It can be an absolutely terrifying feeling to know that you do not have the money to pay your rent. I know the feeling. I have been there more than once. And there are so many reasons one may not have the money. A very unexpected job loss could occur leaving you in a lurch. Sickness, broken bones, or surgeries may cause you to miss work. A flat tire, dead battery, or some other car trouble could threaten your ability to get back and forth to work and you have no choice but to spend bill money on car repairs. Life happens to us all. We may get knocked off course, but you do not have to get knocked out in the process.
Emergency Loan For Rent? Here is What You Need To Know
Emergency loans for rent, or any loans for that matter, are only a wise move if they are going to actually help you– and I do not just mean for this second. Yes, you need the immediate relief of keeping your home but not at the expense of being in a worse financial state next month. If you get a loan now but will not be able to pay the payment or your rent the next month, you will be in a worse situation because you probably will not have another loan to fall back on.
It is not impossible to get another loan, but it is not likely since your debt to income ratio is often considered when approving or rejecting your loan.
If you have never had an eviction notice before, they can be confusing. Well, to be honest, they always seem to be confusing. Though things are different from state to state, you usually get some type of warning or chance to fix the problem before you are actually evicted. For instance, if you are behind on rent, you will often get some type of notice that says you have two weeks to catch up your rent or the eviction process will move to the next step.
Of course, I have also heard of places that can just tell you that you have three days to move out. Regardless of your state, you can call the office that the eviction notice came from or an attorney to get some clarification on what is going on after you have received the notice. They can tell you what the next step is and even advise you on what you may be able to do. Whether you have received the notice or just fear you will soon, you need to be making plans for getting the money you need. One way to do so is with emergency loans for rent.
Smart Money Tip!
If you are sure you can pay it back, barring any extreme circumstances, it is probably okay to take advantage of a loan. If you know you cannot pay it back, look for another way to come up with the money.
What Are the Best Emergency Loans for Rent to Get?
Let’s lay it out simply: the best loan for a rental expense emergency to get are the ones that give you the money you need at a low-interest rate and a reasonable repayment period. Most often, these will be personal installment loans and personal lines of credit. A personal installment loan is one that usually offers a low-interest rate, and you make payments over a set time period. Personal lines of credit are more like revolving credit. If you are approved, you can continuously borrow money until you reach your limit- kind of like a credit card. If you must get a loan, go for one of these first as you will have a much better chance of paying them back without too much hassle.
How Do I Find A Lender?
If you can’t make rent and need help, there are few different options for lenders. A great one is through your bank if you have a good standing with them. A bank, especially a credit union, can often loan you money with really low interest.
Another way is by simply searching for “emergency loans for rent”. Many will show up in the results so you have to be careful when choosing one. You will likely see local results that you can apply for. A good idea here is to check the website or social media pages for reviews. If you choose to go local, choose one that others have a good opinion on.
In those results, you will also see online lenders. These can be extremely convenient since you can apply and do all of the paperwork online. Just like an in-person loan, you will be required to show and share personal information, so it is vitally important that you be careful where to apply online.
Will A Loan to Pay Rent Affect My Credit?
Taking out emergency loans for rent will likely not negatively affect your credit any more than not paying your rent. Some landlords, though not all, will report your payment history to the credit bureau. Even if they do not, if they go through the court system to evict you, that will show on your records. Also, if the judge awards them any money, that judgment will show up on your credit report. Basically, not paying your rent can mess up your credit.
Loans will show up on your credit, but whether they are a good mark or bad mark on it is up to you. Not paying, or being late on those payments, will indeed negatively impact your credit. However, making all of your payments on time will look great on your credit. So the bottom line is that yes, a loan can affect your credit but it can go either way. Not paying your rent can only go one way.
I am quite sure you have heard at some point that communication is key. If you have not, I am filling you in now. Before taking any drastic steps, talk to your landlord. Let them know that you do not have the money at the moment but that you can get it to them (fill in a date here). Just be sure that the date you tell them is a date you really can pay.
Some hard cases will tell you that you have to pay on time, but many will work with you. They may charge a late fee, but most landlords do not want the hassle of having to evict you over your rent being a couple of weeks late. If you have any of the rent money, let them know that you can pay that much now and pay the rest on payday- or whenever you can. It is better to try talking with them before putting yourself into debt.
While talking to your landlord, there is another tactic to try. Many landlords are not organizations but individuals who have to do everything themselves or hire jobs out. If you have a skill, or a willingness, to do some work, they may be willing to trade your work for some time off of your rent. For instance, if you are a plumber or electrician, you might offer those services for homes he needs to fix up. You could also offer to paint, clean, or mow the lawns of homes they are working to get rented out. Taking a couple of hundred dollars off of your rent may save them many hundreds or thousands.
I have never heard of a single city that does not have some type of assistance program. When you need help paying rent, call around to local churches or charitable organizations in your neighborhood. Call “211” for United Way to give you some numbers to call. You can also just ask people you know where the organizations are, or do an Internet search. Many of these places do not advertise so you might only find out through United Way or word-of-mouth.
