Renting an apartment with bad credit in New York is entirely possible. Here are a few tips on how to improve your odds – and your credit.

On average, New York residents rent more than U.S. consumers in any other state. In fact, according to recent statistics, apartment rentals represent about 45% of all housing in New York. However, New York consumers with bad credit often have difficulty finding a place to rent. More often than not, property managers run credit checks on potential tenants. This frequently leads to rejections for New York renters with low credit scores and blemishes on their credit reports. However, there are ways for New York consumers with bad credit to successfully rent apartments while improving their credit ratings.

Why New York Landlords Reject Rental Applicants with Bad Credit

Ideally, New York property managers want tenants who will pay their rent on time, every month. Because landlords don’t know every rental applicant personally, they run credit checks to assess risk. Unfortunately, in the eyes of landlords, lenders, and creditors, credit report blemishes and bad credit scores indicate high risk.

The logic breaks down like this: If you failed to make payments on accounts in the past, how can a landlord trust you to pay your rent? Of course, you may have a perfectly good explanation for why your credit score dropped at a certain point. Maybe you experienced a sudden job loss, a divorce, or an extended illness.

Your ability to explain yourself may come in handy when trying to rent an apartment with bad credit in New York. Also, not all types of bad credit are judged the same by property managers. For example, certain landlords might overlook medical collections or late credit card payments. However, bankruptcies, tax liens, and collections accounts on utilities are almost always viewed negatively.

Ways for New York Consumers to Get Around Bad Credit When Looking for Rental Properties

New York consumers can improve even the worst bad credit with a good credit repair plan. Yet, if you need to rent an apartment right now or in the very near future, there are ways to increase your approval odds.

First and foremost, check your credit reports before filling out any rental applications. Even if you’re pretty sure that you have bad credit, it pays to know exactly where you stand. Also, if you have mistakes and errors on your credit reports bringing your credit score down, they should come off. This way, you’ll have the credit score you actually deserve when shopping yourself as a potential tenant.

Next, follow these helpful tips.

Find a forgiving landlord.

Even though many New York property mangers run credit checks on rental applicants, some do not. Therefore, it’s worth your time to research apartment options and find out everything you can about the landlords. Typically, property managers with smaller operations are more forgiving with applicants than larger rental companies.

Prepare a meaningful explanation.

Take the time to compose an explanation letter to include with your rental application. This will help potential landlords see you as a responsible person who maybe made a few mistakes in the past. Anything you can do to convince a property manager that you’re a low-risk tenant will help your cause.

Lead with your positive qualities.

If you’re a New York renter with less than perfect credit, counter your low credit score with the fact that you have a good steady income. Even if your credit reports make you seem risky, landlords may let that go if they see that you earn enough to pay your rent comfortably every month. So, have your most recent paycheck stubs organized and ready to show. Letters of reference from past property managers or employers are also helpful in some cases.

Save up a large deposit.

If paycheck stubs aren’t enough to prove that you’re a qualified tenant, sweeten the deal with a bigger-than-expected deposit. If it fits your budget, you can even agree to pay two or three months of rent in advance. This should show any potential property manager that you are very serious about following through with the terms of your rental agreement.

Consider getting a roommate.

If you are open to the idea of sharing your living space with another New York resident, getting a roommate possibly accomplishes two things. First, if the roommate has good credit, their name can go on the lease, and your application has a better chance at getting approved. Next, by sharing expenses with someone else, you can create more room in your budget for credit repair efforts.

Increase your credit repair efforts.

Speaking of credit repair, there’s no time like the present to start improving your credit score. Begin by making sure that all of your bills are current and paid on time. Then, bring down your credit utilization rate by paying down high credit card balances. This alone can cause your credit score to jump almost immediately. Finally, make sure that everything on your credit reports is absolutely accurate.

Again, there is a good chance that credit report errors are bringing down your credit score. In fact, about 80% of New York credit reports are flawed in some way. So, go to, and request free copies of your credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) entitles you to do this once every 12 months.

If, while reviewing your credit reports, you find inaccuracies, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in New York. After you call or contact us through our website, an experienced credit attorney will go to work immediately on your behalf. This means that you don’t have to handle the dispute process on your own. Instead, we’ll handle everything for you from start to finish, and get you clean credit reports no matter what it takes – for free.

The Free and Legal Way to Get Better Credit in New York

Don’t let errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in settled cases. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.

Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Carl Schwartz at (646) 859-3045 or sending him a message through our contact page.

For more information about Free Credit Repair, please visit