Canada is one of several countries that uses your credit rating to determine your approval for things like credit cards, loans, and apartments. The reasons landlords look at your credit rating is because it shows your trustworthiness and how good you are at paying bills. If you know your credit score is low, you can still get approved, but it may take a little more work.
Get a Co-Signer
Perhaps the easiest way to get approved for an apartment with bad credit is by getting a co-signer who has good credit. The co-signer must also be able to show their proof of employment and the landlord will have to approve them alongside you and anyone else that will be on the lease. If you fail to pay rent, your co-signer can step in and pay it for you. Also keep in mind they are legally responsible for the apartment as well, so any evictions or legal disputes at the apartment also go on their record.
Have Steady Employment
Many apartment managers are willing to look past your credit rating if you can prove you currently make enough money to pay your rent. Having steady employment for a long period of time is a great way to do that. If you have a fairly new job, you can always try getting a letter from your supervisor that says this is a permanent, full-time position, not a temporary or seasonal one. This can prove you will have your job for a long time and make enough money to cover your bills and rent.
Show a Solid Rental History
Your rental history with previous landlords is an excellent way to be approved for an apartment when you don't have the best credit rating. If you have rented an apartment or home in the past, it will show up in your background check. The landlord can see that you paid your rent in full and on time, and that you don't have any evictions on your record. To go one step further, try getting positive references from previous landlords that reiterate how good of a tenant you were and that you always paid your rent on time.
Offer a Higher Deposit
This is often the preferred method of getting approved for an apartment with less-than-stellar credit. If they accept a certain amount of security deposit for the apartment, you can offer to pay double or even triple this amount. This allows the landlord extra security for your apartment, because if you miss a payment, it is covered by the extra deposit you left. You might also find they want first and last month's rent in lieu of a higher deposit. Click here for more information on apartments for rent.