The search for the perfect apartment can be both time-consuming and stressful. After investing so much effort into finding the right place, the last thing you want is to be denied during the application process.
At Moontower, we understand that not everyone meets the income requirements for renting an apartment. If you’re a student or don’t have much credit history, you may need a guarantor to help you overcome this hurdle.
In this article, we will break down what a guarantor is, when you might need one, and what to do if you cannot find someone to act as your guarantor.
What is a guarantor and what are they responsible for?
When you sign a lease, you enter a contractual agreement with the property’s landlord to pay your rent each month. A guarantor is someone who co-signs the lease agreement, and is responsible for any rent you do not or cannot pay.
For example, if your rental rate is $2,000 per month, and you sign a 12 month lease, your guarantor will be held accountable for the entire sum of $24,000, plus any additional fees for extras or damages.
Many people have a parent, guardian or close friend act as their guarantor.
When might a guarantor be needed?
There are a few situations where you might need a guarantor. The most common include not meeting the income requirement set by an apartment, having little to no credit history, or having a poor credit score.
1. You don’t meet the income requirement.
Typically, downtown Phoenix apartments require your monthly income to be at least three times the monthly rental rate of the apartment you wish to rent. This ensures you can comfortably afford rent and decreases the likelihood of lease default.
If you don’t meet the income requirement set by the apartment you are interested in, you typically have the option of adding a guarantor. Your guarantor must meet the guarantor income requirements, which typically requires their income to range from four to six times the monthly rental rate of the apartment.
This income requirement can be met and proven by showing pay stubs or bank statements. You and your guarantor will likely also have to provide your Social Security numbers so that the landlord can run a credit check.
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2. You have little or no credit history.
A guarantor may also be needed if you have little or no credit history.
If you are a first-time renter or student, you may not have a credit score or it may be low, due to having very little credit history.
Landlords and property managers often consider credit scores as they reflect how regularly you pay your bills, and if you pay them on time.
You and your guarantor will likely have to provide your Social Security numbers so the landlord can run credit checks.
3. You have a low credit score.
While rental properties generally don’t specify a minimum credit score requirement, having a poor credit score may result in denial of your application. Typically, landlords prefer a credit score above 650 to approve a rental application.
What if I can’t find someone to act as my guarantor?
If you are unable to find someone to act as your guarantor, there are alternative options to help you secure your apartment.
These companies use an in-depth application and review process to examine each candidate and the risk they bring. If approved, you will pay either a one-time fee or monthly premium to secure a guarantee.
If you were to default on your lease, rather than a guarantor being responsible for the missed payments, the insurance policy secured through your third-party guarantor company will cover the missed payment.
You would then need to reimburse the insurance company for what was paid on your behalf. In addition to reimbursement of the third-party company, eviction and legal action may occur, so it’s important to understand exactly what is required and what is covered under the policy.
So, what about Moontower?
If you are interested in living in Moontower, there are a few requirements you must meet in order to qualify.
When you fill out your application, you’ll need to provide a valid government-issued photo ID. This will be used to check both your credit and criminal history. If we find any issues with either, it could lead to a denial or the need for an extra deposit or guarantor.
Applicants must have a combined verifiable income that is at least three times the rental rate of their apartment. We require that a tenant’s income is at least three times the rent so that we can have confidence that the tenant will be able to afford the rent and are unlikely to default on their lease.
If you choose to add a guarantor, we require their income to be at least five times the rental rate of the apartment.
For an in-depth explanation of how to qualify to rent an apartment at Moontower, read our How Do I Qualify to Rent an Apartment at Moontower article.
We hope that this article helps you better understand what options you have if you don’t meet the income or credit requirements at an apartment complex.
If you have any questions or need further clarification regarding Moontower’s requirements, please reach out to our leasing team. We are happy to help you with your housing search in any way we can!