Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartments For Low Income Students

May 6, 2012

Lizzie asks…

Need advice on Credit problems…how can I pay if I can’t get a job?

So obviously the “Duh” answer is “Pay your bills.” I have about $3,000 in defaulted credit history that I need to pay off, and the problem is that I’m living paycheck to paycheck. I can barely afford to feed myself, let alone pay off old bills. I’ve been going to school to get an education so I can make money and pay off my debts, but I find that employers are now given access to credit history (which by the way, is a dick move. I know the justification behind it, but it’s a dick move). I’m worried that I won’t get hired anywhere; which is hard because if I can’t get hired, I can’t pay the debts…

I’m wondering if there is any sort of credit agency that can help me out in any way possible. I almost took out a student loan to pay off my debts, but that’s equally stupid. If I couldn’t pay them before, I can’t pay the student loan and my score isn’t going to go up overnight…I won’t get a job, and I’ll still be screwed. Does anyone know what I can do about this? Currently paying off the debts isn’t an option. I’m on financial aid, and therefore an EXTREMELY fixed income. I need some sort of credit counseling/low APR loan… like one that would let me pay $50 a month and rocket my credit up over a year. If anyone knows any federal programs or such, please let me know.

No, I don’t have any credit cards, no lines of credit. I pay for everything with cash because I am not anxious to rack up more debt. Besides, I can’t get any credit cards now anyway. Most large credit agencies aren’t interested in me because I don’t have more than $10,000 in debt.

Just in case you care, I was screwed over by a roommate, my sister and I lost our jobs one right after the other, and my slumlord apartment complex raised the rent by $200 a month. We ended up living out of my car forever and a day. I finally have a place to live, but I’m still broke. No, it wasn’t just me being stupid and running up tons of debt. I just couldn’t pay for a while, and some of it is medical bills because I have no insurance…

Administrator answers:

That’s great that you are going to school to better yourself.

How about cutting back on your school hours? Instead of going to school full time and working part time — go to school part time and work full time? Granted, it will take longer to finish school but you seem to be really focused. So I’m sure you could do it.

If you can’t get 1 job that gives 40 hours, then get 2 part time jobs.

Also, think outside the box. Are you a member of a church? If so, advertise in the church newsletter. Nothing wrong letting folks know you’re working your way through school.

Here’s a few ideas:

Have a house cleaning service. In my area, you could earn $70.00 per house. If you can get enough clients, you could set it up to clean 3-5 houses per week. And if you are a good housekeeper, the word will get out. Most people that do this are paid in cash.

Offer to do some pet sitting. You could offer to go over to folks homes and check on their animals and feed them and water plants. Depending on your area, charge $20 per visit.

Do you have any craft skills? If so, what can you make and would people buy it? Do you have a flea market in your area? If so, make some of your product and rent a table. It may cost you $12- $20 to rent a table. Again, this tends to be a cash business.

It’s summer time, grass needs mowing. Offer to cut grass, scoop dog doody and any other landscaping chores.

As you know, it’s your debt and you have to pay it. There is no “program” that pays your debt for you. Any that claims to do so, is a scam and you should run from it.

Student loans can not be discharged in bankruptcy. So, converting a bunch of unsecured debt into Student loan debt is not smart. Good for you for not falling into that trap.

Yes, employers do look at credit scores. But usually those are jobs that involve handling money.

Good Luck to you.

William asks…

Will I be able to get a mortgage?

I was wondering what the chances are of me getting a mortgage at 20 years old, i am 19 now. I have a credit card and never go over 50% of my limit and always pay it off right away every month. I also live in a townhome thats in my name with a room mate. The cost of rent is 895 a month. Utilities are also in my name, nothing has ever been paid late.

I’ve had the credit card for four months now, rent three months and utilities three months. I will not be looking for at least another year, to keep building credit. And to finish this lease.

My problem that i have is i have no proof of income, yes i know its bad but i got lucky just getting a job, i tried everything from fast food to warehouses.. On average i take home at least 340 a week, and often more. I have a bit of money saved up, and by the time this lease is up i expect to have at least 7,000 saved up, and thats on the low end. I may move into a cheaper apartment by myself for a six month lease to save up more or go to my moms for a couple months after this lease.

The reason im asking, is because where i live (about 20 mins away from Detroit) houses are so much cheaper than what im paying in rent. For a 50,000 house, with a 30 year mortgage with 25% down, it comes out to 37,500 mortgage. Which is only 104 dollars a month, plus taxes here are cheap. It will be alot cheaper than what i am paying now, yes i know about upkeep and insurance and all that. Also 50,000 is at the high end, i have been finding nice houses that yes do need a little work for 30,000, so it could be even cheaper.

I am also a student, so i dont know if that will have anything to do with getting a mortgage.

I will have my dad co sign who has great credit and no blemishes on it and makes good money.

What are my chances? Thank you everyone for the answers.
I do actually have 25% to put down, i could put even more down if need be. And i was just using the thirty year as a example. I most likely would get a shorter mortgage if i was able to.

