Bad credit can be caused by any number of financial issues, from missing a few credit card payments to defaulting on your student loans to having a vehicle repossessed, etc. Once your credit score has taken a dive, it can seem almost impossible to climb back out of that hole. And since almost every major life decision – including renting an apartment in Dallas – involves running a credit check, it can really come back to haunt you. The good news is, it’s not permanent. Here are a few actions you can take to start rebuilding your credit and improve your chances of landing that new apartment you’ve been wanting.
Pull your credit report.
The first step in rebuilding your credit is to find out exactly what you’re working with. There are a number of online services that provide an idea of what your credit score is, but they’re not always completely accurate. What’s more, some of them aren’t on the up-and-up. The only true and safe way to know your real score is to utilize the Annual Credit Report service. This service, mandated by the U.S. government, provides consumers with access to their credit reports from all three major credit bureaus once every 12 months, free of charge.
Look for discrepancies and inaccuracies.
Once you’ve got your updated credit report, go through it with a fine-toothed comb, paying extra attention to any negative items listed on each report. The truth is, mistakes happen, and if you’re not careful, incorrect information could be bringing your score down through no fault of your own. For instance, creditors occasionally misreport negative details to the credit bureaus, such as missed or late payments that were, in fact, made on time. If you spot a discrepancy, it’s up to you to take action. File a dispute with the appropriate credit bureau as soon as possible. Having these items updated and/or removed can bump your score in a more positive direction.
Negotiate with your creditors.
If you’re struggling to pay down your balances or keep up with your payments, it may be helpful to contact your creditors directly. Ask if they’d be willing to lower your interest rate, put you on a more flexible payment plan or accept a settlement in exchange for removing negative comments on your credit report. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be successful, but it’s certainly worth a try. If you do get an agreement, be sure to get it in writing, as it may be helpful to show a potential leasing manager or landlord.
Work with a pro.
Having poor credit doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll never be able to rent a nice apartment in Dallas. It just may mean you’ll have to do a little more work to find someone who would be willing to take a chance on you. This is one of the reasons why working with a Dallas apartment locator service can be so beneficial. Our experienced locators have long-standing relationships with many landlords and property managers and may be able to match you with someone who is flexible and understanding. If you’re interested in learning more, get in touch and let’s discuss what your options are.