Improve Your Credit Score & Pass Credit Checks for Florida Apartments

Getting Your Credit Score Ready for Garden Communities Florida

Whether you are a first-time renter or a regular renter, you need to have a good credit score. A credit check is required to move into an apartment in Florida and in other states. By passing the check, you show the landlord that you are good with money, and that you can keep up with the rent. If you have a poor credit score you will probably fail the check, and your application for a lease will be rejected.

The good news is that there are many ways you can boost your credit score. Use the following tips to check and improve your credit score before applying for apartments.

Grab a Credit Report & Report Errors

Calculator with Financial Credit Report

The first step is to see where you credit score stands now. You can get three free credit reports each year, one from each of the primary credit bureaus. Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion keep records of your financial history, so request a report from one of them.

Once you get your credit report, take some time to review it thoroughly. Report any inconsistencies or mistakes you find, as these can hurt your credit score. Taking care of these errors as soon as possible will do you a lot of good in the long run.

If there are no mistakes, review the areas that are hurting your score the most. That way, you know where you need to improve before you apply for an apartment contract.

Stay on Top of Your Payments

Dollar Bills With Finance Book

The easiest way to keep a good credit score is by paying your bills on time. This is not limited to your credit card bills; this also includes your utility bills, loans, and other types of payments.

If you have any late payments, your credit score will drop to reflect that. This is why you should take care of them now. Late payments will not impact your credit score forever, and your credit score will recover as you make them up.

To keep this from being an issue, create reminders on your calendar or phone so you know when to make payments. Consider opting for automatic payments if you want to make the process easier for yourself.

Keep Credit Utilization Low

Man Holding onto a Credit Card

Credit utilization plays a big role in determining your credit score. For a quick refresher, this is the ratio of how much money you owe compared to your current credit limit. Experts from Experian have stated that a credit utilization of less than 30% is the most ideal.

To keep your credit utilization ratio low, make sure you stay on top of paying your balances. Consider making more small payments throughout the month to keep your balances in check. Avoid closing unused credit cards, as this will have a negative impact on your ratio.

If your credit utilization ratio is already low, consider asking for an increase on your credit limit. As long as you keep up with payments, the ratio will continue to decrease, and your credit score will go up.

Become an Authorized User

Two People Holding a Credit Card

Do you have a close friend or relative who is good with financial management? If so, you can boost your own credit score by becoming an authorized user on that person’s credit card account. When you do this, that person’s credit report will be reflected on your own. As long as your friend keeps a good credit report, your credit score will improve.

To make this work, you must avoid using this person’s credit card for any purchases. Doing this could negatively impact the cardholder’s account, as well as your own. If you have no other options available for improving your credit score, this is an effective trick to try out.

Other Helpful Tricks

If your credit score is a little lower than you would like, you may not be out of luck. There are a few things you can do to build trust between you and the landlord and increase your chances of passing the check.

If you lived in a different apartment in the past, ask for reference letters from old landlords. Another good option is to calculate your monthly income and share it with the landlord. A strong, stable income shows landlords that you can afford the rent with no troubles.

Having a roommate with a strong credit score can also help you if you are still working on improving yours. Offering a larger security deposit can also show the landlord that you are reliable. By doing these things, you will have a stronger shot of passing the check.

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