Sometimes, leasing the perfect FAMU apartment requires a co-signer. A co-signer is someone who signs your lease in addition to you. Co-signers are often used for student renters. A co-signer is signing your lease promising to be responsible for your rent if you aren't.
Usually, when you are applying to rent a FAMU apartment, you must provide some proof of your income. In general, a landlord will want you to make about three times the monthly rent as your monthly take-home pay. If you are new to the area, you may not have a job already lined up, or, you may plan to focus more on school and not have time for a well paying job. If you don't have a proof of your income, your landlord might ask you to have a co-signer. Sometimes, a landlord will also ask that you have a co-signer if your credit score is not high enough.
If you do need a co-signer, consider carefully whom you will ask to co-sign for your apartment near FAMU. The co-signer will need to make even more than three times the rent each month ( a lot of times, six times your monthly rent), and will need to show proof of this. They may have to pay an application fee for your landlord to check their credit and process their application. Additionally, know that if your rent is not paid, this person will be responsible for paying the rent. If the co-signer is unable to pay, the landlord can submit the rent payment to a collections agency, have the failure to pay put on the co-signers credit report, and even take them to court.
The obvious choice for many students is to have a parent co-sign for them. Many parents help out with their students bills during college anyway, so having them co-sign is a logical choice for many. For others, this is not possible, and sometimes, a suitable co-signer can't be found. If you find yourself in this situation, first assess the price of your proposed FAMU apartment. If it is priced well above many other acceptable living options, perhaps you should consider trying to live somewhere cheaper, or finding additional roommates.
If you think that your unit is reasonably priced, you may think about trying a co-signing service. These services can be a bit pricey, but if your inability to rent is due mostly to your credit score and not your lack of funds, this may be a reasonable option. Money Crashers gives a pretty good explanation of what exactly a co-signing service is and also lists three different services that you may want to look into. That said, be sure to check out whatever company you choose, as this is a rather new industry. Then again, you may just want to work on your credit score before applying.