A young adult renting apartments -- especially one with a short record of employment and no meaningful credit history -- may require a cosigner. The cosigning process itself is straightforward and common enough that any apartment complex can give you detailed instructions. Before you actually cosign, however, be sure you understand the risks involved. Even the most responsible child can get into financial difficulty when starting out. Be sure that you can afford the payment if it comes to that.
Go to the apartment complex with your child and confirm that cosigners are accepted. Check the unit with your child, explaining to her what to look for in an apartment. As with any home rental, you will want to make sure that the appliances are in good repair and the unit is clean and ready for move in.
Meet with your child's roommates, if applicable, and make sure they understand the lease requirements and are able to pay their share of the rent each month.
Provide your proof of identity and income to the apartment complex and fill out an application. Your credit history and income will be used to qualify your child for the apartment. The required credit score can vary from complex to complex, but the general rule of thumb for income requirements is three times the monthly rent. For example, if the apartment's rent is $400 a month, you will need to prove that you have an income of at least $1,200 a month.
Wait for the apartment complex to finish processing your application. Ensure that your child and any roommates have also filled out applications.
Sign the lease. Have your child and his roommates sign the lease as well. Make sure that your child understands that he must pay his share of the rent every month.
Items you will need
- Proof of ID
- Proof of income
- Unless you can afford to make the payments if your child cannot do so, cosigning her lease may represent a significant risk.
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