And for the job market, im going to be a pharmacist, so wont be to hard finding a job, also i have family that owns a few pharmacies within twenty minutes of me.

Administrator answers:

Do you have 25% to put down?

Of course you would have to have a couple of years of work history.

Why would you finance 35k for 30 years? You would want to get a ten or 15 year mortgage and pay more than 104 a month. That amount is wrong though. You can’t just take the amount and dive it by 360 months! You have to factor in interest.

And then there is the fact that you live in a VERY DEPRESSED market. Wouldn’t it make sense to MOVE after school to some place that actually has jobs???

Robert asks…

Is there apartments that are cheaper and base their rent off of your income? Spring Texas, or Houston?

Is there apartments that are cheaper and base their rent off of your income? Spring Texas, or Houston?
I’m looking for a cheap apartment but in a good area which is North of Houston in Spring. I need the rent to be as low as possible because I am a student and working off minimum wage right now. I know the HUD is not taking applications right now and they take even up to 2 years. So any suggestions ideas or advice? I need a cheap apartment in a good area…??

Administrator answers:

The only ones I know are HUD apartments. I’m sorry. Wish I knew about others. However, I’m not sure students qualify for HUD apartments. Can you find student apartments near your school. That is usually where most students get the best deals.

Betty asks…

I need financial advice about unpaid bills and voluntary loan default?

If you don’t feel like reading my long story, skip to my questions below:

My situation is complex. I filed for bankruptcy two years ago due to thousand of dollars in medical bills and a car repossesion. It was discharged, I was on my way back to the top and then I got laid off from my job. With my limited income, I had to prioritize and therefore I had to let some bills go. Even after almost two years, I have not been able to find a full time job. I am currently working two part time jobs with no health insurance. My priorties were paying rent, utilities, back taxes, student loans and my car payment. Now I have gotten to the point where I can’t make my car payments. I have three credit cards, all in good standing, but low credit limits. Recently I have had three unpaid bills go into collection. I did not want that to happen, however those creditors gave me no other options and expected me to drop hundreds of dollars at once, if I was able to do that, they would not been unpaid in the first place. My issue now is not paying my car payment, when I got the car, I was employed, since I got laid off, I have been struggling to make the payments. I no longer need the car because I live in a city with good public transportation, but I cannot sell it, it is not worth what I paid for it and no one will offer me the amount I paid for it. Furthermore, I cannot refinance it, I keep getting turned down. I have tried to seek help from Capitol Auto Finance, but they will not offer me any. At this point, I give up, I feel stuck and unlucky. I know many Americans are going through the same situation, but I feel like I am not trying hard enough to get out of the financial mess I am in. I been constantly worrying and depressed. Now I am worried that I want be able to get a job or an apartment (despite the fact I have never been late for rent or never been evicted) because of my credit issues. I was offered a job, but it contigent on a extensive background check, which is includes checking my credit. Even if I get the job, it will be too late. I have manage to put myself in financial ruin again.

My question is what should I expect from the 3 unpaid bills sent to collections (is there anything I can do about them once they have been sent to collections) and what should I expect from my voluntary loan default. My credit score was alright, but when these 4 items hit, it will drop drastically. How can I increase it in the future?
“Learn from my mistakes” What mistake did I make, I can’t help that I have a genetic kidney disease or if my job laid me off. I don’t use those as excuses nor do I live beyond my means. I don’t have stuff to sell and already live on a bare minimum, sleep on the bare floor, just waiting to die at this point. How the hell am I suppose to sell the car “for anything”, how am I going to pay the remainder of the loan? If anything, that was my only mistake, getting the car. You sound like a creditor, someone with no clue of what I am going through.

Sorry for venting.

Administrator answers:

1. Voluntarily turn the car over to creditor. They will still likely come after you for the deficiency (what you owe on the car minus what they can get for the car), but voluntarily turning it over will at least decrease that amount somewhat.
2. You can negotiate with creditors even once the debt is turned over to collections. All that really means is that the original creditor is getting tired of trying to collect so they let “professionals” collect for them. Sometimes it is actually easier to work out a deal once it goes to collections.
3. If the creditors still will not work with you, tell them in writing that they are not to call you but may only contact you by mail. That way you don’t have to worry about harassing phone calls.
4. If a creditor sues you and gets a judgment against you there are a couple things you can do. If you are unemployed, they obviously can’t garnish your wages, so don’t keep money in a bank account and don’t worry too much about them collecting. If you get another job, see if you can get an installment payment through the court. Most states allow that and you can usually get a relatively low payment (much lower than what the creditor can garnish from your wages).

Mary asks…

Rental denied…why?!?!?

Bf and I just found out our application didn’t go through (we were interested in a condo rental, currently we are in a big apartment building through a management company).

My credit isn’t stellar, and that’s why I’m guessing it was denied…my credit scores range from 656-715 (depending on which you’re using) and my debt to credit ratio is about 25%:75%. However I have no collections, judgements, evictions, etc and have NEVER made a late payment!!! Boyfriend is not an American citizen, but here on a student visa, so we provided his income through his dad’s bank statement (no credit history obviously) who makes 30,000 euros a MONTH.

