A place of your own

If you want to rent an apartment by yourself or with roommates, here are the steps to success.


To rent an apartment

Set a rent maximum

Know how much you can afford to spend on rent. A general guideline is that housing shouldn’t exceed 32% of your gross salary (the total amount of your paycheck before taxes and other deductions).

Target neighborhoods

Consider how close the location is to your job or school, access to transportation, shopping, and entertainment, and neighborhood safety and livability – while keeping your rent within your budget.

Shop around

Read apartment ads. Visit the neighborhoods that interest you. Look for For Rent signs. See as many apartments as you can. Make comparisons.

Qualify credit-wise

Almost all landlords will do what’s called a credit check to see what your history has been as a money manager and decide if they can trust you to pay your rent on a steady basis.

Read the lease

In almost all cases, the owner or the apartment manager will ask you to sign a written contract called a lease. It’s extremely important to read and understand the lease before you sign.
Want to know how much you can afford to spend on rent? Click the Next button to find out.
See the topic All About Credit to learn a lot more about what credit is and how to establish and maintain good credit.
Consider your options A place of your own What can you afford? A lease you can live with