How to get emergency assistance with paying my rent

When you find yourself in a financial bind and need assistance paying the rent, there are places you can go to get the help you need. Resources that provide emergency rental assistance are often "good Samaritan" types of organisations. Their purpose is to help families and individuals who are in need or experiencing a crisis. You usually don't have to pay the money back to these types of organisations.

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.

Get emergency rent assistance through an organisation that partners with the United Way. Because the partnership organisations are numerous, the process to receive assistance vary. However, the process generally starts by making a phone call to the organisation and explaining your plight.

To get a list of organisations in your area that provide rent assistance, use the "Search" tool on the United Way website (see Resources). In many states, you can also dial "211" from your mobile phone. To determine if your state offers the 211 service, a search tool is available on the 211 Information & Referral website (see Resources).

Contact other social service organisations in your community, as well as non-profit organisations and local churches. These type of organisations can often provide emergency rent assistance.

If that particular organisation is unable to provide assistance, ask if it can provide a referral to an organisation that can help. A list of state-specific organisations that provide rental assistance can be found on the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development website (see Resources).

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

Apply for emergency cash from a payday loan company. Because of the high interest rates that come with this type of loan, only go this route as a last resort. If you have proof of employment and a current 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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Faizah Imani, an educator, minister and published author, has worked with clients such as Harrison House Author, Thomas Weeks III, Candle Of Prayer Company and "Truth & Church Magazine." Her dossier includes JaZaMM WebDesigns, assistant high-school band director, district manager for the Clarion Ledger and event coordinator for the Vicksburg Convention Center.