Unexpected situations tend to come up that can affect your ability to meet financial obligations. A sudden job loss or large medical bill can make it difficult to meet your monthly rent payment. However, tenants may be able to avoid missing a rent payment by getting an emergency loan for rent. Learn what an emergency rent loan is and how you can get one.
What Is an Emergency Loan for Rent?
An emergency loan for rent is usually a one-time loan. The tenant needs the funds quickly, so being able to get the money immediately is key.
What Documents Will You Need?
Anyone who will loan you money will want to verify your current financial information. They will likely run a credit check on you, and require the following documents:
- Identification – Either a driver’s license or other government-issued identification.
- Proof of Income – This could be W2’s, tax records or other statements that show your source of income.
- Bank Statement – This is to show how much money you currently have available.
- Copy of Lease – This is to prove you are a tenant with an active lease.
- Copy of Eviction Notice if Applicable – If the landlord has already begun eviction proceedings against you, you should bring a copy of this notice.
- Information Proving Financial Hardship – Bring proof of anything that has contributed to your current financial hardship, such as medical bills or notice of job termination.
How Does It Work?
There are several places a tenant can go if they need immediate help meeting a rent payment. However, a tenant’s options may be limited depending on their credit score, income level and whether the landlord has begun the eviction process.
You can go to a local bank or credit union and apply for a small personal loan. The benefit of this loan is, it is usually given at a low-interest rate. The disadvantages of this type of loan are you have to have a decent credit score to be approved, may need a co-signer, and it can take several weeks to actually go through the process and get the money. Since you will be paying interest on the amount borrowed, you will end up paying back more than the original loan amount.
Family and Friends
If you need financial help immediately, you may want to turn to family or friends. They know your character and may be willing to loan you the money you need. You can work out a repayment plan that may or may not include paying back interest on the money borrowed.
If you choose to get a loan from an online lender, you need to do your research to make sure you are not getting scammed. The benefit of these lenders is that the funds are available very quickly, and they may not require credit checks or co-signers. The downside is, they usually have much higher interest rates than a traditional bank and they may not be legitimate.
There are many charitable organizations that will offer one time grants to those in need. Three of the most popular organizations offering emergency grants are the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities and Modest Needs. You may be able to find other local charities near you that will be willing to offer emergency financial assistance to those in need.
To be considered for assistance, you must either apply in person or online and show proof of your financial hardship. If approved, the organization will issue you a grant to help you meet your expense. This grant does not have to be paid back.
What Tenants Should Consider Before Getting One
Before you take out any loan, you must fully understand the repayment terms. If you cannot afford your rent, what makes you think you will be able to repay a loan at a high-interest rate?
Look at the interest rate and calculate how much you will be repaying over the life of the loan. Make sure you understand when your first payment is due. If you miss a payment, you could be hit with large penalties.
Alternatives to Getting a Loan
You must also decide if taking out a loan is really your best option. Are there other ways you can cut costs or increase your income?
- Talk to Your Landlord: If you have been a good tenant who has always paid the rent on time, you have nothing to lose by talking to your landlord. The landlord may be willing to work with you and put together a payment plan that you can follow until you are back on your feet.
- Cut Expense: You need to look at your finances and see if there are any expenses you can cut out. Can you save money on cable, monthly subscriptions or an expensive coffee habit?
- Second Job: If cutting expenses is not enough, you may need to take on a second job.
- Roommate: If your landlord allows it, you can add a roommate to your lease. As long as the roommate actually pays their portion of the rent each month, they can help you cut your expenses significantly.
- Look for a New Apartment: If you are unable to afford your rent, you may have to find a less expensive place to live. If you have signed a yearly lease, explain your situation to your landlord. The landlord may allow you to move out early without penalty once they find a new tenant for the unit. The landlord would rather have you break the lease early so they can put in a tenant who can afford the rent payment than have you miss your rent payments.