to Improve Your Chances of Renting After Bankruptcy

Let’s go through some examples of how you can improve your chances of renting after bankruptcy.

Just as a side note, you may find that it is easier to rent an apartment than a house after Chapter 7. 

  • Some landlords may require a higher security deposit. Be prepared for this expense.
  • Explain your situation. Most people file Chapter 7 because of events outside of their control. Write a letter to the landlord explaining what happened. The landlord may consider mitigating factors that led to the Chapter 7 filing. 
  • Highlight your employment history, positive rental history, and available income as reasons why the landlord should approve your rental application.
  • Make sure that your recent credit history reflects responsible money management. You may not be able to undo past financial problems, but highlight that you have not had any recent issues with credit.
  • Work with an individual instead of a company. Companies may have strict policies that managers must follow. Individual landlords make decisions on a case-by-case basis, which is better for you.
  • Have written references from your employer and previous landlords to submit with your rental application. Personal references can also be useful but could be given less weight compared to professional references. 

You Can Thrive After Filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case

Deciding to file Chapter 7 can be a complicated process. You must weigh many options. However, if you decide that filing for Chapter 7 is right for you, there is one thing to remember. You will survive Chapter 7, but you can also thrive.

Chapter 7 gives you a fresh start. You can be free of debts in as little as six months after filing for bankruptcy relief. The fresh start from filing Chapter 7 allows you to focus on rebuilding your finances for a healthier financial future. With time and dedication, you can rebuild your credit and rent a home after Chapter 7. 

However, just because you have made it through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and have gotten an apartment doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still feel pressure to be diligent with your finances. Let’s look at a few different ways you can be money-smart in your new apartment.

Financial Wisdom While Renting After Bankruptcy

For many years, financial experts suggested spending only 30 percent of your monthly income on rent. That means if you rent a home or apartment for $1,250 a month, you should be bringing in about $3,750 per month. Yeah. Right. I don’t know about you, but that’s definitely not the case here. And frankly, suggestions like these are a bit discouraging, disappointing, and unrealistic. Fortunately, it is possible to decrease monthly costs and save money while renting.

You may be renting because you just like renting or you are renting because you are looking for homes for sale. Wherever you are, here are eight money-saving tips to get you started.

1. Consider a roommate.

Okay, so if you’re married with children, getting a roommate is a bit unrealistic. But if you’re single and looking to save money on your monthly bills, a roommate can definitely help. A reliable roomy can help you carry the burden of rent and utilities each month. Don’t know of anyone looking to rent nearby? Websites like Roomster help you find potential roommates in your city.

2. Set your bills on autopay.

Adulting is hard, and it’s easy to forget when one or more of your monthly bills are due. Setting up autopay is a surefire way to avoid pesky late fees. If for whatever reason autopay is not an option, create a monthly reminder on your phone to make sure you never miss another due date.

3. Move to a different neighborhood.

Most people want to live somewhere close to work, friends, services, and amenities, and landlords know that. That’s why rent tends to be more expensive as you get close to the city center. But if you’re looking to save money, consider moving a bit further out. Granted, your commute might increase by ten minutes. And you might have to drive instead of walk to your favorite restaurant, but if it means you could save money on rent each month, it might be a good idea.

4. Choose an apartment with fewer upgrades.

If moving to a different part of town is not an option, then downgrading to a more basic apartment might be the move. Most apartment complexes have upgraded and basic units. Oftentimes, units with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and updated flooring cost several hundred dollars more each month. Formica countertops and black appliances aren’t so bad if it’s in the name of saving money.

5. Be a good steward over your utilities.

Looking to decrease monthly costs? Things as simple as turning off the water while you brush your teeth and flipping off the lights when you leave a room can make a difference. Granted, you likely won’t save much each month, but every little penny adds up, doesn’t it? 

6. Share the internet with a neighbor.

I admit. This tip is a little sketchy, but if you’re looking to save money, it might be worth it. Many apartment complexes include free Wi-Fi with your monthly rent, but if this isn’t the case, you might consider splitting the cost of the internet with a friendly neighbor. If this isn’t an option, creating a hotspot from your cell phone might be an option. Granted, you won’t be able to veg out playing Call of Duty with a hotspot from your phone, but it will probably let you fulfill your basic connection needs.

7. Negotiate the price of your rental.

When it comes to renting, most people think the price is firm, but often, that’s not the case. Don’t be scared to ask for a lower price. What’s the worst that can happen? They’ll say no? When negotiating the price, keep in mind you’ll have the most success asking during the off-season and asking a large complex. For example, if you’re looking to rent in a college town, don’t expect any discounts when school is in session. Instead, try leasing during the summer, when many of the students are home and units are vacant.

8. Cook meals at home.

Personally, I love eating, but cooking is not my favorite thing. Especially having to clean up after. It’s the pits. But, if you’re looking to save money, making meals at home can help because eating out is expensive. Create a weekly menu and only buy ingredients required to cook the items on that menu. That way, you won’t buy perishables that end up going to waste.

Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson serenaded us with the idea that “the best things in life are free.” But I think having a roof over my head is pretty grand, and that’s definitely not free. Everything is so expensive these days, and it’s difficult to catch a break. For many of us, our paychecks are spent before they’re ever deposited into our accounts. But don’t despair, dear friend. It is possible to save money, and we hope these money-saving tips will set you on your way to debt-free living.


Whatever you decide to do, make sure you are aware of the money you are spending, and be savvy when it comes to cutting costs – especially if you are just coming out of debt or completing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Renting after bankruptcy can be tricky. Being wise in your renting habits can keep you out of debt and in a place of financial stability. If you have any questions about what it looks like to rent after bankruptcy or how to be a money-savvy renter, feel free to reach out to one of our Ascend professionals! We love talking about smart money spending habits and ways to get back on your feet after a daunting debt encounter. 

Post Author: Ascend

Group of guest writers and industry experts who have specific expertise in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Chapter 7 bankruptcy, debt relief, debt settlement, and debt payoff.

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