Realtors make a difference

Finding An Apt With Bad Credit In New York

- We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope! - Martin Luther King Jr


This video is very funny, but it is an expression of many renters who are trying to find an apartment with bad credit. They are given the run around and expected to accept anything because of their past financial missteps.

Working with the right realtor can make a big difference. Of course, It is more attractive to find a no fee apartment, but this can limit your options. landlords usually turn to realtors to find tenants, mainly to escape the rigors of meeting with too many people and their busy schedule. Bypassing a realtor means your options will be limited. Ultimately, your decision to use a realtor will be determined by a few factors. Your familiarity with the neighborhood, how fast you need to move, experience and success searching on your own, credit score, savings, income, and rental history.


We recommend you first discover what other renters with bad credit or a negative history are successfully doing to find an apartment.  You can read their stories and get helpful suggestions in the publication,


If you are planning to move to a new city or neighborhood, be prepared to do your share of research, driving and talking to lots of people, if you skip using a realtor, but would like to avoid areas that do not fit your lifestyle. Some of this information is available online, but nothing beats 1st hand experience. Your neighborhood research should include the following information before you make a decision: Crime rate -  violent crime and sex-offender status is easily available online at Additional sex-offender information is available at, a free database to help locate sex-offenders in the area. It might not be as easy to pinpoint good and bad areas, based purely on reports, since some data is not updated and others just not accurate.  Local realtors on the otherhand, are experts on their neighborhoods. Ask us about a an area and we will tell you all the juicy stuff you will not find in any online report.


If you live in a fast pace rental market like New York City, time is your worst enemy. Finding an apartment later than planned can affect other decisions. You also do not want to spend all your time apartment hunting. The search to find an apartment takes time, effort and experience. I completely agree that not everyone needs a realtor to find an apartment. But if you are not successful after 30 days of going it alone, let's explore the option of working with us.


Landlords determine the likelihood of renting to you almost completely on your credit score. But what's the solution if you have bad credit? If you have bad credit there's no way to hide it. Most landlords will not rent you an apartment in New York until they review your finances. Acceptable credit scores are 620 and above, with no outstanding collections. Renters with credit scores lower than 620 are considered high risk and prone to default.

Landlords have a 40 times rent rule. Meaning, to rent an apartment, they expect the tenants yearly  income to be at least 40x rent. For example, if the rent is $1,000 a month, your monthly income should be at least 40 x $1000 = $40,000. Some landlords expect even higher income. If your income falls below the 40 times rent rule most landlords and management companies will deny your application, or demand additional security deposit and even a guarantor.

Landlords have no hard and fast rule about sufficient savings. But they want no surprises when it's time for your rent to be paid. This requires a savings balance of at least 2 months rent after all the fees related to your new lease is paid. If you cannot show any savings and your credit is not exceptionally high, do not be surprised if your rental application is denied.

If you have bad credit, low or undocumented income, a realtor is your best option for finding a great apartment. As a realtor, I am constantly exposed to clients who want the best, yet have issues such as poor credit, collections, judgements, bankruptcy, foreclosure, evictions, medical bills or other negative items on credit. I am expected to work miracles and often, I do. That's because I truly understand my clients and thoroughly get to know them. At the end of the application session, I have enough information to assure landlords, the tenant's poor credit history will not repeat itself. It also helps, that I have a successful track record with landlords who are repeat clients. This requires me to deliver tenants who will pay their rent, if I want to maintain an amicable relationship with the landlord. They understand I will get them the best tenants for their home, and sometimes credit score alone is not the full story. Some landlords are resistant to the idea of renting to tenants with bad credit. I remind them, the housing crash of 2008 affected a lot of folks who had great credit. Credit alone is not the answer.


These are tough times. Not everyone has perfect credit and income. As a realtor, my job is to not let these obstacles define my tenants. To highlight, why you would be a great tenant, negotiate on your behalf and get the landlord to view your application as the best option for the apartment. This might be an uphill struggle, but I will not allow your negative past to define your application. If you are seeking an apartment to rent and need a great realtor, contact CityWide Housing Services online or by phone at 914-299-0420.

Comments ( 93 )

  • I’m looking for a one bedroom apt but my credit is bad and I need assistance, I have a part-time job and my husband has a job but off the books, we’re trying to get a one bedroom more or less 1,000 a month. I do have a Co-signer that will help me. Thank you .

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