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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.
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.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
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.
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.
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:
Depending on the program, you might be asked to provide some or all of the following:
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:
You can also search for payday loan storefronts in your area, which may be able to fund your loan the same day you apply.
While the information you need to provide will vary by lender, most will ask for the following:
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:
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.
Answers to common questions about rent emergencies.
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.
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.
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