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I am looking to rent a townhome and I have a credit score of 762.

Over a month ago I got a notice about a new account on my credit report, so I look into it. $2800 collections notice from an apartment, it was my ex girlfriends, I put my name on her lease, she co-signed. (I know it was a stupid decision) turns out they didn't pay everything they needed to when they left.

I can't pay it off right now. Should I get a private loan to pay it off before I apply for an apartment lease?

Or will my credit score of 762 still be enough to get an average apartment even with a collections on it?

I never have issues paying my bills, but obviously the collection looks bad to anyone looking at my credit. Any advice or info you could give would be amazing, thank you so much.

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Should I get a private loan to pay it off before I apply for an apartment lease?

I doubt that will affect your credit quickly enough to make a difference in this case.

If you have the money to pay it off or can't/don't want to try to get the other party to pay all or some if it, then I would clean it up as soon as you can. You gain nothing by waiting.

In the meantime, I doubt you'd be denied based on that score since it's not terrible, and most places I've dealt with don't change a different rent based on your credit score. It's just used to a decision on whether to rent to you or not, and possibly how much deposit to put down.

However, it can't hurt to ask the property manager if you could get a better rate with a better credit score, and if so, see if they'll give you a break because of your circumstances.

  • The rent rate is perfectly fine, and I plan on paying it off as fast as possible, I just wasnt sure if a collections report on a credit report, even if my score isnt terrible, would be used to judge wether or not I would get approved, thank you! – Logan May 10 '17 at 17:07
  • @Logan Well the owner can base that decision on whatever they want, but I'd be surprised if that event prevented you from renting, especially given that it's a co-sign for someone else. – D Stanley May 10 '17 at 18:10
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Many landlords care less about specific credit score and more about the nature of the negative actvities. Collections activity related to a prior rental is a pretty big red flag. Personally, I don't care as much if someone has out of control credit card debt or even previous bankruptcy if they've got a solid history of paying their rent on time.

It's going to vary a lot by agency/landlord, if you have an otherwise solid history then plenty will overlook this completely reasonable unfortunate situation, others may dismiss you immediately. I think it's best to be up front with them before they get to the point of pulling your credit report.

If you paid it off, it could take close to two months to show up on your credit report as 'paid' and even then it shows up on your credit report for 7 years. You might be able to negotiate a 'pay for delete' so it disappears from your credit report, but many companies won't do that. If they'd do a pay for delete, then it might be worth taking a personal loan to get it removed, otherwise I don't think it's worth it, and your still good credit score will recover from this.

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