While not having a steady source of income can put some limits on everyday living, it doesn't mean you can't rent an apartment and have a comfortable place to live.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 percent of the country was unemployed in January 2019. This equals about 6.5 million people out of work across the country who still need somewhere to live.
These strategies can help you while on the apartment hunt in this particular situation.
Not all apartment rentals require you to show proof of income. While not necessarily the norm, this situation may potentially occur when a unit is for rent by owner primarily because you're able to talk directly with the landlord about your situation.
You may not have proof of income, but you can thoroughly explain how you'll still be able to pay rent on time. Your time apartment searching will be better focused on apartments rented by owner since units available through rental agencies and management companies are typically less flexible when it comes to proof of income.
Income isn't everything when completing a rental application. If you're currently without any incoming money, focus on the other qualities that make you a good applicant for an apartment.
According to Experian, most credit scores fall between 600 and 750. A score of 700 or above is considered good and anything 800 and above is excellent. If your credit score falls into this range, show it off. Just because you don't currently have an income doesn't mean you aren't good at managing your finances. The higher the score, the more confident people will feel in your ability to pay your bills and cover your debts.
You can still be financially comfortable and able to handle the monthly costs of renting an apartment without an income. If you've saved up enough to not work, or built up a cushion while you look for work, supply proof of funds by sharing a bank statement when you're filling out a rental application. Having proof that you're financially able to cover rent, no matter the source, helps convince a landlord you're able to rent.
If you're able, even without a current income, offer to pay more upfront than just first month, last month and the security deposit. Adding in a few additional months of rent when you sign the lease can demonstrate that you're financially able to cover the cost of living in your apartment.
You may even want to consider creating a renter's resume, which not only highlights these qualifications, but also can include references from previous landlords or employers. This additional documentation demonstrates why you're an all-around good candidate to rent that apartment.
There's no rule saying you have to rent alone, no matter your situation. If you're in need of extra help while you work toward establishing your finances, consider getting a co-signer on an apartment loan. This person serves as a backup payment source if you're unable to pay.
Think of it as a lease guarantor. Their financial background will balance out yours on a rental application. Just make sure whoever you ask, friend or family, understands their responsibilities if for some reason you're unable to pay rent. Whoever you ask should have good credit and steady income.
Another route to get a break on rent costs is to consider living with a roommate. A lot of the time people already in a unit with an extra bedroom are looking for someone they can easily share space with and will focus on whether your personality meshes with theirs over whether or not you have a steady income.
Now that you know it's possible to find an apartment to rent without income, it's time to compile your apartment hunting checklist. Make sure you set realistic expectations for the type of apartment most likely available to you and happy hunting.