If you are a first-time renter and cannot meet the New York City landlords’ income target (up to 40-45 times your monthly rent, up to 80-90 times for a guarantor) there’s a new way to jump that hurdle. As reported in The New York Times on July 20, 2008, a new company called Insurent requires an income of only 27 1/2 times your monthly rent to insure your rent payments to the landlord. The insurance does not come cheap, the premium is 58-110 percent of your monthly rent, and it requires that you have a job lined up and that your credit score is over 630 (the lower end of the premium goes to those with a stellar credit score of 800+), but if you have the upfront cash, it’s something to investigate. According to the Times article, some 300 large rental buildings already accept the insurance.
To find your personal credit score start by getting your free credit report. Under a new law, you are entitled to get a free credit report from each of the major credit bureaus once a year. The FICO score is not part of the report, but can be ordered for a small fee at the same time. You can also get your score by going to myfico.com, where it will cost you $15.95.