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Why is it so hard to rent an apartment in New York?

It's notoriously hard to lock down a lease without U.S. credit or a steady paycheck, so how exactly can a student from a foreign country go about landing an apartment?

If you were not born in the United States (or have no U.S. credit) you can forget trying to rent your own apartment,  unless you’re able to put up at least 6 months of security or live as a roommate in someone else’s apartment, but who wants to do that!
So what can you do?

For starters, "You'll need a copy of your visa, your passport, a few months' worth of bank statements, and a letter of enrollment or class schedule from school," explains J.Miller, an NYC broker. Landlords want proof that you have consistent funds—rather than a bank account with temporary cash deposited by parent, as well as some sort of proof that you’re either studying or working in the city.  
And this is just the tip of the iceberg because most landlords require, at minimum, that you have a steady income of at least 40 times the monthly rent, not just that you have that much money in savings. Finally they will want to see that you have a credit score of around 700 or higher.  But since you'll be a student (and presumably not earning a full-time income) and don't have any credit history in the U.S., you'll almost certainly be required to bring a  guarantor, or someone who will agree to be responsible for your rent if you default. Unfortunately, many landlords require that the guarantor be a US citizen, earn a salary of 80 times the monthly rent, and reside in the New York tri-state area.

One way around this is to sign up for HelloRented, a service that will act as a guarantor instead of a US friend or relative. Dr. Jeremy Esekow, CEO of HelloRented, tells us that “the vast majority of international students can qualify for an HelloRented guarantee by having their parents act as responsible parties with HelloRented who will be the actual co-signer and guarantor on the lease."
There is a small fee to use the service, but the cost is quite small compared to having to deposit 6 months additional security deposit and far cheaper than broker fees in NYC and Boston. In the end the HelloRented guarantor service gives you the freedom to choose the apartment you actually want to live in without having to put down a ton of cash or live somewhere with less strict requirements.
Alternately, you can see if the the landlord is willing to accept a bigger security deposit up front—generally three to six times a month's rent, instead of the usual one month's rent, says J.Miller seek out a sublet or roommate share so you don't have to deal with getting on a lease at all.

In the end you want to make sure you have a comfortable place to live so that you can focus on your studies without the hassle or inconvenience of a difficult living situation.

HelloRented is a rental finance solution which makes renting an apartment easy.  They offer a guarantor service to help students get approved for the apartment of their choice without having to bring an outside guarantor.  They can also get the security deposit waived as well so that the student or tenant doesn't have to hand over a large cash payment their lease.  HelloRented wants to make renting an apartment quick and easy for students. For more information go to

Funding your international studies - mission impossible?

Funding your international studies can seem intimidating and sometimes even downright impossible, but as you work through finding and applying for scholarships and loans, you’ll start to understand the system and find scholarships that are the best fit for you. What kind of student you are, what school you’re looking to attend and your general profile all have a tremendous effect on what kind of scholarships or loans you will be able to receive.

Although you would probably prefer to find scholarships before you find your dream school, this is rarely possible. In most cases, students search for scholarships while simultaneously seeking out schools that are the best fit for them. Finding the right scholarship depends heavily on what type of school you’re interested in attending and on your background. For example, Ivy League universities generally do not give academic/merit based scholarships, rather they only provide need-based scholarships (i.e. for people with financial difficulties). Depending on the university your applying to and if you are an academically successful student, programs like Prodigy Finance can provide loans that are right for you. A helpful place to start is at their frequently asked questions page, where international students just like you ask the same questions that you might have.
If you are not interested in attending an Ivy League university, look for other good schools that prove to provide substantial scholarships for their international students. These schools will not only be a great fit for you academically, but also financially. You might have to be open to schools you hadn’t previously thought about and be less particular about which school you will eventually attend, but you will find some schools that can make your study abroad dream a reality.|

Aside from academic scholarships, there are many scholarships out there that you don’t even realize exist. If you have a unique hobby, or have a talent in a specific area, there are a vast amount of scholarships that award students with money for university for athleticism, art, writing and so much more.

Because there are so many different types of scholarships, it’s important not to limit yourself to just one. You are able to apply for as many as you want, and you should, considering all of the expenses you will have to cover while studying in the US. In order to get a better understanding of your expenses and how you will cover them, create a budget. Calculating your living and learning expenses will give you the chance to see how much you will be spending and how many scholarships to apply for.

The reality is that the majority of international students end up paying for their studies from their personal or family funds. You need to be realistic and prepare to bear most of the costs yourself.

Funding your international studies may seem difficult and confusing, yet there are many scholarships out there. Spend the time searching for one or more that fit your background and goals. It will make your study abroad experience much more doable.

Have any questions about moving to study abroad? Go to