There are, of course, some ways you can make money pretty quick:
- Sell some electronics on Craigslist or Facebook groups
- Have an impromptu yard sale
- Trade in gift cards for cash
- Sell some jewelry, music equipment, game systems, or anything else you can.
- Look around your home for items you bought but have not opened or worn. Return them to the store you bought them from if you are still within the return window
Prevent a Repeat
After you have taken care of the imminent threat of eviction, you want to try to prevent it from happening again. Though not everything is controllable, look over the following list and try to put a few of them into effect:
Save on Expenses
So many things can fit in this category, but here are a few to get you started:
During the day, open the curtains instead of using artificial light. If it is summertime, only do this on windows that the sun is not blaring through to cut down on cooling costs. If it is wintertime, only open windows where the sun is shining to allow solar energy to cut down your heating costs.
Look into a tankless water heater. These get really good reviews and seem to save a good deal of money. Your landlord may even deduct the cost from your rent for making that improvement.
Also, in the summertime, eat as many cold foods and crockpot dishes as you can. That will not only save on your energy bill because crockpots take so much less energy than stoves and ovens, but it will also save you on cooling costs since your oven will not be heating up your home.
Save on Rent
Okay, question: are you in your current predicament need emergency help with rent because the cost of your rent is too high? Have just barely been making it? If the answer is yes, you probably need to move somewhere more affordable. If your rent is already on the low end, you may want to yell at me right now that your rent is as cheap as you can get. I am willing to bet that there is something cheaper, without having to move into dangerous neighborhoods.
First, there is housing assistance. The government has places, like apartments, that they will rent to you based on your income- and I promise they are not all terrible. I have lived in a couple before and they were actually nice apartments. On top of that, however, is the HUD assistance that, if you qualify, will pay part of your rent in certain homes.
Second, talk to friends and family. Sometimes they will know people who rent homes much cheaper. Then, take a ride around and check your local newspaper- the physical one that most people no longer read. Check out any addresses you may find, and do not be fooled by the outside. If you find something that fits your budget, check out the inside. Looks can be deceiving.
For instance, about ten years ago, my husband and I were looking to buy a house. We ran across this incredibly cheap one that was selling for $14,000. My first reaction was to think that it must be a horrible place, but we called the realtor so we could go inside anyway. When we pulled up, we almost turned around.
The outside looked awful, but we went in and got the surprise of our lives. There was a beautiful brick fireplace, a chandelier, French doors that led to the dining room- and all of that was in the first two rooms we looked at. It was gorgeous. The owners had spent their money beautifying the inside instead of the outside. Never judge the inside by what you see on the outside.
Set a Budget
Whether you move or stay in the same home, you need a budget for rent that works. Your income needs to match or exceed your outgoing. This may mean you have to cut some things out like cable, but really, Netflix is much cheaper. And, most cable channels have a website that you can watch their shows on. You can always cut down to make your budget work if you are willing.
The other way to make your budget work is to increase your income. You might be able to do this by picking up extra shifts at your current job, but I learned a very important lesson a long time ago: never rely on just one income. Multiple streams of income are a much safer idea. That way, if you lose one income or it gets cut down, you still have others to work with.
Find yourself what we love to call a side hustle. This can be so many different things from making things like jewelry and candles, painting houses on the side, babysitting, delivering phone books, transcription- the list is endless. I have even known someone who started finding “treasures” in thrift stores, usually in brand name clothing or expensive dishes, and she sold them on eBay.
Someone else I know buys old wood furniture, the kind you would want to throw on the side of the road, and fixes them up so pretty. She bought an old table from me for $50. Three weeks later, she sent me pictures of what she had done and I did not recognize that table. She sold it for $400.
Your side hustle can be anything that you can do for extra cash, even if you only work on it once a month. The point is to have extra income coming in.
Save, Save, Save!
It is so important to have some savings put away. A savings can save you from real trouble- trouble like needing emergency loans for rent because you do not have the cash. Ideally, you should have three to six months’ worth of expenses put away. I know how impossible that sounds but it is possible. Dig in and find some expenses you can cut out so that you can grow your savings.
Having to get emergency loans for rent can be a hard pill to swallow, especially when you work hard. Try not to be too down about it though. Everybody struggles from time to time. The key is to keep moving forward, so deal with the now and prepare for a better future.
Brandy Woodfolk is an educator, home business owner, project manager, and lifelong learner. After a less than stellar financial upbringing, Brandy dedicated her schooling and independent studies to financial literacy. She quickly became the go-to among family, friends, and acquaintances for everything finance. Her inner circle loves to joke that she is an expert at “budgeting to the penny”. Brandy dedicates a large portion of her time to teaching parents how to succeed financially without sacrificing time with their little ones. She also teaches classes to homeschooled teenagers about finances and other life skills they need to succeed as adults.
Brandy writes about smart money management and wealth building in simple and relatable ways so all who wish to can understand the world of finance.