Did you ignore all of the times your parents, counselors, or teachers told you to build up your credit score for one day when you’re older? Well… oops you’re older. Renting an apartment can be a challenging process, especially if you have little or no credit history, a low credit score, or a limited income. In such cases, a cosigner may be required to help you secure the apartment lease. So that leads us to the question of what’s a cosigner and why would I need one?
A cosigner is a person who signs the lease agreement with you and agrees to be held responsible for the rent payment if you fail to do so. Essentially, a cosigner acts as a guarantor for the lease agreement, and their creditworthiness and financial stability are taken into account by the landlord or property management company. If you default on rent payments, the cosigner will be legally obligated to pay the outstanding balance.
So now that we’ve answered the question of “what’s a cosigner”, let’s look at why you may need one. A cosigner is typically required when a prospective tenant’s income or credit history does not meet the landlord’s criteria. For instance, if you have a low credit score or a short credit history, the landlord may view you as a high-risk tenant and may require a cosigner to provide additional assurance that the rent will be paid on time. Similarly, if you’re a student or have recently started a new job, you may not have a steady income, which can also make you a risky tenant in the eyes of the landlord.
In some cases, landlords may require a cosigner for all tenants, regardless of their credit score or income level. This is more common in expensive rental markets or in buildings with a high demand for apartments.
If you need a cosigner, it’s essential to choose someone who has a good credit history, a steady income, and who is willing to take on the legal responsibility of being a cosigner. Common choices for cosigners include parents, siblings, or other close family members. Before asking someone to be your cosigner, it’s important to discuss the details of the lease agreement, including the monthly rent, the length of the lease, and any other relevant terms and conditions.
In conclusion, a cosigner can be an effective way to secure an apartment lease if you have a low credit score, a short credit history, or a limited income. However, it’s important to choose a cosigner who has good credit and is willing to take on the legal responsibility of being a cosigner. If you need a cosigner, make sure to discuss the details of the lease agreement with them and ensure that they understand the risks and obligations involved. Interested in talking with one of our licensed agents more about the ins and outs of securing a new apartment? Click here for more info.