How to rent an apartment in the US without a cosigner or a credit history?

How to rent an apartment in the US without a cosigner or a credit history?

Apartment Renting Overview:

Renting an apartment in the United States can be a pain, especially for international students looking to be approved to rent out a place without a financial background. You probably do have a financial background, but if you come from another country, it is hard for this background to be taken into consideration by renters. We believe that you are responsible with your money, but in the U.S. you need evidence to back that up to get the things you want. However, it might be the case that you do not have anything to show for yourself when it comes to how you manage your money, so we have written an article to help you get around this nuisance. We will give you some tips on how you can get an apartment in the United States without having to prove your financial background.

First of all, it is important to note that for every apartment you are trying to rent, you will be asked to confirm some kind of financial information because property owners want to be sure you will be able to pay for the apartment. Sometimes, you will be asked for a cosigner or a guarantor, which is a person such as a parent or a guardian that can show financial security through their income. The guarantor provides this security by signing the lease agreement together with you and becoming responsible to pay off the contract in case you are not able to.  If you are in the U.S. as an international student, this might be problematic since your parents and family are probably back in your home country, making it unrealistic for them to come sign a lease agreement for you in the United States. Aside from the obvious inconveniences of traveling cross-country to sign a contract, property owners are likely to not accept your family as a guarantor because they tend to only accept guarantors with US nationality.


Do not worry though because there are other ways around this minor inconvenience. Below, we offer you some options you can explore to secure your apartment in the United States with ease:

  1. Make a higher deposit: Almost all property owners will give you the possibility to simply make a higher security deposit before renting an apartment. Usually, you have to deposit an additional one month or two months’ rent in order to be allowed to rent the property. Property owners ask for this in case you can not pay your rent and use the money to pay off what you might not have been able to. However, if you always pay your rent, you will simply get back your security deposit by the termination of your rental agreement.
  2. Proof of Financial Assistance: Another option you have to be accepted to rent an apartment is by proving you have financial assistance through scholarships from the university. If you don’t have a scholarship that covers housing, you can show them your loan or any financial backing you get from your parents. The important thing is that you have proof in form of a documentation of your financial assistance.
  3. Proof of your Parents Income: If you don’t have an income in the United States, you can show proof of your parent’s monthly income in your home country. Usually, property owners will accept income statements from other countries. But in order to be a 100% sure, we recommend you to ask your property owner if they are willing to accept income statements from other countries as well.
  4. US Guarantor or Jetty: As already mentioned above, you also have the option of getting a cosigner or guarantor, which can be difficult as an international student. But apart from that option, you can get an online guarantor such as Jetty that assumes the risk for your apartment in exchange for a monthly fee. The idea is that it works like an insurance policy, but for renting apartments.

As you can see, there are several options of how you can get an apartment in the United States without having a financial background. When looking for an apartment, you should check facebook boards on renting apartments around your school’s area, ask the schools international office for help and recommendations, and consider renting out on-campus apartment instead of going off-campus. Getting an apartment on-campus might remove a headache you will find going by yourself off campus.

You can also choose to rent an apartment with a US national that is offering a room to rent in an apartment. You can find people like this as you build your network and grow your social bubble once you arrive. Some students might not ask for the legal paperwork if you are able to bridge a connection with them and assure them verbally that you will pay your part of the rent each month.

If you want to take a look at a website that helps you find apartments at your university, check out LoftSmart. On their website, you can simply pick your school on an alphabetized dropdown list and a number of apartments will appear. Once you have found one that you like, you can simply apply for it online; the property manager will review your application and send you the leasing package once you are approved. They also give you the option to chat with your property manager in case you have more questions.

We wish you the best of luck for your studies in the US and hope you find the perfect apartment while you live your best life abroad! We hope you have an amazing experience and that our article has helped you out with understanding how you can rent an apartment without showing your financial background. If you have already had your experience abroad, please feel free to share it with our community!  It might help someone find the apartment they are looking for at their university.

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