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The first thing to prepare for is saving up as much money as you can. Some places will require first months rent, last months rent and a security deposit to move in. If you go to an apartment complex they typically will only require one months rent to move in. Look at the floor plans they offer and determine what size and number of bedrooms you like. Maybe a roommate is an option to cut down on your living expenses.
Renting furnture is an option if you need your savings to get into an apartment. Some places will rent you the furniture towards the purchase of the furniture. This is a good option that will allow you to use the furniture and then own it after it is paid off. I have attached a link to Rent-A-Center so you can see what options are available to you.
If you want to buy new furniture, then you will have to shop around for the best prices. Some of the larger furniture stores are able to hold your purchase until you have a move-in-date.
I have attached links to City Furniture and Rooms-To-Go because you can get some nice furniture at reasonable prices. They are large companies that have warehouses available to hold furniture for delivery.
Feel free to post any follow-up questions you may have.