You are so excited. You finally found the apartment of your dreams and you are already picturing your furniture in your new place. As you turn in the application, you are filled with anticipation. You head home and wait for the call to tell you that you got the apartment. The next day, you finally get the call, only to find out that you were not approved unless you can get a cosigner.
What is a cosigner?
Moving Today states that a cosigner is someone who signs the lease with you. However, this does not mean he is your roommate. With a cosigner, you will still live in the apartment alone. You simply need a cosigner to take responsibility for the rent should you default on paying it.
Why do I need one?
When the apartment management was reviewing your application, something came up as a red flag. This could have happened for a majority of reasons. The main cause of needing a cosigner is limited credit. If you are just starting out, you probably do not have much of a credit history. This does not mean you aren’t capable of paying your rent on time, it just means the apartment has no way of knowing if you are or not.
If you do have a credit history, but it involves late payments or a bankruptcy, this is another reason you may need a cosigner. Even something as simple as just starting out at your job may alert the manager that you may be a risk as a renter.
How do I find a cosigner?
Choosing a cosigner can be a very tricky process. You want to find someone that is financially stable enough that he could actually cover your rent if needed. He needs to have a strong credit profile so that your application will get approved. You also want to choose someone that you have a strong relationship with. This person is taking responsibility for you, and if for some reason you really can’t pay your rent, you don’t want your relationship to be ruined.
Don’t take advantage of the cosigner.
When someone cosigns for you, it is a big deal. That person is saying that he trusts you and is willing to take responsibility for you. You should not take this commitment lightly. You should always do everything you can to pay your rent on time. Never just assume your cosigner can take over so you can spend your money on other things. In fact, it is better to proceed with your lease as if you don’t have a cosigner so that you take all the responsibility of making your payments on time.
While it may seem like a low blow that you can’t get approved on your own, just know that needing a cosigner is just a small step for you to get the apartment you want. If you can prove your credit worthiness this time around, next time you will be able to get an apartment all on your own.