Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:18 AM EDT2013-05-21 10:18:45 GMT
Authorities said a 15-year-old girl may be facing charges after driving without a license and losing control of a car in a crash that left a 10-year-old girl dead Monday afternoon. The crash happened onMore >>
Authorities said a 15-year-old may be facing charges after driving without a license and losing control of a car in a crash that left a 10-year-old dead.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 11:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:48:15 GMT
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.A witness told police that the four girls, ages 7, 5, 3 and 1, had been in the same dirtyMore >>
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 11:45 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:45:38 GMT
A widespread power outage has affected a large portion of Ascension Parish. Small portions of neighboring parishes are also affected. As of 5:40 p.m., the Entergy website reported 20,981 homes andMore >>
A widespread power outage affected a large portion of Ascension Parish and part of EBR Parish Monday. More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 9:20 PM EDT2013-05-22 01:20:17 GMT
Residents in tornado-stricken Moore, OK, await news on missing love ones Tuesday, a day after a massive tornado devastated the city, killing at least 51. Rescuers worked all night, with particular attentionMore >>
The tornado, with winds up to 200 mph, cut a 20-mile stretch as wide as two miles through the Oklahoma City metro area. The medical examiner's office reported 24 people died, including nine children. More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:36 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:36:49 GMT
(RNN) – A day after long track tornadoes devastated Shawnee and Edmond, OK, another round has begun near Oklahoma City.KOCO broadcast a slow rotating cloud that slowly extended down towards the groundMore >>
Dozens of people have died after a second day of tornadoes twisted through Oklahoma, this time taking aim at the town of Moore, south of Oklahoma City.More >>
Maybe you have a few credit blips. Maybe you don't have a steady stream of income. No matter the reason, it's not uncommon for landlords these days to request a co-signer.
When former NFL player John Diggs found an apartment, he knew he had scored a touchdown. There was just one catch.
"My credit has some challenges and the landlord requested that I get a co-signer," he said.
John didn't want to burden his family, so he paid a company to co-sign the lease for him.
"I didn't know these kind of services existed," Diggs said.
Bankrate.com's Janna Herron says the premise is simple: For a fee, companies like WeCosign, Insurent (which currently only operates in New York and New Jersey), and Co-signer.com will guarantee your lease for a contractual period of time --- even if you have bad credit or an unstable source of income.
"If you default, they pay the landlord the rest of the lease," Herron said.
With the financial crisis and shaky job market, experts say these services are in demand.
"We have people that are students and then we have people that are mid-life age. And we've also signed athletes and layers and doctors," said Frank Jakubaitis, the general manager of WeCosign, Inc.
Fees vary depending on the service. But you can expect to pay a percentage of your monthly or annual rent, typically ranging between six-percent and ten-percent.
"You may have to pay some other fees, such as a sign-up fee, a processing fee, a background check fee, and those could easily add another $100 to $200," said Herron.
Even though these services are designed for those with poor credit, applicants still have to qualify.
"They have their own minimum income and credit score requirements," Herron said. "And some others will deny you if you have too many outstanding bills, too many evictions, or a violent criminal record."
We contacted the Better Business Bureau, which told us it's important to keep in mind that this is "a fairly new industry," one that could have "real potential for abuse."
In fact, we found several complaints online.
Herron says don't be afraid to try friends and family first.
"It's the option of last resort," she said of the co-signing companies.
But former NFL player John Diggs was happy to have the option. Within days he had the new apartment keys in his hand.
"It's a sense of peace, a sense of warmth that I now have my home," he said. "And I'm on my way to re-building and re-establishing my life."