What if you can't qualify for the apartment you want?
Qualifying for an apartment in NYC can be a hurdle for some people, especially those whose income situation is unconventional.
Let's say you don't quite earn 40x the rent of that dream apartment you're looking for, or for some reason your credit score isn't stellar. Or, let's say you're an international student, or for some reason credit invisible. (This means that your credit history is too recent or sparse to show up on the radar.)
If you can't qualify for an apartment, you have a number of choices. One is to find a personal guarantor, but that person will usually have to make about 80 times the rent of the apartment, meaning annual salary has to be the monthly rent x 80. Remember, technically speaking they'll have to pay their own rent plus yours if things go south for you.
Luckily, there's another option out there. It's called a surety bond. Surety bonds are issued by third party guarantor companies. These services will hope qualify, even pre-qualify you for apartments by guaranteeing your lease for a a small fee, for example (depending upon your case about 65-85% of the rent.)
The two biggies in NYC are THE GUARANTORS and INSURENT. A third option is Rhino, which also has an option that can potentially save you upfront money on your security deposit.
In so far as working with an agent like myself, you can always ask me to help find you guarantor friendly apartments. Having an agent who knows which of the major landlords (or at least which type of landlords) tend to work best for your situation never hurts. And having a resourceful agent in any situation is definitely something you want anyway, especially in the competitive market that we're currently in.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Third-Party Guarantor