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Just thinking, how does it work renting? As an international student, I don't have a rental history or (I assume) a credit history in the US so how does this go about?


I've rented twice outside of halls in the UK (one rent was cut short because my housemate pulled a knife on me, the other was fine) and I have an excellent credit history here too. Any info greatly appreciated!

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I m from Canada so I had similar concerns.

In my case it worked to show the landlord my funding letter plus deposit. They will ask you for past landlord contact so be sure to call your previous landlord in advance so that they remember you. But most likely there won t be any calls.

I would recommend having a rental place - any place - send you a template application so that you know what questions to expect in the area where you will be renting.

Edited by random_grad
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Each rental company has different policies. 

If you're living near campus they probably deal with international students with no rental history in the US all the time, so I wouldn't sweat it.
When I had no credit history they asked for any one of the following:


  • A security deposit for one month's rent (everyone  else paid about a quarter of that)
  • A pay stub showing that no more than 1/3rd of my total salary would be going toward rent
  • Savings to show I had sufficient funds to cover the entirety of the year
  • A cosigner with sufficient credit history


The security deposit's usually the easiest way to go if you can afford to eat the cost and recoup it at the end of the year.
If you have a particular rental place in mind, give them a call and ask.

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Keep in mind that some of these things are actually illegal for landlords to ask for in some places. (However it doesn't stop them from asking for it!)


For example, in California, it is not allowed to have a security deposit more than 2 months worth of rent and it is also illegal to require a certain income in order to rent. It is legal though, to ask for proof of income, so in practice, they can apply the "1/3 rule" quietly and find some other random reason to reject you in order to get around the law.

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