It's pretty easy to find a room to rent in New York – most people use Craigs List. But to get your own apartment is harder. The subleases are expensive and to get your own contract the landlords want to do a credit check and then you need a US social security number.
Since I'm a freelancer I can not show any proof of employment or consistent paychecks and since a guarantor needs to be a US citizen, sometimes even live in New York State, I had to find other ways.
In these last few days I did sign my own first contract and this is what you should do:
• Get papers of all your assets: Savings, stocks, bonds. Translate the value to USD. Sometimes the landlord will ask for 6-12 months rent in advance but sometimes it's enough to just show that you have money.
• Get account statements that shows that you have had money coming in and going out the last year.
• If you have a credit card, ask them to write a letter that certifies that you have paid on time and how much you've spent. The more the better.
• Bring your tax report from the last two years.
• Write a personal letter that explains what all the numbers mean and why it shows you are a trustworthy tenant.
• Try to rent straight from the landlord that will then be the one showing you the place. It's easier to get them to trust you if they meet you instead of just talking to a broker.
• Be prepared to get an apartment that is not "the best deal in town". If many people want a place the landlord will pi.jpgck the one with all the normal requirements.