How to Get Emergency Assistance With Paying My Rent

Counting Cash
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Short-term grants or emergency assistance can help you make rent when a crisis arises. Resources that provide emergency rental assistance are often "good Samaritan" types of organizations. Their purpose is to help families and individuals who are in need or experiencing a calamity. You usually don't have to pay the money back to these types of organizations.


Step 1

Contact your local Salvation Army. The Salvation Army is known for helping needy families. To get assistance, you generally have to go through an interview process, during which you may be asked to provide information about your income and proof that you need assistance with the rent. This proof can come in the form of a note from your landlord or an eviction notice.


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Step 2

Navigate to the national United Way website to find your local United Way website. Type in your zip code at the top right of the screen and click your left mouse button on the magnifying glass icon. This brings up the link that takes you to your local United Way website. Type in "rent assistance" at the top right of the new screen or in the appropriate search field on the local United Way website to bring up a list of organizations that provide emergency assistance. Follow the links to the partner organizations to obtain phone numbers and more information.


Step 3

Visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website to inquire about emergency rent assistance programs that are available in your state and county. States and counties often have emergency funds for crises situations, as long as you can show proof of need. In most cases, you need an eviction notice or a statement from your landlord. Or visit to find a program that might be able to help you (see Resources).



Step 4

Visit social service organizations in your community, nonprofit organizations and local churches. These type of organizations can often provide emergency rent assistance to those in need. If a particular organization is unable to provide assistance, ask if it can provide a referral to an organization that can help.


Step 5

Request an emergency loan from a family member or friend. Agree to pay the loan back in one installment or in a series of installments. If the family member or friend is unable to loan you the rent money, apply for a small personal loan through your bank.


Have a photo identification ready and backup paperwork that supports your need for emergency rental assistance.

If you find yourself in a real bind, many counties have rent assistance programs and special housing that are often less expensive than the standard rentals in your area. Contact your county's housing department to find more about this special program. Be prepared by having your current income information, your Social Security card and photo identification.

As a last resort, you can apply for emergency cash from a payday loan company, but this can cost you twice as much in the end. Verify the organization is licensed in your state and research its interest amounts thoroughly. If you have proof of employment and a checking account that's in good standing, it's easy to qualify for a payday loan. If you get a payday loan, pay it off as soon as possible. If you don't, the interest on the loan continues to skyrocket.



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