Rent is Due: How to Pay Your Rent when You Don’t Have the Cash
Clearly, you know this shouldn’t happen. You should have prepared for the fact that your rent is due on the first of the month, every single month. Unfortunately, sometimes life happens and you can find yourself late in the month not sure where that rent payment is coming from. Unexpected bills, unemployment or even plain old irresponsibility can leave you in this position.
First, consider whether you have savings available. Even if you usually do not tap into your emergency savings, this is a time when it may be appropriate. In some cases, your employer may allow you to borrow from your 401K in a financial emergency, or be able to offer you a salary advance. Some universities allow students to take out small emergency cash loans. Family and friends might also be able to offer you a short term loan. If none of these are an option, or you’d prefer an alternative, what can you do?
Have you talked to your landlord? If you routinely pay your rent on time, they may be willing to waive late fees and allow you to pay a few days late if you are simply waiting on a paycheck. You might also be able to reduce your rent by offering labor in trade for some of that month’s rent, particularly if you have viable skills and are dealing with an individual.
There are some ways to put together quick cash if you have no other options. First, see what you have that you can sell. While EBay takes too long to handle emergency cash needs, your local Craigslist is free and may allow you to handle selling some items easily. This is one of the fastest ways to move items you might not need, and put money in your pocket. You might also be able to have a garage sale to bring in extra cash at the last minute.
While you may be tempted by ads from payday lenders, do keep in mind that the interest and fees on these loans can easily outweigh late payment penalties your landlord might set in place. Be certain that you only take this option if you have no alternatives and have weighed out the costs associated with the loan versus late payment penalties. You may also have the funds available on a credit card; however, credit card cash advances can be costly. Again, it can be smart to weigh out the fees and expenses associated with these options before making use of them.