How to Apply for Apartments if Your Income Changes

If your income has drastically changed, you may have to move to a more affordable apartment. However, when applying to rent an apartment, you will usually need to show your income to prove that you can afford the rent. Given this obstacle, how can you relocate with a significant decrease in your budget? Here are some ways to apply for apartments if your income changes.

Use co-signers or guarantors

Getting a guarantor may help you get the apartment you want. A guarantor is your landlord’s fallback from whom to pursue payment if you can’t afford your rent or other housing payments. Any person who signs your lease as a guarantor agrees to assume financial responsibility, and your landlord can legally bind your guarantor to pay. 

How to Apply for Apartments if Your Income Changes

Alternatively, you can get a co-signer, which is similar to a guarantor. The difference between a guarantor and a co-signer is that a co-signer usually has more responsibilities under the lease and can live in the apartment as a tenant.

The first step toward getting a guarantor or co-signer is simple: Just ask around. Most commonly, people first ask their parents to be guarantors or co-signers, so start with them. If your parents say no, ask your friends or co-workers. 

If you find someone willing to be your guarantor or co-signer, be clear about what their commitment requires. Often, landlords ask co-signers and guarantors to submit proof of income such as pay stubs, background checks, and credit checks, and gathering all this paperwork can cost money and time. Additionally, if your landlord is charging a co-signer or guarantor application fee, you should offer to pay it.

Show your previous years’ tax returns

Provide your previous year of tax returns to show your landlord an accurate snapshot of how much you typically earned per year before your income change. Doing so is a straightforward way for a potential new landlord to get a sense of your possible future income rather than making them sift through all your checks and direct deposits. It’s also best to show your tax return if you are a contracted employee or freelancer.

Find open rooms on the internet

You can often find room openings online since, fortunately for you, some spare rooms listed online are posted by people who are looking for an extra roommate, not by the landlord. Thus, you might be able to find a room without going through a formal application process. However, ever in this situation, some landlords might still put you through the normal application process, even if just as a formality. 

Local services or support groups

You may be able to find local services and support groups that help people find new living arrangements. If you have recently become disabled or are re-entering society in any way, try contacting relevant grant programs or other support groups. You can also consult a local organization database to find groups that can help you stay in your current apartment or find new housing.

Have you recently moved to a new apartment after experiencing a drastic decrease in your income? Sound off in the comments!

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