5 Ways to Start with No Money and No Credit?

by | BiggerPockets.com

One of the Myth’s of real estate is that you have to have money.  This is flat out not true, you can absolutely do deals with no money and credit.  There are a few precautions I want to mention, especially for beginners before explaining how to do deals with no money and no credit.

Having money and credit can certainly make it easier to do deals.  It is crucial however to make sure the deal still meets your criteria.  At no point in time should you bend your criteria and make the deal work by putting in your own money.  For instance, if you are considering putting in 10% of your own money to make it meet your 70% LTV criteria, you should lower your offer or pass on the deal.  The risk has to be warranted, in fact, all deals should be good enough where you do not have to use any of your own money.  Using your own money should just sweatin the deal and improve the return without unneeded risks. 

Here are some ways you can do real estate deals with No Money and No Credit

  1. Use Private Money – Cash is king and having private money backing can allow you to do deals without any of your own money
  2. Partner – If you have a strong business plan with solid exit strategies and a successful track record there is a ton of money out there to fund 100% of your deals.  Make it a win-win for your partners and make it happen.
  3. Find deals with incredible numbers – If you are an expert at finding incredible deals, doing and exiting the deals then people will fight over funding your deals.
  4. Wholesale, Bird Dog – There is no risk, money or credit needed in getting a deal under contract or locating deals for investors.
  5. Subject To, Seller Financing, Lease Options – Taking title to a property subject to the seller’s existing mortgage, getting the seller to carry financing or lease optioning a property are ways to do no money no credit deals

Photo: totalAldo

About Author

Ryan is the founder of Real Return Real Estate™ , a company focused on buying property at extreme discounts, selling and renting with cash flow.


  1. I think ‘satrap’ is, unfortunately, bound by his own limiting beliefs. All the ways you mentioned to get into real estate with little or no money out of pocket are doable. The opportuities are there you just have to (1) believe it, (2) go out and find it, and (3) make it happen! It won’t fall in your lap, but it’s happening everyday.

  2. Dominique, I live in San Diego and competition is ridiculous. That is the case in many of the larger overhyped markets that are expensive. LTVs are not as good and cash flow is sometimes non-existant. Some of the ways I recommend to do deals with no money and no credit are very difficult in these markets. That is why I did a ton of research and target other areas where I can mitigate risk by finding tremendous cash flow and tremendous LTVs. Deals in those areas can be done with no money and no credit and I am proof as I am doing it right now.

    So I totally agree with you. Believe, go find it and make it happen! If it is not working in your neighborhood, target a new area. Thanks for the great comment!
    .-= Ryan Moeller´s last blog ..Cash Flow Duplex =-.

  3. Hello I have read the tips about how to make money in real estate with no money out of pocket and no credit I have also seen other matiral on the same subject but I can not wrap my head around what to do I have read the tips but they make no sence to me I am a complete begginer and i want to get into real estate but have literaly no money to use hence why I would like to get into real estate to make money so when I hear you can do it with no money or credit I realy want to try but can you please discribe to me in detail what to do and the easiest thing to make money for a begginer in real estate, what to do, how to do it in more detail so I can understand it I appreciate the five tips but they just dont go into enough detail for me sorry. Please help me understand so I can get started and try to become finacialy stress free. Thank you if possible send answer to my email. thank you.

    • Stephanie Jones

      You took the words right out my mouth.I’m having the same problems. It’s like they are telling us what tp do but it’s not in detail. It’s like talking around the way its actually done.To make this work we need each step in detail and what to do if that way doesn’t work where and what do we do after. I feel likee I’m being fed from a long spoon.I’m really trying to become rich and working hard at doing it in the real estate business,but i don’t have money to start off with.We’re told this can be done with out money or credit,please tell us in detail how.I’m a single mother of two,due to loosing my husband from leukemia. So i don’t have much.But i have a passion for real estate and a want a better life for my children and myself. So please,please,help me get started without money or credit.Thank you and GOD BLESS YOU FOR ALL YOU DO TO HELP PEOPLE CHANGE THEIR LIVES…..

  4. Michael,

    I have some recommendations that I hope help. First, do not overcomplicate things by trying to learn and be comfortable with every strategy, step and task with real estate investing. Focus on becoming a master on one thing. Such as finding deals in your market. Educate yourself and learn until you are comfortable with that one thing until you are an expert. Divide and conquer my friend. I hope this helps.

