Dear Dave: Renting An Apartment Without Credit?

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Posted: Jul 14, 2020 9:41 AM
Dear Dave: Renting An Apartment Without Credit?

Source: AP Photo/Don Ryan

Dear Dave,

What would be your advice for someone who is renting an apartment but has never rented before? I’m 16, and I’m trying to create a plan for when I get out on my own in a couple of years. I’ve never had any debt, and don’t have a credit score. Is it going to be hard to find a place to live? 

Riley

Dear Riley,

I get where you’re coming from. A lot of people believe it’s hard to get an apartment without a credit score, and that’s just not the case. In most cases, if you’ve got money for a deposit and proof of employment, you can find a little apartment somewhere.

Anytime you’re renting it should be because you’re in a stage of your life where you’re not going to be in the area long, you’re saving money to buy a home, or you’re working your way out from under a lot of debt. Think of it as “rent patience.” Renting should be a temporary stop along the road, not a way of life. You’re parked and you’re on hold until you’re ready for a house or you get your finances in order.

I don’t hate apartments, and renting isn’t evil. But renting for a decade or two is not a smart move. How much do you want to pay for patience? The least amount possible. You want something clean and safe, but nothing too fancy. You don’t need a racquetball court, skylight or hot tub.

I love that you’re a planner, Riley. Keep looking ahead and thinking toward the future!

—Dave