How to Rent an Apartment When You Are an International Student with No Proof of Income?

Updated on March 6, 2024

At a Glance

  • Use proof of financial assistance, such as loans, scholarships, or support from parents, to show income.
  • Consider paying a higher security deposit if you don’t have a guarantor.
  • Provide proof of income from your parents/guardian.
  • Use reference letters to demonstrate responsibility.

Being an international student has its own pros and cons (pros surely outweigh the cons!). On the one hand, you get international exposure and get to study from the world’s best faculty while also having the best time with your friends from different cultures. On the other hand, you have to lead your life away from your family in a foreign land.

If you are one among those, and have recently started a search for renting an apartment, but are taken aback due to lack of financial background, we’ve got your back.

Here are 6 smart tips that would help you in getting an accommodation even when you don’t have a financial background.

6 Smart Tips on Renting an Apartment as an International Student with No Financial Background

1. Proof of financial assistance

If you are an international student, chances are high that you might be receiving financial aid in the form of loans, scholarships or might be getting financial help from your parents to meet your college expenses and other needs.

You can use this document of assistance to your advantage while showing proof of your income.

2. Provide a high-security deposit if you don’t have any guarantor

Finding a guarantor on a foreign land is tough. To skip that, it is highly recommended to pay a higher security deposit. This usually covers up the risk associated when you don’t have any financial history in addition to not having a guarantor.

Owners usually agree to this method because they are covering up the risk involved in the event when you are unable to pay your month’s rent.

3. Using your parents/guardian’s proof of income

This is yet another best and simplest method that you can use in order to get an apartment on rent when you do not have any proof of income. This is because the owner only requires prior pay stubs from your parents, no matter which country you belong to. All they are concerned with is the surety that you will be able to cover your month’s rent.

4. Provide reference letters

You can use reference letters from your teachers, professors, and past employers. The main idea here is that if one is responsible and serious with their study and work, they are more likely to be serious about money as well.

Thus, character references serve as a good way to show that you are responsible and hardworking and would be paying the rent on time.

5. Finding a US guarantor

If any of the above-mentioned ideas seem to be working out, you can always make use of guarantor services. There are various websites like Jetty ( that provide these services and help you connect with your guarantor.

6. If nothing is working out, get a co-signer

If nothing seems to work out for you, it is highly recommended to ask a close relative, or a family member to co-sign for you. This way, the person who has co-signed with you would be liable to pay your rent in case you fail to do so.

Thus, to keep your relationship smooth, you should always make a point to pay your rent on time.

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We hope that the above-mentioned tips would have helped you in renting an apartment even when you don’t have a financial background.

Got any queries? Write us in the comments!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can international students with no proof of income rent an apartment in the U.S.?

Yes, international students without proof of income can still rent apartments in the United States. Landlords and property managers understand that students may not have traditional sources of income.

What are some alternatives to proof of income that international students can provide to landlords?

International students can provide alternative documentation to demonstrate their ability to cover rent and expenses. Some options include:

  • Bank Statements: Providing bank statements that show sufficient funds to cover rent for the lease term can be a viable alternative.
  • Guarantor or Co-Signer: Many landlords accept a guarantor or co-signer, such as a parent or relative, who is willing to take financial responsibility if the tenant cannot pay rent.
  • Prepaid Rent: Some landlords may accept prepaid rent for a portion or the entire lease term as proof of financial capability.
  • Scholarship or Financial Aid Letters: If the student receives scholarships or financial aid, providing official award letters can demonstrate financial stability.
  • Letters of Reference: Providing letters of reference from previous landlords or academic institutions can vouch for the student’s responsible behavior and reliability.

What information should international students include in their rental application?

International students should ensure their rental application is complete and includes the following:

  • Personal Information: Full name, contact details, and date of birth.
  • Academic Information: Details of the school, program, and expected graduation date.
  • Financial Information: Bank statements, scholarship information, or proof of funds.
  • References: Contact information for references, including previous landlords or academic advisors.
  • Visa Status: Details about their visa type and duration of stay in the U.S.
  • Proposed Lease Terms: Desired lease start date, lease duration, and any special requests or considerations.

How can international students build a positive rental history?

Building a positive rental history can be essential for international students. To do so:

  • Pay rent on time consistently.
  • Maintain the apartment in good condition.
  • Communicate with the landlord or property manager promptly.
  • Follow the lease terms and policies.

A positive rental history can help when renting future apartments or securing a co-signer or guarantor.

Are there specific housing options or complexes that cater to international students?

Some housing complexes or student housing options near universities may cater specifically to international students. These accommodations often understand the unique needs of international students and may have flexible requirements. Research housing options near your school to find those that are student-friendly.

Can international students use a roommate or subletting arrangement?

Yes, international students can consider roommate or subletting arrangements. Sharing an apartment with a roommate can reduce individual financial burdens, and subletting from a current tenant may require less stringent income verification.

How can international students improve their chances of renting an apartment?

To improve their chances of renting an apartment, international students should:

  • Be proactive in their housing search well in advance.
  • Prepare necessary documentation, including proof of funds or a co-signer if required.
  • Maintain good communication with landlords or property managers.
  • Consider housing options near their school, as these may be more familiar with student circumstances.

Is it advisable to work with a local housing agency or advisor?

Working with a local housing agency or advisor can be beneficial, as they can provide guidance on the local rental market, assist with the application process, and help find housing options that meet the student’s needs.

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Frank Gogol

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.

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