PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As housing prices continue to rise across the country, more than 11 million Americans report being behind on their rent payments, according to Surgo Ventures. Add to that inflation and other economic uncertainties, and millions more are on the verge of falling behind or being evicted.
“Housing instability remains a critical issue for millions of renters, many of whom are just a missed check or a lost job away from losing their homes,” said Michael Sullivan, personal financial consultant at Take. Charge America, a non-profit housing and credit counseling agency. “If you’ve fallen behind on your rent — or will soon — there are several steps you need to take to protect yourself and limit your risk of eviction.”
If you’re struggling to pay your rent, Sullivan suggests the following actions:
- Contact your landlord. First, try talking with your landlord. Be upfront and honest about your situation, ask about potential options or temporary accommodations they are willing to make. They may be willing to work with you, especially if you are used to paying on time and maintaining the property. Whatever arrangement you come to, make sure you get it in writing.
- Discover rental assistance. Non-profit and government organizations such as the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities USA, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development offer a range of programs to help people struggling with rent. Your local housing authority is another good resource. Tenants can find other rental assistance programs near them at Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website.
- Manage other expenses. You may be able to free up money for rent by adjusting other expenses or financial obligations. For example, most credit card companies offer hardship programs that reduce monthly payments. You can also reduce subscriptions, hidden entertainment costs, auto-delivery services, and other non-essential purchases.
- Ask for help. Volunteer your skills and time to your friends or family to earn extra money to make rent. Do they have yard work you can do? How about babysitting for a few hours? Also explore the gig economy with services like TaskRabbit, DoorDash or Rover to help you with various tasks, delivery or dog walking.
- Seek non-profit rental advice. Nonprofit rental housing counselors, like those at Take Charge America, can provide one-on-one rental advice and tailored resources to help you determine the best path forward.
For additional housing resources and assistance, explore housing counseling services by Take Charge America.
About Take Charge America, Inc.
Founded in 1987, Take Charge America, Inc. is a non-profit agency providing financial education and counseling services, including credit counseling, debt management, student loan counseling, housing advice and bankruptcy advice. He has helped over 2 million consumers nationwide manage their personal finances and debts. To learn more, visit takechargeamerica.org or call (888) 822-9193.