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questionable beforehand. You can get a free copy of your credit report annually at www.annualcreditreport.com.
Have names and phone numbers of employers and references readily available. Being organized can give you an edge over someone who isn’t. You should also make sure you have a
checkbook with you, says Fran Katzanek, author of Reality 101: The Ultimate Guide to Life After College (Simon & Schuster; $12) and the former director of career services at Roger Williams University. “If you see something you like, put down a deposit right away so someone else doesn’t get the apartment.”
Remember that a lease is a legal contract between you and the landlord. Read it carefully and ask others to review it. A final note to parents: This is the time to cut the apron strings. Unless there’s absolutely no other choice, don’t sign as a co-signer on a lease. Your children’s own credit history should enable them to do this on their own.
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