Can a low credit score keep me from my Brooklyn dream?
February 21, 2007 8:00 PM   Subscribe

What credit score is a minumum requirement for an apartment in NYC?

More info: I'll be looking in Brooklyn, specifically Greenpoint/Williamsburg. I might be able to have my dad co-sign if neccesary. Does that even really help? I got my credit report/score recently and while I'm already getting on with fixing it, I move in May and I'm starting to panic.
posted by youcancallmeal to Work & Money (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Well, the crazy brokers on Craigslist all want like, something that starts with a 6. A lot of them say 650. But that's crazy talk. Yes you'll need a guarantor (AKA dad) if you don't have 10 grand ready to fork over and a decent score. Is your credit score like... 400? Cuz in that case you're going to really have to work. (As in, move in with a lease-holding roommate and hang on till they move out and then take over by sending checks right to the landlord.) But also you can backdoor with landlords who manage their own properties and don't use brokers. (Basic advice: Do what you can to avoid brokers. Uh, duh.)
posted by RJ Reynolds at 8:12 PM on February 21, 2007

If you do have credit problems, then yes, you will almost certainly need your father to co-sign, and assuming he has solid credit then yes, this will certainly help.
posted by ChasFile at 8:12 PM on February 21, 2007

Response by poster: (For the record, it's not '400' low, but it's not '600' high, either.)
posted by youcancallmeal at 8:16 PM on February 21, 2007

I have lived in North Brooklyn for seven years now and have never had my credit checked. My first apartment was through a broker, then with a friend, then an illegal loft. I would recommend moving in with a roomie, anyway: instant network, cheaper, etc.
posted by dame at 8:54 PM on February 21, 2007

Best answer: I live in greenpoint (its wonderful, btw! i'm never leaving!) and when my roommate and i got our apt (3 years ago) we had no credit check and no jobs, and the only thing we had going for us is that i had a little bit of savings in the bank. But the broker took a liking to us and the very first apartment he brought us to, the landlords really liked us as well, so they gave us the apt. if you go to the little, family owned places, they're much more informal and willing to work with you. in other words, DONT go to that evil apartment and lofts place on Bedford Avenue. If you want I can give you the contact info for the broker i and my other friends in the area used. theyre the best.
posted by silverstatue at 9:02 PM on February 21, 2007

Response by poster: silverstatue: i would love that info! my email's in my profile.
posted by youcancallmeal at 9:21 PM on February 21, 2007

I know someone thats about $80,000 in debt at 19 years old that had no problem getting an apartment in Williamsburg, as long as the rent is paid.

I was also looking recently in Brooklyn and the landlady wanted her rent in cash, and wasn't concerned with credit.

With that said, I dont think it will be impossible for you to find somewhere.
posted by rubberkey at 11:17 PM on February 21, 2007

Everyone and their brother wants to live in Wburg/Gpoint. Consider too Bushwick and LIC; having low credit means being flexible in the NYC real estate market.
posted by DenOfSizer at 2:09 AM on February 22, 2007

A "strong" guarantor (co-signer) is someone who makes about 80 times the rent at a steady long-term job, has excellent and well-established credit, and ideally lives in NY state (because a landlord knows that if a guarantor is out of state, it's harder to force them to pay if you can't). If your dad matches all of those, you're absolutely set; if he matches only partly, it will depend on the landlord's discretion.

Also, RJ's being more than a little alarmist with that 10K figure. You can definitely find a 1000/mo studio in Greenpoint. In that case you'd be unlikely to need more than 4K: first month, last month, and broker's fee of 1800 if you're using a broker (fee is typically 15% of a year's rent).
posted by allterrainbrain at 3:45 AM on February 22, 2007

Hey, just emailed you the contact info for that Greenpoint broker. Good luck!
posted by silverstatue at 10:16 AM on February 22, 2007

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