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Get an emergency loan to pay for rent

7 places to turn to for help when you're worried about missing a payment.

Editor's choice: OppLoans Installment Loans

  • Easy online application
  • Quick approval
  • Long repayment terms
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This article was reviewed by Doug Noll, a member of the Finder Editorial Review Board and award-winning lawyer, mediator and author with over 40 years of experience in the legal field.

When you’re facing late fees from your landlord or a possible eviction, a short-term loan for rent may be the first solution you turn to. But the high cost can cause even more problems down the road. Instead, you might want to first look into housing assistance programs and other lower-cost alternatives before taking out a payday loan.

Rental relief available during the coronavirus outbreak

The federal moratorium on evictions established by the CARES Act expired on July 24, 2020. However, it has been extended until March 31, 2021. You will still be required to pay any back rent, fees or other charges for nonpayment as determined by your lease agreement.

Keep in mind this is only a moratorium on evictions for nonpayment — your landlord may still evict you for violating other portions of your lease agreement or housing contract unless additional state measures have been enacted.

While there are no federal relief programs currently available, you may be able to get help through state or local programs. Check your local housing assistance programs to see if there are special options in place for renters affected by the coronavirus or facing temporary financial difficulty. And lean on nonprofit credit and housing counselors for help navigating the situation.

For more resources, check out our guide to financial assistance during the coronavirus.

Compare short-term loans for rent

Name Product Filter Values Loan amount Turnaround time Requirements
OppLoans Installment Loans
$500 to $5,000
1 business day
Direct deposit, meet minimum income requirements, live in eligible state
Comes with the option to change your due date so you won’t fall behind on repayments.
Stilt
$1,000 to $25,000
2 to 3 business days
Be employed, have a US bank account, live in a state where Stilt operates, hold one of the following visas: F-1 and OPT, H-1B, H4, O-1, L-1, TN, J-1, DACA or be a US citizen.
No green card? You could still qualify for a personal loan.
Fast5kLoans Short-term Loans Connection Service
$100 to $35,000
As soon as the next business day
Regular source of income, verifiable bank account, US citizen, ages 18+
Get connected with multiple lenders you might qualify with — even if you have bad credit.
LendYou Short-term Loans
$100 to $2,500
Same business day to 1 business day
$1,000+ monthly income, direct deposit, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
Get offers from potential lenders in minutes by filling out just one online form.
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Do lenders offer emergency loans for rent?

Yes, it’s possible to get a short-term loan to cover rent in an emergency. However, borrowing money to pay for rent isn’t ideal: It can lead to a cycle of debt that could put you in a worse financial situation. Instead, you might want to consider alternatives first, such as negotiating with your landlord or applying for housing assistance.

I’ve been evicted. Can I use a loan to help?

Yes, you can use a loan to help cover rent if you’re facing eviction — but you might want to reach out to a lawyer to discuss your options first. They can help you determine whether your landlord violated any of your tenant rights during the eviction process. And they might be able to help you find an alternative way to cover your rent so you don’t need to borrow.

A lawyer doesn’t always have to cost, either. Reach out to local legal aid organizations and ask if they have free representation services.

8 ways to pay for rent in an emergency

A short-term loan is best saved as a last resort. Here are eight other options to look into before taking out a payday loan to cover rent:

  1. Short-term housing assistance. Many cities, counties and states offer voucher programs that can help with short-term housing emergencies. Visit your local housing authority to go over your options and apply for aid.
  2. Rent assistance grants. If you’re facing eviction and homelessness, you may qualify for a rent assistance grant. Some state and local housing authorities also offer grants to help cover back rent.
  3. Negotiate with your landlord. Your landlord may be willing to put you on an alternate payment plan or a modified lease during a financial crisis. If they agree to adjust your contract, get it in writing to avoid any issues later on down the road.
  4. Local charities. Charities and faith-based organizations in your area may offer housing assistance. This might include help with rent or temporary housing if you’re facing eviction.
  5. Family and friends. You might have someone in your corner willing to help cover rent. While not a long-term solution, it can help you make it through a financial rough patch without accruing late fees from multiple missed rent payments.
  6. Personal loan. If you have fair to good credit, consider taking out a personal loan from an online lender. These come with much better rates and terms than payday loans. And you may even be able to get your funds the next day.
  7. Pay advance app. If you have steady employment, you may be able to use a pay advance app to borrow cash you’ve already earned, but haven’t been paid. These are typically less expensive than payday loans, but have smaller amount caps.
  8. Credit card cash advance. Although not ideal, a cash advance is typically less expensive than a payday loan. If you have a credit card with an open balance, you may be able to pay a portion of your rent with an advance.

What do I need to apply for housing assistance?

Depending on the program, you might be asked to provide some or all of the following:

  • Copy of your lease
  • Copy of your eviction notice — if applicable
  • Proof of financial hardship
  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Social Security number

How to get an emergency loan for rent

If you’re waiting to see if you’ve been approved for housing assistance but still need to cover your back rent, follow these steps to apply for a short-term loan:

  1. Compare short-term lenders to find an option that fits your needs.
  2. Click Go to Site to fill out the lender’s application.
  3. Submit your personal information and wait for an approval decision.
  4. If approved, receive your funds within one to two business days.

You can also search for payday loan storefronts in your area, which may be able to fund your loan the same day you apply.

What information will I need to apply?

While the information you need to provide will vary by lender, most will ask for the following:

  • Proof of income
  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Social Security number
  • Bank account information

How to avoid needing a short-term loan for rent in the future

Although emergencies can feel inevitable, here are a few measures you can take to avoid needing a short-term loan for rent in the future:

  • Enroll in government assistance programs. There are several state and federal assistance programs — including subsidized housing, housing vouchers and public housing — you can turn to if the cost of living is too high for your current financial situation.
  • Sign up for credit counseling. If you consistently need to borrow to make ends meet, a credit counselor can help you create a budget and debt repayment plan. To find a reputable service near you, check out the US Department of Justice’s list of approved credit counseling agencies.
  • Consider debt consolidation. Borrowing a loan for debt consolidation may help you combine some of your high-interest debts into one monthly payment. And for some people, it can reduce the amount you pay overall — easing the strain on your budget and making rent more affordable.
  • Get a roommate. If you have extra space in your house or apartment and your landlord approves, a roommate can help cut down on your rent and utility costs until your lease ends and you can find less-expensive housing.
  • Take on a second job. Though not always feasible, taking on a side gig or part-time job can help supplement your income if you aren’t bringing in enough to pay your bills.
  • Download a savings app. Apps like Chime and Albert can help you automatically save by rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar and putting the funds aside in a savings account.

Bottom line

If you’re facing an emergency and don’t have enough money for rent, you might want to first look into housing assistance offered by government agencies and local charities. Still short on funds? Look into these payday loan alternatives before turning to your short-term loan options.

Frequently asked questions

Answers to common questions about rent emergencies.

How long can I go without paying rent?

Laws vary by state, and your landlord may have their own terms set out in your contract. You might want to speak to an attorney to get help specific to your situation.

Should I hire a tenants’ rights attorney?

A tenants’ rights attorney might be helpful if your landlord is violating the terms of your lease. Check out the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s tenant rights page for a list of state-specific resources.

Can I use my student loans to pay rent?

Yes. Federal and private student loans can be used to pay for room and board, which includes rent payments for on- and off-campus housing.

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