When you’re preparing to rent your first apartment, you’ll need to arrange to pay an apartment deposit. Your first rental can be confusing, and we understand if you need a little guidance.
From security deposits to pet deposits to cleaning fees, moving can cost more money than you might anticipate. If you’re looking to offset some of that initial cost, you might be considering paying your deposit on a credit card.
Keep reading, and we’ll answer all your questions about paying an apartment deposit with a credit card; when you can do it when you should do it, and more.
Table of Contents
What Is an Apartment Deposit?
An apartment deposit is a lump sum of money that you pay in order to take your apartment off the market. Typically, you pay your deposit while your application is being processed.
Most realtors will refund your deposit if your apartment application does not get approved.
Your apartment deposit may include your first and last month of rent. Every realtor divides up those charges differently, but it is common to ask for a deposit alongside a first and/or last month of rent.
This may make the sum you’re paying seem like a lot, but keep in mind that you may be paying for months of rent in advance. You’ll pay more upfront, but less later on.
How Much Is an Apartment Deposit?
Rental experts tell us that a standard apartment deposit is often equal to one month of rent. The average rent in the United States is a little over $1,400.
Of course, the amount of rent you’ll be paying depends on many factors. These factors include the area you live in, whether or not you have roommates, and how you and your roommates plan to split up living costs.
If your rent is $1,400, you will probably be expected to come up with at least that much to put a deposit down on your apartment. If you have roommates, you can divide up that cost however you want.
If you are moving with pets, you may have to come up with a pet deposit as well. This will typically be less than a full month of rent, but will usually be a few hundred more dollars.
These deposits usually need to be made as quickly as possible. If you are renting in a competitive market, you may not be the only person looking to take a certain apartment off the market.
Can You Pay an Apartment Deposit With a Credit Card?
You can sometimes pay an apartment deposit with a credit card. If you are renting from a real estate company with an online portal, you can usually make a credit card deposit.
If you are renting from an individual landlord, they may prefer payments via cash or check. However, in this day and age, many landlords accept deposits via money transfer apps that are hooked up to your credit card.
Some landlords will want to check your credit score before renting an apartment to you. If your credit score is low, they may not accept a credit card deposit.
If your credit card is a secured card, you may have a better chance of making this payment on credit.
A secured credit card is a credit card that uses pre-loaded money from your bank account; i.e., it only allows you to spend money that you already have.
Ultimately, it is up to your landlord to decide whether or not they accept credit card deposits. They may have to pay credit card processing fees in order to accept those payments, which may render them inconvenient to individual landlords.
However, if you are paying your deposit via an online portal, your odds of being able to make a credit card deposit are very good.
Pros and Cons of Paying a Deposit on Credit
The average security deposit is a payment of one to two months’ rent. When you make a credit card deposit, you should be prepared to pay that money back as soon as possible.
Making a credit card deposit that is above your means can cause you to fall behind on payments, which can harm your credit score. When your credit score drops, you may have trouble renting more apartments in the future.
On the other hand, paying your deposit on a credit card can make it easier for you to handle such a large expense. If you know that you can hit your minimum monthly payments, there’s no reason not to do it.
Will I Get My Apartment Deposit Back?
In a perfect world, you should be able to get your entire apartment deposit back when you move out. That just includes the security deposit, not any months of rent that you paid alongside it.
Your deposit is there to make sure that you treat your apartment with respect. As long as you leave your apartment in the same condition you found it in (or better), you should receive your deposit back.
If you do not properly clean up your apartment and remove your personal items from it, your realtor may withhold some of your deposit. That is why moving out in a clean and tidy way is so important.
Rent Smarter Today
Now that you know all about how to pay an apartment deposit, get out there and start looking for rentals in your budget. No matter how you choose to pay your deposit, you deserve a home you love.
For more rental advice, click here. Renting can be stressful, but expert guidance helps.
Put a deposit down on the perfect apartment today!