The Two Numbers All First Time Renters Need to Know

Author: Alecia Pirulis


If it’s your first time searching for an apartment, there are two very important numbers to know.  One number that’s important to you, and another that’s important to the prospective apartment community. If monthly rent and credit score came to mind in that order, you have a leg up than most first-time renters. It’s surprising how many people begin their apartment search without knowing their budget or their credit score, as these are two essential pieces to the apartment search process.

I. Your Budget


It’s recommended you stay below 30% of your income when figuring what rent payment you can afford. Don’t want to stretch yourself too thin by spending half your income on rent. You’ll find yourself sitting at home most evenings in a nice apartment with no cable and eating ramen noodles.

Take into consideration other house-related expenses and financial responsibilities before you begin your search, like utilities, groceries, insurance, car payment and laundry money. Many first time renters forget to calculate laundry expenses when renting in an apartment community that doesn’t offer washer and dryers in their units and end up with piles of dirty clothes until their next payday.

Finally, be realistic with money you’d like to save and play with after paying bills. If you like to eat out, watch live bands or go to the movies frequently, you may have to cut back if you don’t allocate money towards entertainment before paying rent. Once you know all your expenses, you can decide on rent you can afford and feel comfortable paying.

II. Your Credit Score


What they don’t teach you in school is how vital your credit score is in determining your quality of life as an adult. This is why you must understand its function and improve it when necessary. An apartment community will use your score to heavily weigh in on their decision to approve you as a tenant.

A “good” credit score will increase your chances of getting into an apartment of your choice, and it should fall within the range of 620-800. You might be considered as an unworthy candidate if your score is below 620. You probably won’t be approved unless you have a large deposit to present at the time of application, and that’s if the apartment community will accept it. While it’s not impossible to find an apartment that will accept your “bad” credit score, they might not be as luxurious as your top choices.

Do you know these two vital numbers?  When it comes time to look for a new apartment home to rent, it’s always best to be fully prepared for any challenges that may come your way!