Typically speaking, when your credit or FICO score is above 720 points, this is a huge asset, and one who can work exceptionally well for you if you are looking to rent out a property. However, for those without a high credit score, it can be a worrying time when searching and qualifying for a rental property.

If you don’t have a good FICO score, there are still things you can do to help you qualify to rent out a property. Take a look at these top five tips to help you try and overcome the issue of not having a good credit score.

Double Deposit

If a landlord is renting out an unfurnished property, under Californian Law they are not permitted to charge more than double the monthly rent as a deposit. If your credit is not outstanding, sometimes offering to double-up your deposit can help to convince a landlord of your commitment to the property.

Be Honest

Some landlords and agencies will have slightly different guidelines with regards to a credit score. It is always best to be upfront from the start to avoid any wasted efforts or disappointment. Many agencies will still charge you an application fee, regardless of whether you pass these checks or not. If a landlord is not going to be flexible with regards to your score, you can help prevent a further impact on your FICO score by not undergoing a credit check.

Have Great References

Having a good solid landlord reference can really help to support an application with a low FICO score. If you took care of the property and paid your rent on time, this can convince a landlord that you will treat them with the same courtesy and respect that you did previously.


If you have somebody with a high credit score which is willing to co-sign on a property, this can truly bolster your chances of approval. Some landlords do not accept co-signing, so it is always important to ask about this before making an application.

Have an Established Job

If you have been in employment for a long period, this demonstrates stability and reliability to a landlord. If you are paid as a W-2 employer, this is even better as if you can prove a continual record of employment. Having a well-paid job can often compensate for having a low FICO score.

While the points mentioned above are all going to help you, they are not a guarantee of approval. There are plenty of good landlords and agencies who will be willing to work with you to help you find the right property if you are willing to work with them, and above all else, that you act with integrity throughout the process and are upfront with them from the beginning.

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