Moving is an experience that raises many emotions—from an excited young adult who will be living outside of their parents’ home for the first time to the worried head of household who needs to move from their current home to another. Although these situations are different, they have one common denominator—your financial ability to make the move. Here are three essential tips that can be used to determine if you’re financially ready to move.
Tip # 1: Get your finances ready for the move, way before it happens.
Knowing where your money is going and building a healthy savings fund will increase your chances of renting an apartment. A budget is much more than listing income and expenses, it is a crucial tool that determines how much you can afford and when you can move. A budget also helps us find ways to save realistically and consistently. A savings plan that is aligned with our goals tends to be more effective. For example, if your goal is to save money to move out, you will be more likely to set objectives for yourself to make it happen.
Tip # 2: Check your credit
Another factor in organizing your finances is reviewing your credit report. In a city like New York, one of the first questions real estate agents and brokers may ask potential applicants is: what is your credit score? For this reason, it is very important to pull and review your credit reports before starting your apartment search. We recommend using the only officially free website: AnnualCreditReport.com to pull and review your three credit reports—TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Although this website only gives you the report and not the FICO score, you will get plenty of details on the information that determines your FICO Score. This information can also help you make decisions on how to manage your debt and increase or build your credit score.
Tip # 3: Be realistic and manage your expectations. What can you really afford? Are you ready?
Being realistic about whether or not you can afford rent is very important. Keep in mind that if you are willing to pay a certain dollar amount now, it does not mean you can afford to keep paying that amount month after month. If your move includes family and friends who are also employed, we encourage you to begin discussing a household budget. Whether you are moving on your own or with others, you can use a rent affordability calculator to determine what you can and can’t afford.
Need help with creating a realistic budget for yourself and/or understanding your credit report?
Finally, we want to let you know that you are not alone! If you feel that you need help, you can reach out to us. We offer free, private, and confidential financial counseling for all New York City residents.
- If you are currently working with a NYLAG financial counselor, reach out to them at the contact information they have provided.
- Find a financial counselor near you.
- Connect with a NYLAG financial counselor.
- Call our NY COVID-19 Legal Resource Hotline with a legal concern related to COVID-19.