Back to college: Tips for renting a house or apartment

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The Federal Trade Commission wants you to be successful this semester and posted three simple tips to making sure you stay safe if you are a first-time renter.

When you apply for renting a house or apartment, the landlord will probably check your credit report and they may charge you a small fee to do it as a part of your background check. So check your credit report because if affects whether you’ll get the place or you may need someone to co-sign your lease.

Always visit the house or apartment to check it out inside and out before paying any deposit or fee. Never wire money or pay with a gift card and be aware that sometimes scammers steal real rental listings or just make up a listing.

Once you’ve found your perfect place or at least the spot you can afford, remember to mark your calendars for when rent is due. If you don’t pay your rent on time, you could be charged late fees or even worse, get evicted which stays on future credit checks. If you can’t pay on time, talk with your landlord to try and negotiate an extension on paying rent.

Scammers know a good deal is hard to pass up so beware before you send money or sign a lease.

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