I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.See all posts Frank Gogol
Apartment Rental Tips for International Students
Happy times are here. You have finally received an acceptance letter from your dream university in the United States and you are busy celebrating it with your friends and family. But, then, in between, someone asks – where are you going to live?
Well, that’s when the whole trouble starts. You cross-checked, and your university doesn’t provide accommodation.
So, a thousand miles away in a country you have never been – you need to find an apartment.
Before you freak out, we are here to help you!
Do your homework
Before you start looking for an apartment randomly, it is best to conduct a research at your own end. It is highly recommended to check your university’s website and find out the locality nearby.
Then, use Google maps to find the nearby places along with the crime statistics in that area.
You can even make use of social media and join groups on Facebook and other social media networks where your friends/friends of friends might be studying in the same area and seek help.
Check if you have all the documents
The least that you would expect is leaving the important documents back at your home.
Once you are in the U.S, chances are high that your landlord would check your credit score report, ITR of 2 years, bank statements of 3 months and paycheck stubs of 3 months just to verify that your monthly income is at least 40 times your monthly rent.
However, if you don’t have these documents, you would need to show your passport, and acceptance letter provided by your university along with a proof which shows that you have the required funds to provide rents.
Take a few copies of these documents and carry them with you while you are hunting for the apartment.
Arrive early to conduct a search
It is important to note here that most apartment owners provide you the accommodation only at the beginning of the month. Thus, you might need to stay in hotel, hostel or in Airbnb for a few days while you are on the lookout for an apartment.
To speed up the things, make use of research that you already did online and check the properties you shortlisted. Even if nothing seems to work out, you would know what you will get in your budget. You can then work on the things and adjust your budget accordingly.
Be cautious of scammers
You should be very cautious when it comes to finalizing a deal. Scammers can even create a genuine-looking social media account and can even set up phone calls with their fake identity, collect money and disappear.
Thus, do not finalize a deal without visiting the place and ensuring that the person offering the apartment is the real owner or authorized to do so.
That said; finding an apartment rental can be a bit tough abroad, however, it is not impossible. All you need to do is make right connections, research in-depth online, get yourself acquainted with the area, check transport options and analyze what would work best for you.