Your Lease, Credit Score, And Rental History as A Student

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Where do you want to live when you come to The University of Texas at Austin? Now is the perfect time to start making arrangements. Most students begin leasing as soon as September for the following August, giving an 11 month lead time.

What are the pros and cons of living off-campus versus in the dorms? How do you sign the lease? What does it mean for your credit score and rental history? Keep reading for the answers to all of these questions and more.



Most Significant Benefit of Living Off-Campus

You know that college prepares you for life after graduation. Getting your education in whatever your major is will give you the intellectual foundation you need, but what about your financial foundation?

Even if you’re lucky enough to avoid high student debt after college, you will need to begin building your credit so that you can qualify for major purchases, such as a home loan or car loan, in the future.

You may be surprised to learn that living off-campus can give you the kickstart you need for a solid financial footing. By renting as a college student, you begin to build your credit score and rental history. Here’s how.


How the Lease Agreement Works

As a student, if you’re not in the financial position to pay your own rent, you will sign a lease with a guarantor or cosigner. This will be a parent or guardian in most situations, and their financial information will be the basis for the lease approval.

The property will check their credit score, not yours, to start the process. However, once you sign the lease and move in, it’s in your name, even if you’re not the person directly paying rent. That provides a rental guarantee for the property but a financial starting point for you.



Your Future Credit Score

While the original lease will be approved using your cosigner’s credit score, the lease itself will be in your name. That means you begin building your credit history. We live in an economy where three numbers can affect your entire financial future, so the ability to begin with healthy credit will get you off to a great start.


Building Your Rental History

Apartment complexes everywhere will often look at rental history for applications. That protects property owners and management companies when renting out to individuals. They want to know that they’ll be paid on time every month, and the best predictor of that is past behavior. Starting strong with a rental history will help you after graduation and well into the future.



Do you want to know more about leasing an apartment when you start at The University of Texas at Austin? Contact the agents at Housing Scout today!

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