    • Dan G.

      Thank you Ryan. That is a very good point. I’m a newbie myself and definitely understand what Michael is trying to convey. All the real estate knowledge can get overwhelming, but the startegy is stick to one thing and master it. This has given me clarity to do my one thing now which is wholesaling. After building a good wholesaling machine I will progress to flipping, and ultimately in the end to a buy and hold/cashflow strategy. Being a 20 year old with not much capital, low credit score, and so soso job this is the simple secret sauce for success: do your most important one thing. Gary Kellers book: The one thing, is all about simplifyig and prioritizing your work and time. I would most definatly recommend it to anyone looking to get clarity.

      I have just recently discovered BP it is a gold mine.Thank you for all of the great content

      As for me personally challenge accepteted. (:

    • Dan G.

      Thank you Ryan. That is a very good point. I’m a newbie and definitely understand what Michael is trying to convey. All the real estate knowledge can get overwhelming, but the startegy is stick to one thing and master it. This has given me fclarity to do my one thing now which is wholesaling. After building a good wholesaling machine I will progress to flipping, and ultimately in the end to a buy and hold/cashflow strategy. Being a 20 year old with not much capital, low credit score, and so soso job this is the simple secret sauce for success: do your most important one thing. Gary Kellers book: The one thing, is all about simplifyig and prioritizing your work and time. I would most definatly recommend it to anyone looking to get clarity.

      BP it is a gold mine.Thank you.

      As for me personally challenge accepteted. (:

    • Paul Koenig

      Awesome advice, as a beginner investor only thing im focusing on rn is finding the deals. And i believe there is a website that helps you do that which shows you the percentage of occupancy in multifamily structures(apartments) dating years backwards. Im in sebastian fl. which may seem a very daunting task as a beginner.

  5. Help me with tips to get in Real Estate. I have no money to start. My credit is not to hot either. How do i get my thumb in the door and as Michael asked how can i start. Copuld you provide me more details.

  6. Hey Dustin,

    Everyone has to start somewhere. I recommend educating yourself and getting involved with your local REI clubs. I also recommend picking a strategy and focusing 100% on that strategy. It may be best to work with other investors successful with the strategy you wish to do.

    I personally found it frustrating to raise private money and build my track record at first. But it was only a challenge that can be overcome. I was able to work with others who did have a track record but I had to give the majority of profit to my private investors at first. Everyone told me I was crazy to give so much of the profit but I was building a business. A year later I had done almost 10 deals while almost all who told me I was crazy did none. Don’t be afraid to be creative. If you need private money continue learning how to raise private money. If you need a track record continue until you have a solution. I added value to other investors who had a track record and was able to partner with them and utilize their track record to gain my experience and track record. It was a win-win.

    It is not easy or everyone would do it. Most people who go to meetings and seminars do nothing. For some reason they think enormous checks will appear in their mailbox but they are never willing to put in any work. Real estate is work. It is frustrating and challenging at times but there are huge rewards and you do have excitement just like when you begin to learn about real estate. I hope this helps Dustin, best of luck.

    • Andrew Fuerstenberger

      Ryan, you bring up a great point in your response. People are very quick to look at the short term horizon and winning the battle and not the war. Yeah you gave up a little more than was probably market at that time, but what it bought you was probably an awesome network, valuable experience and cash that first year when your neighsayers where laughing at your one-sided deals. You got essentially a free education, no student loans debt crushing you thereafter and people you still do deals with to this day. And guess what? You probably aren’t doing those crazy splits now that you know what you are doing and learned during that time. Way to go, you are the epitome of a great networker and I hope I can get that opportunity within my community soon.

    • Joseph Greene

      Thanks for the article Ryan. As good as an article as it was, I honestly think that some of your true golden nuggets of wisdom came subsequently, responding to several of the members who left inquiries and concerns at the end.

      Real estate, perhaps as with most endeavors in life, appear complex to those of us who are not as experienced with it as we would like to be. We see or read about the successes of others and may understandably get a little intimidated when those who are doing it successfully simplify some aspects of the processes involved. We might think, “They’re doing it and they make it seem simple so I should be able to achieve my respective real estate goals just as simply too.”

