How to Get An Apartment Without a Job

May 20th 2024
To get an apartment without a job you need to convince the landlord that you can afford to pay the rent. There are many ways to do this, including sharing financial documents that show you are financially stable or having a friend or family member co-sign the lease. This article explains eight practical ways to do just that.

First, consider getting a co-signer who can guarantee your rent. Another option is finding a roommate with good credit. You can also look for private landlords who have fewer requirements. Presenting a strong credit letter or asking past landlords for references can also help. If you have a high credit score, make sure to highlight it. Paying several months' rent upfront or taking out a personal loan are other ways to secure an apartment. Lastly, research any financial or shelter assistance you might qualify for. Read on to find out more about all of these strategies.

hash-markHow to Get an Apartment Without a Job

  1. Get a Co-Signer
  2. Find a Roommate
  3. Rent From a Private Landlord
  4. Present a Credit Letter
  5. Ask Previous Landlords for References
  6. Lean On Your Credit Score
  7. Pay Upfront
  8. Get a Personal Loan
  9. Do Your Research

hash-mark1. Get a Co-Signer

One of the best ways to get an apartment without a job is to get a co-signer or an individual to stand in for you. Unlike a roommate, a co-signer is a person that acts as a surety and assures the landlord that the rent will be paid on time and in full. In other words, your co-signer is held responsible if you’re unable to make rent payments. More importantly, your co-signer must have an excellent credit history and a steady income source. 

If you cannot find a friend or family member to act as your co-signer, you can take advantage of guarantor services. In this case, you pay the guarantor to act as a co-signer on the lease. However, most landlords may disapprove of this if they find out. 

hash-mark2. Find a Roommate

If you don’t have enough money saved up or can’t find anyone to co-sign on your lease, another good option to find an apartment is getting a roommate. Try scouting Craigslist and other social media platforms for a roommate with excellent credit and financial records. You can secure the apartment based on the roommate’s financial record. 

Remember that you will need to provide half of the monthly rent or whatever percentage agreed upon. So, you must be actively searching for jobs or have a stream of income no matter how small it may be to avoid becoming a liability to your roommate. 

hash-mark3. Rent From a Private Landlord

Another way to rent an apartment if you don't have a job is to find a private landlord to rent from. Many private-owned apartment buildings are flexible on their requirements so the application process won't be as stringent. Many private landlords do not care about employment, income, or credit, so if you don't have a job and want to find a no-credit-check apartment, this is a great option. Do your research and apply to multiple private-owned apartment buildings. 

While these apartments may be difficult to find, they are more likely to come at a higher monthly rent or security deposit cost. If your credit score is less than stellar and without a job, this may be your best option. However, it would be best to avoid large apartment complexes due to their strict rules surrounding renting. 

hash-mark4. Present a Credit Letter

If you’ve saved up enough money in the bank, you can request a credit letter that proves that the bank will cover the rent whenever you default on rent payments. Most banks and landlords will want to see proof of funds covering a year’s rent. For example, if your potential apartment monthly rent is $1,200, you should have at least $14,400 saved up in the account. You cannot pull out the funds for any other purpose aside from rent payment. 

While you would still be making payments on the rent, the sum will be drawn from the account to cover the rent if you cannot pay the rent. By the end of your lease, the remaining sum in the account will be transferred to you and used for just any purpose. 

hash-mark5. Ask Previous Landlords for References

If you’ve been a model tenant or have great relationships with your past landlords, now is the time to take advantage of those past relationships. Reach out to them and ask if they can draft a landlord reference letter for you. A reference letter can serve as a vouch that describes you as a model tenant who is punctual and responsible. You should include the reference letter when submitting your rental application. 

hash-mark6. Lean on Your Credit Score

If you have an excellent credit score and history, you should consider including it in your rental application. With a credit score in the 700s, most lenders might decide to overlook the fact that you currently do not have a job. But if your credit score is poor and you do not have employment, it may be pretty difficult for you to secure an apartment in some US cities where real estate markets are competitive. 

However, don’t panic! There are ways to get an apartment with a low credit score.

hash-mark7. Pay Upfront

You can also rent an apartment without having a job if you pay upfront. This is often one of the only ways to get an apartment as a student with no income. You'll likely need significant savings or help from your parents, but if you have the cash it's one of the simplest ways to rent an apartment without a job. 

hash-mark8. Get a Personal Loan

While this should be your last resort, taking out a personal loan can help you cover the cost of rent if you are unemployed. However, you may have to deal with interest and monthly loan payments. Ask your landlord how many months of rent they want in advance and take out a personal loan to cover the costs. 

It would help if you also considered increasing the loan amount you take out to cover additional living expenses until you can secure suitable employment. More importantly, before taking out a personal loan, you should consider how much monthly payment you can afford and the possibility of securing a job in the coming weeks. 

hash-mark9. Do Your Research 

If you have a disability or are a veteran, you may qualify for one form of financial or shelter assistance or the other. Reach out to the relevant local authorities to find out what you qualify for, search for grants and rent assistance programs in your locality. You should also consider reaching out to your friends and family for recommendations. 

hash-markGetting An Apartment Without a Job Bottom Line

There are many reasons someone without a job might need an apartment. No matter what you've heard, you can still rent an apartment even if you’re unemployed or don’t have a steady income. The tips in this article can help: work on your credit, save money, look for a roommate, or ask someone to co-sign. Use social media and the internet to find rent assistance programs near you. With the right plan, you can find a place to live without having a job.