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Where to Turn If You Need Help Paying Rent

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Sometimes, there's no way around it- you need help paying rent. Maybe you’ve lost your job and unpaid bills are piling up, or maybe you've suffered a medical setback or some other emergency that has left you without the cash in your bank account to make the bills. Fortunately, if you find yourself in a situation where you need help paying rent, there are community resources you can tap into for help.

Where to Turn for Help Paying Rent

The first thing you should do is to speak with your landlord immediately once you anticipate that you will be facing financial difficulties. It always pays to be honest. Who knows, your landlord might even be willing to temporarily lower your rent, or design a special payment option for you.

If your landlord can't help you, your next step should be to gather financial records, put together information about your current income, and give your state’s Department of Human Resources a call. Inquire if they have rental assistance programs you can avail of given your location and income level. Different states will have different programs and funds available, so be sure to ask what the guidelines and requirements are. For most states, you will have to meet a certain family size and income requirements.

If you currently live in the rural area, you can also contact the USDA Rural Development to check if you are qualified to take advantage of a rental assistance program from their organization. They may also offer you trust funds and housing grants.

HUD or the Department of Housing and Urban Development may also have programs that can assist you. In some cases, they can even finance a portion of your rent.

If you are a member of a church, ask whether they have a ministry that can help members pay for rent. Most churches do have funds to help finance utility bills at a minimum. Speak with a representative of the administration office of the church and ask if you are qualified to take advantage of a one-time donation that will pay your rent. If you do not belong to any church, you still should not hesitate to visit churches and seek help.

Aside from churches, you can also contact other charitable institutions and non-profit organizations for help. There are many organizations in most areas dedicated to providing assistance to those in need. You can call or visit these organizations to find out if you qualify to receive assistance.

Also look into grant-funded programs. You may qualify for government grants based on your income and financial situation. You can go online to learn more about such grants.

The key to finding a solution when you need help paying rent is to be proactive and not to wait for the last minute, until your landlord is ready to evict you.

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