      I really appreciate your driving home the point(s): to ‘focus on one avenue of real estate and master it’; sometimes sacrifice (giving up a large portion of your profits to your investors) may be inevitable in order to see a deal to fruition; the fact that one has to get the ball rolling, whatever that looks like, first!

      This industry seems to have many different facets to it, but narrowing things down into more manageable parts and not trying to focus on every single detail is a theme I keep coming across.
      Again, thank you for the insight, the tips, and the friendly reminder of the thought process involved! 🙂

  7. Hey Rajiv,

    I prefer the MidWest for high cash flow and equity. The same house in other markets can easily cost 3-5X as much but the rents are not much different. It’s a different world then expensive markets. In particular I like Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Detroit and Indianapolis. There are other markets that are a bit more expensive but still provide good returns such as Atlanta, Memphis, KC, St Louis, AL and some areas of TX, FL and Carolinas. I hope this helps.

  8. You can wholesale real estate everywhere. Who is buying in Chicago, where, what are they looking for? If you can talk to them and build a list then you can find out what they seek then go find it. The key is to just start doing it. You will run into some challenges and even frustration but those are just learning experiences that make you better at what you do. Keep educating yourself, ask questions to experts in other markets that do what you are doing and just keep plowing forward. Best of luck!

  9. Hello Everyone, I am a New real- estate Investor and Property Locator…… Asking for your Opinion, I was talking to an Owner of this property that has a lot of potential, Lots of equity in the house approx. 17,000… Asking Price 62,500… Owner will take an all cash offer approx. 45,000…. Monthly Rent 400.00 for One year that’s 4800.00 plus The Tenant will Keep the Property Well maintenance all Repairs and Buy the Property at the end of the Rental lease Agreement on November of 2014. Is this a Great Deal? Thanks!

    • Curtis,

      In my opinion, I think you have not presented enough information for someone to give you an educated guess/opinion on if it is a good deal or not. Also, unsure if you are buying this property or finding this property for someone else.

      I think first thing you need to ask yourself is “What is my exit strategy”. Are you going to buy this property to flip or hold onto for cash flow. Lets look at what we know already.

      Property: Listed at $62,500
      1. Owner will take all cash offer of $45,000.
      – No matter how you purchase this home (as long as he does not hold the note), you are buying all cash, so to me, this means he wants 45k to give up the property. You need to do a market analysis of the property and find out what it is worth on today’s market (based on comps of similar homes and needs in the area). That will tell you how much equity you are walking into. Remember, you make the biggest portion of your money on flips, when you buy. If the amount of equity you are walking into is not large I would be wary about trying to flip the house. Do you know what your estimated renovation cost are, to get the house ready to be sold. I know you said it rented for approximately $400 a month. But unless you buy with your own cash, a loan from a bank will cost you about $350 a month, depending on your state taxes.
      Also, when you go to sale the home, do not forget to add approximately 8% of the sales price to closing and agent fees. Now this can be lowered depending on how you sell the home.

      Kind of long answer, but I hope it helps.


  10. Hello all,
    everyone keeps saying to keep trying and don’t give up, but no steps to the questions. I found a place I want to wholesale or flip if I cant get an investor. how do I go by getting the contract from the Seller? and once I get it how do I get my percent as a wholesaler from the buyer?

    please help.

  11. Hello evevyone,I,m new to this site about 3 or 4 days ago and i,ve just been taking my time reading the article and i must say very informative,but so far i,ve seen nothing on the subject of tax liens and tax deeds is there anyone on the site with anyexpertise in these areas because i believe these are the areas that i would like to investigate or research. can you give me some direction?

  12. Thanks for putting this together.

    Any tips for finding private lenders? I have strong income but took a hit in the downturn. I had two short sales may hinder traditional financing.

    Any tips or a point in the right direction would be great.


  13. Hi Frank,

    Private lenders can be found at real estate club meetings, chamber and other events, your business and personal contacts, social media and online, etc. It is critical to first build credibility and get them to like you. You do not ask for money, you explain what you do in an appealing way and ask them if they know anyone interested in an great investment opportunity. If they do not say “Yes, me” then the often do give you some people who may be interested. I hope this helps.

  14. Thank you Ryan for the well thought out response.

    I currently live overseas and will purchase my first 1-3 properties using a turn key company. I’ll use my savings but after that I’ll need to implement some of the strategies above.

