It's scary to not have rent money when you need it. If you need to raise rent money quickly, ask for help. Friends, family or social services agencies may be able to assist you. If your efforts fail, don't ignore the situation. Contact your landlord and ask if he can work with you.
Ask Family and Friends for Help
While asking for help can be embarrassing, friends and family members may be able to help with a short-term loan or a cash gift. If asking for help bothers you, put out the word that you are looking for odd jobs. You may be able to earn enough to cover your rent.
Contact Human Services
Contact your city or state human services department. Even if you don't qualify for most government aid programs, such as food stamps, you may be able to get emergency help. A caseworker can review your situation and let you know if you are eligible. If you aren't eligible, the caseworker may be able to refer you to private social service programs that have less stringent qualifications.
Some charities provide emergency rent money to community members. Each charity sets its own standards for receiving assistance. In some cases, requirements are minimal, but you may only be able to get aid once in your lifetime. Other charities may ask for proof that you are currently working and that you'll be able to resume paying rent next month. Contact the United Way or a homelessness prevention hotline in your area for referrals to charities.
Sell Your Possessions
Selling items of value can earn you quick cash, but you need to find the best venue for selling your belongings. Pawn shops typically buy high-value items such as electronics, musical instruments and jewelry. Selling to a pawnshop, or getting a pawnshop loan using a valuable item as collateral, is a quick and straightforward process. The downside is that you may not receive as much money as you would if you sold the item directly to a buyer through eBay or Craigslist. Both eBay and Craigslist have their downsides, however, including safety issues and buyers who renege on deals.
Talk to Your School's Financial Aid Department
If you are a college student, make an appointment to talk to a financial aid counselor. You may be entitled to more aid than you currently receive. Your school may also have a fund that helps students who are in financial distress through short-term loans or cash grants.
- Salvation Army: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi: Emergency Assistance
- Washington State Department of Health and Human Services: DSHS Emergency Programs
- AllChicago.org: Community Resources
- University of Maryland: Emergency Assistance
- Nolo: What to Do and Not to Do If You Can't Pay Rent on Time
- Apartment Therapy: A Craigslist Pro Shares his Buying and Selling Secrets
- Bankrate: Pawnshop 101: 5 ways to get the best price at pawnshops
- City of Chicago: Emergency Assistance
- 211US.org: Find Your Local 2-1-1 Service