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First Time Renter? You Need Credit
Planning to move out of your parents' house and into an apartment is a difficult process. In order to avoid adding additional stress to that which inevitably comes along with planning, preparing and packing, you should consider establishing good credit. Without it, some apartment complexes will give first time renters the option to have a guarantor. However, every complex has it's own rules and some refuse applications from people without a good credit history. In order to make sure that your application will be accepted, you should consider applying for a credit card.
Getting a credit card is a huge responsibility, but if you handle it well, you might be able to rent the apartment of your dreams all on your own. If you don't try to get some sort of credit, and the apartment complex requires a co-signer, they usually want the guarantor to be a parent or legal guardian. In this case, you still have the security of your parent's money to fall back on. If you want your apartment to be your apartment, you need to consider your options.
What are my options?
The most common choice in developing a credit history is to apply for a credit card. You can get credit by making payments on anything in your name from bills at school, to car payments, but be aware that most complexes require a credit history of at least six months.
The opportunities are endless. If the credit card representatives aren't already beating down your doors and tying up your phone lines like they are mine, you can search for credit cards using your favorite search engine. Just type in "credit cards". Most of the major credit card pages such as Mastercard and Visa even give you opportunities to apply on-line.
Should I get a secured or an unsecured card?
If you don't meet certain criteria, you are required to secure your credit card with a deposit, and that becomes your credit line. The criteria depends on the credit card, so you will want to clarify with the card company you choose. Secured credit cards are also good for people who do not trust themselves with an astronomical credit card limit, or who do not want to worry about exactly how much they can afford to spend. Sometimes people get carried away with unsecured credit cards and forget that they will eventually have to pay the bills.
I Already have a credit card. How can I get a Credit Report?
If you do have a credit history, you will definitely want to check it before you apply to apartments. That way you avoid the embarrassment of having the landlord discover a black mark before you do. In checking your credit, you might find that there's an error in the records you can fix before it becomes a setback. You can visit apartments.com for an inexpensive credit checking report.
If you're thinking about moving out in the next year, you should consider applying for a credit card now. That way, you can begin to establish some sort of history before you begin apartment hunting. You have to start building a good report sometime, and when is a better time than now?
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