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What to Do If You Need Help Paying Rent

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A number of state, federal and local services are available to renters who are in danger of eviction due to late rental payments – and many of these services are available for short and long term assistance. Renters can also find help paying rent through alternative solutions that may resolve short term rental issues caused by unexpected emergencies.

Assistance Programs for Help Paying Rent

If you need help paying rent, you may want to see if you qualify for assistance through federal programs which include:

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – this type of organization was created to help families in need make their rent and cover move-in security deposits. HUD provides long term assistance for families who need help getting back on their feet.

Eviction Prevention Program (EPP) – the EPP is a federal program which is managed through state and city funds. This type of program was created to help families who are facing eviction stay in their homes through short term assistance.

Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (VASH) – a branch of the HUD program, the VASH provides rental assistance for homeless veterans.

The USDA Rural Development Program – provides loan assistance to renters in rural areas who need help making their rent, paying utilities and waste and water bills.

To find local or city programs which can provide short term assistance with paying the rent, check with your local Legal Aid Society.

Alternative Solutions for Help Paying Rent

In addition to assistance programs, renters may also want to seek alternative solutions for help paying rent. A few possible methods which can be used to cover short term – and sometimes even long term – shortages for monthly rents include:

Rent out a spare bedroom – interview possible candidates before they move in to make sure they are able to pay the monthly rent and that they will be the right type of roommate for your home.

Talk with the landlord about ways to reduce the rent – sometimes landlords will reduce the rent especially if you are living in an area where the landlord has difficulties finding regular renters.

If you have a specific skill – such as construction – you could offer to work on improvements on the rental property in exchange for reduced rent (before you begin any work on the home though, always have your landlord write down the terms of the trade to make sure you are both legally protected). Or for example if you are a tutor you could offer free tutoring lessons to the landlord’s children in exchange for reduced rent.

Apply for a short term loan – if you qualify for a short term loan through your bank this may be the best solution if you are stuck in a temporary situation that is affecting your ability to pay the rent. Other short term loan facilities – like payday or car title loans – may help too but they can charge high interest rates and fees that may cost you more money in the long run.


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