Entering NYC’s housing lottery process can be a bit daunting to say the least. Thousands of applicants apply for a single lottery and many times, there are just a few apartments made available for each lottery. In fact, the odds of winning are 1 in 592, which means many applicants will be denied, even after making it through the initial selection round.

While there are many reasons an application could end up in the rejection pile, there are a few recurring themes that rise to the top. According to NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Associate Commissioner for Housing Opportunity and Program Services Margy Brown, here are four main setbacks that can hinder your NYC Housing Lottery application.

1. Not Listing All of Your Assets

When applying for a lottery, it’s no secret your eligibility will largely depend on your income. Most of us assume annual income is just the listed wages on our W-2 form. Yes, that’s certainly a huge chunk of it. But “income” entails so much more. Income can be gift money, child support or other assets like bonuses, commissions and investment portfolios. When applying to a housing lottery, you need to account for ALL of your income sources. Here is tip sheet on what qualifies as income.

2. Having a Poor Credit Score

Having a good credit score is certainly helpful for renting in NYC, but it is not as scrutinized in the housing lottery application process as it was in the past. That’s because in 2016, Mayor de Blasio enacted some new rules to help level the playing field for applicants who may have fallen on hard times in the past. A big change is that developers can no longer use an applicant’s credit score as the sole reason to deny their application. The de Blasio administration feels credit scores are not the best indicator to tell whether or not someone can pay rent.

“We’ve removed the debt-to-income ratio altogether,” explains Brown. “People tend to pay rent before any other debt. It has been the most important change we’ve made in the last year.”

3. Being Late in Paying Bills or Simply Not Paying

While the importance of a credit score has eased up, delinquency or failure to pay an outstanding debt can hurt your chances of winning. However, the monetary threshold for delinquency has been raised, and doesn’t just focus on bills that are overdue. Developers can reject an applicant if they have unsatisfied delinquencies and collections that exceed $5,000. This does not include medical debt or student loans. In addition, the delinquencies must be more than 120 days past due.

4. Recent Evictions

Developers can choose to reject applicants that have had a warrant of eviction executed within the last two years of applying for a lottery. The eviction must be ruled as “with cause” and can include reasons such as non-payment of rent or violating the terms of the lease.

Programs That Can Help

The lottery process can be tricky and overwhelming at times, but renters have several resources they can turn to for assistance with filing their NYC housing lottery application. It is important to note formerly homeless applicants referred by shelters have different criteria to follow.

Housing Ambassadors Program: HPD partners with non-profits and community service providers all over the city to help candidates prepare for their housing lottery experience. They’ll assist with completing the application, but they cannot guarantee applicants rental units.

Ready to Rent: This program offers financial counseling and assistance with lottery applications. Ready to Rent also provides one-on-one financial counseling at multiple locations throughout the boroughs. Check their website for a location near you.