The guide contains important links to resources that many people in similar circumstances have found invaluable, please bookmark this and share it with others that might find it helpful, leave a comment if this guide has helped and share on social media so more people can find the guide.
Important Note: The most important thing to bear in mind is that you're not alone and help is available. Everyone suffers a setback from time to time, the important thing is that we bounce back much stronger.
#1: Inform Your Landlord Immediately if you Need Help Paying RentWhen you need help paying rent the first step you should take is not the easiest but it's essential. Notify your landlord that you're experience financial hardship and you're not going to be able to pay your rent this month. Let the landlord know the reasons and then let them know what steps you are taking to get the money together on a permanent basis.
You can put your circumstances in writing if you're having problems communicating with your landlord or if you feel uneasy talking about the subject. If you're being harassed then help is available, I have included a link below which explains how you write a hardship letter for delinquent rent, another link offers how to handle harassment.
How to Write a Hardship Letter to Landlord for Delinquent Rent
What Can I Do If I'm Being Harassed By My Landlord
#2: Sort Your Finances Out to Help Pay My Rent
If you're facing financial hardship then it's time you confronted your demons and sorted your finances out. It's easier said than done however once you get it out of the way you'll feel much better. This is a crucial step when you need help paying rent. Create a income and expenditure financial statement, list all your income and expenses and go through them with a fine tooth-comb. Cut needless spending and then try to make the ends meet. Some of the areas you can cut back on are:
+ Eating Out: Fast Food/ Restaurant/ Take Away
+ Entertainment: Cable/ Elaborate Cell Plans/ Magazines/ Excessive Internet Packages
+ Transport: Walk to Work/ Cycle to Work
+ Groceries: Find Cheaper Alternatives/ Use Coupons
If you're on a very low income and it's impossible for you then there is help available (will be discussed later). If you're really terrible with your personal finance then try following some great personal finance blogs. The blogs listed below helped me get my finances in order and now I've been paying my rent on a regular basis without missing any payments and even have a contingency emergency fund.
You can also use the income and expenses statement so that you can show your landlord that your taking positive steps to overcome the rental delinquency by cutting costs and prioritizing your spending. When you're landlord realizes that you're taking positive steps to heal your finances you are likely to be given more time and empathy.
Income and Expenses Statement
Best Personal Finance Blog in the World - Not an Understatement!
#3: Don't Get in More Debt
When I was experiencing hardship and needed help with my rent I avoided getting further into debt. If you're having difficulties paying your rent because of debt then do not use more debt to cover your rent, the deeper into debt you get the harder it will become to pay on a regular basis. If you do have a high ratio of debt compared to your income then it's time to call you're creditors and let them know that your experiencing financial difficulties and you want interest and minimum payments reduced.
Cut your credit cards up and stop using them until you get your financial house in order. Talking with my creditors helped reduce my payments by more than 50%, talking to a debt counsellor helped to stop all my interest which made more pressing expenses like rent payment possible.
Talk to Creditors to Lower Interest and Minimum Payments
Talk to Debt Counseling Experts to get Your Debt Reduced.
#4 How Do I Get Help With My Rent?
If you're on a very low income of have experienced poverty, financial despair or disaster recovery or are unemployed you can turn to public assistance for help. There are many programs that you can explore to reduce your expenses, you can even get help towards your rent. Check to see what benefits you might be eligible for and then look for any rental assistance programs that could help you.
I have listed all the options that you can explore for rental assistance below as well as other programs that could reduce your monthly expenses, rental assistance comes in the form of rental subsidy to landlords, Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8).
Rental Assistance Programs from HUD
Privately Owned Subsidized Housing: The Department of Housing and Urban Development offers apartment owners subsidies so they can pass these savings onto tenants through lower rent rates. You can search for subsidized apartments on the rental assistance page on the HUD website by finding your own state.
Public Housing: The Department of Housing and Urban Development has a supply of affordable low cost housing and apartments for low income families, elderly, and disabled. You can apply for these programs by visiting the public housing agency rental assistance page on the HUD website.
Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8): This is a great program which allows you to find your own apartment or house and then use a voucher to pay for all or part of the rent. If you are interested in this option you can visit the HUD website and go to the rental assistance page.
The rental assistance resources on the Department of Housing and Urban Development site is very comprehensive and is worth reading thoroughly if you're experiencing hardship when paying your rent. You can receive advice from the Housing Counselling Agency and educate yourself about fair housing, tenant rights as well as security deposit rates on rents. You can also find out more about RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration) which allows someone to convert to more stable funding platforms.
Help for Financial Difficult Times
Help Feeding Your Family
Help Paying Your Rent
Help Paying Your Mortgage
#5: Help From Friends and Family for Rental Assistance
If you're already on the streets then it's time to swallow your pride and ask for help, delaying will only make things worse, if your family member or friends are willing to help then you're slowly taking positive steps to get out of hardship, if they refuse you'll only be back where you are now and you'll know who your friends are. Meet with your family members and friends, explain your circumstances and ask for help, more often than not you will receive help.
#6 Places to Stay if You're Homeless
If you're homeless and you cant turn to friends and family members then there are a number of agencies that you can turn to. I have included a link which offers invaluable resources for people who are homeless, are on the brink of becoming homeless or know someone who has become homeless.
Resources for Homeless Persons
#7: Contact Religious Organizations and Charities
Another option you can explore is going to charities for rental assistance. These are specific charities such as the Salvation Army who specialize in helping homeless people to get off the streets. Religious organizations also have enormous discretionary funds to help people in need. Some charities and religious organizations have their own shelter to help people in need. Take action now and reach out to these places for help and see what they have to offer in terms of rental assistance.
I Cant Pay My Rent This Month What Do I Do?
If you're facing difficulties with your rent then it's time to open up and share the problem, take positive steps and improve your finances, look for ways to increase your income and lower your costs. Check for any help you can get from the government and always keep your landlord in the loop. If you cant pay your rent this month you need to take action. The most important step is to notify your landlord and then go through all the resources on this page to find a solution to your problem. You should also consider ways to increase your income. Check out some of my guides on how to make money quickly. These guides offer legal and legitimate strategies to make money.