If you follow my spending posts, you’ll notice that my rent is my largest expense. It’s not that high due to where I live, but it’s still my biggest expense each month. This tends to be true for a lot of people – paying for the place where you live is usually your largest expense each month.
The other day I was listening to the popular Pitbull song with these lyrics:
I knew my rent was gonna be late about a week ago
I worked my ass off, but I still can’t pay it though
Despite the way the song goes after that, it reminded me of the times in life I’ve had where I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay rent. It’s scary to not know how you will pay for a secure place to live which is why today I want to share ways to get help paying your rent.
How To Get Help Paying Your Rent
If you are struggling to pay your rent and need help, these resources and ideas will help you find the money to pay your rent. Some of these are non-profits and groups dedicated to helping people like you who need help paying rent. Others are just ideas you might want to consider to help making money to pay for your rent. Using all of them might be the best option.
Talk to your landlord. Depending on where you live and your relationship with your landlord, you might be able to get an extension or even some help. While this doesn’t happen often, some landlords understand when you have a hard time and need some help. They might give you a couple extra days to pay or skip the late fee for the month. You never know until you explain the situation and ask what options you have.
Check out Housing and Urban Development Program. Check with HUD to see what the public housing program can do for you. If you are a low income earner you may be able to get help paying for your rent. Eligibility depends on gross income and is specific to the area you live in based on the cost of living in that area. You’ll have to contact your local HUD field office to see if you can get help in your area. Contact your local HUD office and get more details.
Check out USDA Rural Development Rental Assistance Program. If you live in a rural area rather than a city then this program might be able to help you. Part of the assistance they provide includes apartments for people in rural areas with low incomes. You should contact your local representative from the USDA Rental Assistance Program to see what help they can provide you in paying your rent.
Check with your local city government. Many state and city governments have rental assistance programs that operate independently within their area. Contact your local government representative or check their website for information about these types of programs.
Get help if you are a veteran. There are a couple organizations out there that help veterans who need assistance paying rent. The Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing Program gives help to homeless veterans with the Housing Choice Voucher Program. If you are a veteran without a place to stay then you should definitely see if you qualify for this assistance on the VASH website. Additionally there are programs run in individual cities that offer help to veterans in need. Reach out to the local veteran groups and see what there is available in your specific area.
Get housing help in emergencies. The United Way’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program supports many local programs that provide people with food and shelter in emergencies. If you can’t pay your rent and suddenly find yourself without a place to stay then this is definitely a resource to keep in mind as they can help you get food and shelter in an emergency situation. Check their website to see what local program they support in your area.
Reach out to religious groups. There are several religious groups that provide various types of support to people at a local level. You can reach out to any of these groups local chapter in your city: Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services, St. Vincent DePaul Society. These religious organizations may be able to help pay your rent. Similarly, if you are connected in a church in your area, reach out to the pastor. Many churches set aside some money to help members of the congregation and community when they fall on hard times. Additionally they may be able to collect money for you or help you in other ways.
Apply for grant money. There are some organizations that provide grants to people who need help paying rent. Grants like these are generally from charities and help prevent low income earners from falling into poverty or homelessness. Grants are money given to you that you don’t have to pay back. If you can’t pay for your rent or are having trouble paying for your utilities, you can apply to receive a grant from a charity like Modest Needs. They offer $1,000 grants that can get you through a tough spot when you can’t pay rent and need help.
Rent out a room in your home. An easy way to get help paying for your rent is to split the responsibility with someone else. This is something that I personally do and have done for several years now. Sharing some common areas with another person is definitely worth the trade off of paying less rent and being able to pay rent on time every month. You can find potential roommates within you circle of friends and family or by placing an ad on Craigslist (and using precaution and common sense). This might not be an option for everyone if you don’t have extra room or live with minor children.
What other ways do you know for getting help paying your rent?