Regardless of my credit, im wondering why else i would have gotten denied? Even if my credit was worse, couldn’t the co-signer’s income be more than enough?? We had NO problem being approved for our current apartment, and barely had to pay security deposit bc of our “good credit” ( and my credit was slightly lower then!!). The place we got denied for is also a hundred dollars cheaper than what we pay now…Or could it just simply be that the condo owner was looking for someone with stellar credit?

Please help, as we need to find a place by two weeks!!!

Administrator answers:

I am a landlord and this is what I require from an applicant:

All adults must be on the lease, responsible for the rent.
All adults must be able to pay the rent…if one moves out, the other must be able to pay.
All adults must have good credit and job history.

So.. Your BF only has parents who will pay the rent? And are not in the country? That isn’t going to help. As a landlord, I cannot file against someone not living here…much less collect!

Basically, you two are high risk.

So, given your situation…I would say, pay me 6 months rent in advance, plus the full security deposit. I will hold the 6months rent in reserve. When you tell me you are moving out..I will use the 6months to pay the rent off. This is my insurance that the rent will be paid even if someone moves and the other cannot pay it. If you stop paying the rent…I can evict and use the 6months rent to be sure I don’t end up losing money.

You might want to find a co-op living situation. Someplace where you would be 2 or many renting a larger place by the room. Then the cost of the rent would drop enough to afford it. Look near the campus..there is often places that are rented by a student and then sublet by the room..this would be easier for you to move in.

Mandy asks…

Would you file bankruptcy if you were in my financial situation?

Basically here is my deal…

I have tons of credit card debt. Over $30k. I’m not here to have people tell me I shouldn’t have this debt. I know that. Some of that (at least $10K) is from my ex-wife.

Unfortunately, I lost a good job in 2008 making $53 K a year (40 hours a week), and I have never been able to find another job making this kind of money. At that time, I still had my ex-wife’s income too, and we were making a combined $85 K a year.

The credit card debt started after I lost my good job.

I only make $30k a year now in my main job working 40 hours a week. I had to get a second job
to be able to pay the bills where I make another $15k a year working another 25 to 35 hours a week.

Now I can pay my bills, but I don’t have enough time for a personal life. My personal life is important because I just went through a divorce. She cheated on me. My ex-wife ran up some of the credit cards, and I got stuck with them. It is too late to get her to help pay anything now.

Since I work so much, I have a hard time meeting women, and I am becoming quite lonely working all the time.

No kids from the previous marriage.

I have a condo I bought in 2007 for $130k. Today it is only worth $100k. I still owe $125k on it, so I can’t sell it without a short sale. I can’t refinance at a lower interest rate either since I owe more than it is worth. Payments on 1st mtg, 2nd mtg, and HOA fees total roughly $1100 per month.

I haven’t missed any payments on anything, but I am only saving a few hundred a month after all the mortgage payments and credit card payments.

It could take me 6 to 10 years to pay off all this credit card debt if I can’t continue to increase my income.

I have no other debt. No student loans. No car loans. My car should easily last another five years.

If I didn’t have the 2nd job, I could probably qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and walk away from the condo too and start over. I would have no choice but to file bankruptcy with only my regular day job since I can’t pay all the bills without the 2nd income.

I can make enough money from my job and side freelance business to easily pay my bills without credit. I would just rent a cheap apartment and run my side business in the evenings.

Should I keep working my butt off at the expense of my personal life just so I don’t have to file bankruptcy? What would you do?
I forgot to add I am in my early 30s and I would like to get married again and start having kids as soon as possible.
I forgot to add I have a roommate now who pays me $400 per month.

Administrator answers:

I think Smarta$$ has the right answer but I want to add something. Years ago, I was briefly engaged to a guy who cheated on me. He had a girlfriend on the side that I didn’t know about. Someone suggested I look back and think if there were any signs, any signs at all, that he might cheat on me. I thought about it and realized, “You know, he declared bankruptcy. It wasn’t like he had huge medical bills, he and his then-wife bought a jeep and had too many credit card debts. So he declared bankruptcy and cheated his creditors.” So after that, I looked at him as someone who would cheat, if he would cheat a creditor, he would cheat on me.

I suspect there are a lot of women who will look at you negatively if you declare bankruptcy. They’ll think you cheated the system. It remains on your credit for ten years, so it will continue to affect you even after you marry and have children. Your insurance will cost more, a car you buy five years from now will cost more if you finance it, and your mortgage rate will cost more.

Instead, if you spend some time really working hard, you can get out of this, and it will make you far more datable. Sure you’re lonely now, but if you tough it out, you’ll be a better person for it, and you’ll have learned something.

I would read “Pay It Down” about how to get rid of all your debt in three years. I think there are good lessons in there. It’s by Jean Chatzky. is also a good website.

You should also look at whether you can rent out your condo for enough money to make it worth your while to do that, and then go and live in the cheaper place.

I know it’s tough and lonely and it is really hard. But I think you should do it.

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