Will My Credit Score Impact My Rental Assistance Application

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Many people that apply for rental assistance programs like section 8 or public housing wonder if their credit score will impact their application. The short answer is no. You can apply and be approved for section 8, public housing and other rental assistance programs without a credit check.

However, after being approved for section 8 and other rental programs, you will likely need to find a landlord that will accept your housing voucher and approve you for a lease. Most landlords will perform a credit check before approving you for a lease agreement to rent their property. Therefore, knowing your credit score and credit history before applying for rental assistance can be very helpful in helping you avoid untimely hang ups with landlords.

Will a Credit Check for a Lease Impact My Credit Score?

Generally no. Most landlords will do a soft credit check which will not impact your score. You can ask the landlord if they will be doing a hard credit check or soft credit check. Also, in some cases, landlords will choose to not do a credit check if they feel you are a worthy and responsible tenant.

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Will a Landlord Approve Me for a Lease with a Low Credit Score?

Yes, it is possible to be approved for a lease with poor credit. In fact, knowing what is on your credit score and explaining that to a potential landlord that is doing a credit check could improve your chances of being approved for a lease

In summary, we have provided a short list of things you can do to improve your odds of being approved for a lease if you have poor credit.

  • Provide Proof of Good Employment History: Landlords like seeing that renters have consistent time on the job, and are reliable when it comes to working and bringing in consistent income. Providing good employment history can certainly help you get approved for a lease, especially if you have poor credit.

  • Provide Good Rental History: This can say more for your than your credit score. Most potential landlords are going to evaluate your previous rental history and regard it as the most valuable information on your application for a lease.
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  • Know Your Credit Score and History: Knowing your credit score and credit history can help you maintain good credit. Sometimes things happen, bills get lost, misplaced or we forget to pay them. Companies can send past due bills to collections without us even knowing. This can end up negatively impacting your credit. Paying attention to your credit could keep small bills from going unnoticed and impacting your credit. If a bill is sent to collections and negatively impacts your credit score the faster your take care if it the quicker your credit score will improve. Additionally, being able to proactively explain what’s negatively impacting your credit will help make you look responsible to landlords.
  • Ask Your Housing Authority for Help: If you have been approved for a housing assistant program like section 8 housing choice vouchers or public housing, it could be a good idea to ask your housing authority if they have any referrals to landlords that have been flexible with tenants in the past. Apply for low-income rental assistance could mean that you have become unemployed, are on disability, or otherwise struggling to meet financial demands and you might not have the good credit, rental history or employment history. Housing Authorities will most likely have helped others in similar situations in the past. Don’t hesitate to ask for help and never get discouraged in your journey for housing assistance.

Leave a comment if you have any questions and we will do our best to get back to you. Remember we are not a government approved housing authority and we can’t tell you what landlords will do. We are here to help share our experience and knowledge in hopes that it can help in your journey to get the assistance you need during these uncertain times.

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