How to get an emergency loan to pay for rent

Consider all your options before taking out a high-cost payday loan.

Last updated:

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

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.

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.

7 ways to pay for rent in an emergency

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Compare short-term loans for rent

Updated November 12th, 2019
Name Product Filter Values Max. Loan Amount Turnaround time Requirements
$5,000
1 business day
Direct deposit, meet minimum income requirements
Comes with the option to change your due date so you won’t fall behind on repayments.
$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.
$2,600
1 to 2 business days
Active checking account, regular source of income, email address
Get access to tools to help you plan a career move, make some extra cash or search for a better-paying job.
Varies by state
1 business day
Regular source of income, bank account, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
Sign up for its discount program to get access to coupons and deals on everything from dining out to tax services.
$15,000
Same business day to 1 business days
$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.
$50,000
Same business day to 1 business days
Employed, $800+ regular monthly income, checking account, ages 18+, US citizen
Fill out a simple online form to compare offers from several lenders that may be able to help.
$1,000
1 to 2 business days
Bank account, email address, phone number, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 21+
Plus, get access to check cashing, cell phone top ups, bill pay and more at one of its many storefronts.
$10,000
As early as 1 business day
$1,000+ monthly income after taxes, valid checking account
Explore its online education center to get tips on budgeting, how to prioritize your bills and more.

Compare up to 4 providers

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

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site