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What Credit Score Is Needed to
Rent an Apartment in 2021?

Landlords use credit scores to compare tenants. They are interested in creditworthy candidates, so a low FICO status makes renting complicated. Do not let your score spoil the excitement of finding your dream apartment. If it is low, there are multiple ways to boost it.

Landlords vet their tenants thoroughly. Borrowing history is vital, as it shows how likely you are to meet your obligations in the future. A high score communicates financial stability. It shows that you are capable of paying on time. This indicator is always considered during the screening process.

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What Score Do You Need?

The most popular scoring systems in the US are FICO and VantageScore. Both rate borrowers on a scale from 300 to 850. Scores are also based on a similar range of factors — for example, the way you handled prior payments is the primary component of FICO (35%) and VantageScore (40%). Other elements are the age of your history, how much you owe in total, new accounts, and credit mix (the use of different forms of borrowing).

In the FICO system, you need at least 670 points for a ‘good score’. In VantageScore, this requires at least 661. On average, a landlord in 2021 will expect at least 650 points. The requirements largely depend on the market. If your total is too low, credit repair companies found on may boost it quickly.

Do You Need to Repair Your Score?

The term ‘repair’ refers to the correction of reports to raise the scores. Reporting errors are quite common. If the data stored by the national bureaus is flawed, it may pull the score down. The mission of credit fixing companies is to find and dispute such errors on their clients’ behalf. They analyze reports from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, and liaise with the agencies in writing.

Every citizen of the United States has a right to obtain their reports and despite any errors. You can do it for free. So, why do millions of consumers hire repair companies?

The answer is simple. This is a demanding and time-consuming process. You need to be well-versed in consumer credit laws and formal communication. It is important to collect sufficient evidence from the start, so there will be no need for redisputes. Even with professional assistance, your score may start changing in 1.5 months. Complicated cases may take up to half a year.

Getting the reports is the easiest step. You can download them for free normally. To prove the mistakes, you will need to communicate with lenders and bureaus. Few borrowers have the competence and time to achieve the goal on their own.

What If the Score Is Fair?

If your score is fair but insufficient, enhance it by changing your borrowing habits. There are different ways to do this. To achieve the necessary increase quickly, use a combination of techniques. Here are the top three.

  1. Adjust Your Balances

The way you use credit cards determines your credit utilization ratio. It is calculated as total balances divided by total limits. Experian recommends keeping the ratio at 30% or under, while some experts set the upper limit at 10%.

Suppose you have four cards with a total limit of 15,000. If your balance is $5,000, this means you utilize 30% of available funds. To achieve the goal of 10%, you need to bring the balances down to $1,500 in total. This will give your score a boost.

  1. Raise Your Limits

Some consumers do not have an opportunity to pay off their balances. Fortunately, there is another way to approach utilization. By increasing the limits, you will achieve the same goal.

First, ask your lender for a limit extension. This will increase the size of available credit and bring down utilization. Naturally, your balances should not grow to ensure the necessary result.

Alternatively, ask for another card, or try another issue. If you cannot qualify for a standard card, get a secured one instead. You will need to make a deposit to get it. On the upside, lenders are more willing to provide this type of revolving credit.

  1. Use Experian Boost

This bureau allows consumers to add utility bills, Netflix payments, Verizon statements, and other information to their reports. On average, you may achieve a 12-point boost. The service is free, and it is accessible online.

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