Sometimes financial struggles can get you to the point where you can't make rent. It's hard when you're living from check to check and just getting by. You work full-time, you have kids, and you have bills piling up, and to make things worse, you may be under even more financial stress due to the fact that a big emergency expense comes up. What are your options? There are more ways to get through this difficult situation than you know. Here are our recommendations on how to handle things when finances get truly tight.
The quickest way to reduce costs in order to pay this month's rent and get back on your feet is to eliminate unnecessary monthly costs. This means not eating out, reducing some expensive grocery items, and canceling entertainment and app subscriptions. Yes, this might mean going without your favorite shows for a little while, but entertainment, food costs, and dining out can add up to hundreds of dollars that could go toward your rent. Also, commit to not purchasing any clothing, toys, electronics, or other consumer goods for the foreseeable future. This is a more attractive option because you can survive without these things for a little while, and it should free up cash for you to help pay your rent.
While this might not seem like the most palatable idea, it can change your financial situation very quickly. If you have a two-bedroom apartment, and you have room to accommodate another person, consider advertising for a roommate as soon as possible. Of course, you'll need to interview them and perhaps conduct a background check to make sure everything checks out and you prevent yourself from getting into a difficult situation. Assuming everything is good, you can even sublease the room to them, and they can pay you rent directly. This speeds up the process and prevents you from having to wait for them to get approved by the landlord.
This one isn't a sure thing, nor should you automatically pursue this route. First of all, avoid dreaded, insane-interest payday loans that put you in more debt. You should never use those for anything, except maybe bail money! If your credit is good, you can consider an unsecured personal loan, but it could take time to process, and you need to check the terms and interest rates. It's only beneficial to you if you can pay it off quickly and the interest rates are good. A secured loan means you have to put up collateral, and interest rates are generally higher. You're better off getting a loan from a friend or family member (if and only if you can pay all it back quickly). Make a commitment to pay them back in a timely fashion, and make a plan to do so, otherwise, you risk ruining a relationship.
Before it becomes a serious issue, talk to your landlord. It might be nerve-wracking to do so, but if you approach him or her humbly and with a plan, you might get a break. Don't expect to delay it for months. Typically, they'll give you a 30-day grace period in which to pay your back rent, and then it will come with some terms you may need to sign for. If you violate that 30-day period, you may owe interest. If you have a great relationship with your landlord (as well as a consistent payment history), then chances are you could get a break. It's worth asking, and make sure you have a backup plan in case the answer is no.