Paying Rent During COVID-19: What You Need To Know
Rent is due right around the corner. Fortunately, many places have passed moratoriums on evictions, so tenants have some time to get rent paid. But, keep in mind, renters can be evicted when the moratoriums are raised for unpaid back rent.
As soon as a renter sees that they won't be able to make rent due to losing their job or getting sick, they should let their property manager know. There are a few options for renters regarding their finances to cover rent: make more, spend less, borrow or turn to community resources for supplemental income.
To make more:
- File for unemployment, the stimulus bill will allow federal unemployment in addition to state unemployment.
- Use your government stimulus check towards rent.
- Pick up remote work or a side hustle if laid off or furloughed until you can obtain a new full-time job.
- Cash in credit card points.
- Use Coronavirus-related distribution from retirement account.
To spend less:
- Many utilities are offering suspended disconnects. The amount owed will likely accrue to the bill - give them a call.
- If a renter has a student loan payment, they will automatically be receiving a 6 month suspension of federal student loan payments and interest.
- Reduce your retirement contributions.
- Reduce entertainment, eating out and expensive grocery costs. If money is running out, food banks are running on double time and have resources available.
If a renter needs to borrow money, they should follow this order:
- FIRST TIER: get payments deferred, home equity line of credit, 0% loans from bank, Roth IRA, explore 401(k) loans with caution.
- SECOND TIER: credit cards, store cards, personal loans.
- LAST RESORTS: payday loan, title loan, pawn-shop lending.
- Run a quick google search to see what local community programs are available. Check out needhelppayingbills.com.
- Many counties are offering rental assistance. Monitor the news daily to find out how to apply.
- Attend free financial education webinars like those offered at joinsmartpath.com/coronavirus to understand your options.
For Individual Property Managers
Moratoriums delay rent payments that individual property managers need to pay their own mortgages and bills. Lenders may be providing forbearance to some landlords. Individual property managers can give their mortgage lender a call to ask for a deferment in their mortgage payments. Depending upon your business status, you may qualify for small business emergency assistance through recently passed legislation.