    Thanks again Ryan

  15. Good evening everyone. Ryan or anyone, I live overseas and my nationality is not american. I have a B1/B2 visa, that is a tourist business visa. Currently I work on a small company that invests and holds real estate for cashflow. We do flips once in a while and we also do some land development in rural areas. However, we are planning on investing abroad and the US markets seem atractive. Thus, could you please help me with the following?:
    1) Information about laws and opportunities as a foreign investor.
    2) Average ROIs in different types of cashflow generating properties, dúplex vs apartment buildings, etc. in the áreas where you guys have experienced better returns.
    3) Does the market still have attractive deals?

    beforehand, thanks a lot for you comments

    • Hello Nelson,

      You shouldn’t have any issues regarding the law as long as you have the correct Visa.

      If you go to the embassy and explain what you’re trying to do they should be able to match you up with the correct visa.

      I would try to do some home work yourself before hand.

      You shouldn’t have to hire an immigration attorney but if you have the funds and can kind a reputable attorney it may be worth the trouble.

      The correct visa may allow you to live in the states versus being limited by a B1 Visa

      I’m not positive but this may be the correct classification


      Hope that helps

  16. Andrew Fuerstenberger

    I don’t know you or your work effort Satrap so I won’t editorialize on your motivations. It is certainly not as easy to do REI with no money or credit but it can be done. You’ll need to pound the pavement, make connections, do a lot of free work to build networks and yes a little luck but ultimately if you put in the work you’ll normally see the results. I don’t know your age or work situation, but the best thing you could probably do is rent a room, live at home or somewhere cheap, get a job, no matter what it is and start saving some cash. Be vigilant for a year or two and put away some cash that you could use for an FHA mortgage. Always keep your eyes open and make it happen. Best efforts and luck to you.

  17. Peggy Ollison

    Hi all,
    Just signed on today and reading as much as I can. I am new to real estate investing, but hoping to learn as much as I can. I think I should probably begin by “bird dogging.” Any other suggestions? Just wondering are there any recent posts, since this one is quite old.


    • Patrick Zoro

      wellthis certainly sounds very exiting and very hopeful but before you jump in real estate you should be aware that while the product (a house) and the premise (collect rent) seems easy enough there are plenty of pitfalls. you need to understand finance, returns, the law, finding contractors, pricing jobs, people, risk, market. you need time, patience, endurance. Real estate investing is like being on top of an iceberg, be aware of what lies beneath. And while many will benefitftom your involvement (house sellers, book sellers, program sellers etc…) make sure that also do.

  18. Chyree Curtis

    Thank you for this article! I just joined this website today for information and learning about the different ways of building a list of buyers, partners etc. I’m very new to Real Estate Investing somewhat find this challenging, however doable. I do not have any money of my own to put up to start with, however I will not let that get me down. I believe you said it best to do tons of research, be creative, build a network by getting a personal set at the table and just plain o’l getting out there.

  19. Amber H.

    I happened upon this site searching for an answer about a security deposit from the last home I rented but am intrigued by the complexity and potential I am finding, reading blog after blog and learning what these terms mean. Eventually, I decided to participate in a webinar to find out more. I love a challenge, am at a breaking point in many areas after leaving abuse with nothing but know that I am capable of anything. However, I have no real estate license, money, etc. I do have some connections that would mentor me that I can trust and am bilingual with work experience in many fields and a passion to figure this field out and try my hand at it. Hopefully, this is not too unrealistic. What are the basics I need to start? I am interested in flipping homes and know where people in my area will be looking, what is sought after and about to boom, as well as having a knack with sales and people, style, etc. Please give me a realistic answer as to if this is feasible in a situation with terrible credit and no income but with potential and connections. What do I need to do first? Do I need a RE License? Lender? Please…any advice is welcome. I am in NC, btw. Thanks for reading. I look forward to partnering with you and selling to you soon (wink). Amber

  20. keziah wangari

    Am also a newbie in this part, but I do have a passion in real estates and when I saw all your advice especially for a newbie .I was filled with hope and the part that I can actually invest with no credit nor cash.I just thought that because u need private money so badly that i would have this idea of starting first within my community and try it and being creative enough.I just hope to seek more advice from you people to get forward.

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