How can I get an emergency loan to pay the rent?
June 25, 2009 10:13 AM   Subscribe

How can I get an emergency loan to pay the rent?

About a year ago I quit a job to start a business. The business was a website and I correctly assumed that once it was built it would require very little effort to maintain. I figured I was a couple years away from it becoming particularly popular and planned on getting a job (even temping) after it was completed. I had enough money have to be out of work for about nine months after my project was completed. In the first three months I searched for a job and it was pretty hopeless. I got depressed and more or less gave up for a couple months. I, more or less, snapped out of it eventually and have been looking for a job, any job since my needs aren't that great. I just haven't been able to get anything together so far. I don't have any credit cards or any debt. My expenses are low probably just a thousand dollars a month so I don't need a lot and am willing to pay sort of usurious rates if I need to. Calling on friends and family is not an option. What sort of options do I have?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Why not work at a restaurant? You'll get at least one meal a day for free. It's also nearing the end of the month. Moving companies often look around for extra guys (or girls) then.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:18 AM on June 25, 2009

I don't need a lot and am willing to pay sort of usurious rates if I need to.

No, you're not. Take this option off the table.

Calling on friends and family is not an option.

Reconsider this. There's no shame in it.

What sort of options do I have?

Have you looked into temping?

One option is just to pay your rent late. I don't know how far that puts you in the hole, what your relationship with your landlord is like, or what your lease says about repercussions, but it is an option.
posted by mkultra at 10:19 AM on June 25, 2009

Another vote for keep looking for a job and consider paying your rent late. In most places the eviction process would take months and would stop as soon as you paid the rent you owe. If this is true where you are (look up your local landlord-tenant law) and if this is the case where you are, you may have to pay late.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:27 AM on June 25, 2009

In most places the eviction process would take months

this is not accurate, AFAIK.
posted by @troy at 10:29 AM on June 25, 2009

I recently heard that there is such a thing as a car-title loan. You give them the title to your car, they give you money. But it is terrible! If you are a day late paying back, they take your car.

If you have a long-time relationship with your bank, and sterling credit, maybe they will give you a very short-term loan. It's worth asking. Ask in person, not over the phone, while dressed nicely. They might ask for someone to co-sign; would you be willing to ask a family member to do this for you?

Which leads me to this: How will you pay back the loan? I mean, the first installment -- a month from now. Are you absolutely positive you will have a job? Please think about that when you decide you are ready for any type of loan, at any cost.

If you find someone to loan you money, be honest about how much you need. If you are facing not paying rent, then you probably need money for utilities and food, too. And gas or transportation money, to get you to job interviews. Getting one loan will be tough enough; getting another in a few weeks will be even harder.

Perhaps there is still a day-laborer group in your area? You know, either an organization, or an informal meeting area/street corner where people are available for day labor (with an emphasis on "labor" -- this will be manual labor)? That is, you work for a day, and get paid at the end of that day. You have 5 days until the end of the month, eight days until the 3rd (last day to pay without being late). Maybe you could scrape together enough to pay the rent, or at least to give as a partial-payment to your landlord.
posted by Houstonian at 10:31 AM on June 25, 2009

Call 211. If they are unable to give you a resource ask to speak to your local branch of the United Way. (211 will give you their number.) There may be 'one time' programs and grants in your community for this kind of assistance if you are in imminent danger of becoming shelterless. You may need proof of employment to be eligible though. You will have to dig and find a sympthetic ear which may not be the first person you speak to. Be persistent. Your local branch of Catholic Charities may be able to help you or refer you an organization that can.
posted by Muirwylde at 10:37 AM on June 25, 2009

Better advice in thread, but not answering the question.

How can I get an emergency loan to pay the rent?
Payday loan places typically want to see a paystub to verify you aren't just bouncing them a check. Without a job you might be out of luck. Banks and other legit lenders will want a whole lot more than that. You could do a title loan if you have a car, but you don't get much and if you don't pay it back you lose your car fairly quickly - like days if my friends experience is typical. If you don't currently have a credit card and have good credit , you may be able to get one and withdraw some cash on that.

I don't need a lot and am willing to pay sort of usurious rates if I need to
you may be out of work for significantly longer than you'd like. lots of extra debit hanging over your head might be a bad move.

Good luck dude
posted by anti social order at 10:41 AM on June 25, 2009

What can you sell?
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 10:49 AM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

One time rental assistance grants tend to come from McKinney-Vento funds via the Welfare Department. In Philly:

Housing Assistance Program

.05 The Housing Assistance Program is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) through OESS. The Housing Assistance program provides assistance to individuals and/or families who are homeless or near homeless in Philadelphia. A one-time grant may provide payment of rent, security deposit or utilities. The goal is to prevent homelessness by maintaining individuals or families in their own residences or enable clients to move into new ones. Services supported by OESS include: supportive services, tenants rights classes and referrals. (link)

So you could try your local emergency shelter office, but depending on what other assets you have you might not qualify.
posted by The Straightener at 10:51 AM on June 25, 2009

@@troy. Depends where you are and how crafty you are. I used to do legal aid work for evictions in Chicago, and I could drag out eviction proceedings for a long, long time if I needed to.
posted by Ponderance at 10:52 AM on June 25, 2009

Emergency money can be found by pawning something or selling things on Craigslist. Get rid of things that aren't going to be needed for survival; DVD player, television, cd collection, microwave, printer, furniture, car, etc. If you are at this spot now then you are going to have to get rid of anything that has any value even if it is your computer.
posted by JJ86 at 11:03 AM on June 25, 2009

If your credit rating is good, get a credit card. Call and tell them you would like a convenience check with a low APR. Use convenience check to cover expenses.

Pay minimum balance on credit card until you get a job (important-- otherwise the APR will shoot up to astronomical levels).
posted by miss tea at 11:04 AM on June 25, 2009

If you have good credit, a revolving line of credit at your bank will probably have the lowest interest rate.
posted by winston at 11:06 AM on June 25, 2009

Depending on your thoughts on this, but you could also ask (your, or a) church minister. At least, my church gives financial assistance (and you can think of it as a loan, if you wish) to help people out of emergencies. They've done this for members, and also for people who weren't members.
posted by Houstonian at 11:10 AM on June 25, 2009

Modest Needs?
posted by scody at 11:16 AM on June 25, 2009

Definitely contact your landlord and ask if you can work out some sort of temporary payment plan, especially if your payment history previously was good.

In the meantime, look on Craigslist for odd jobs. If you've got a car, consider getting a paper route, as they can often pay $1000 a month or more if you take a longer route. Temp. Offer up your web development services on CL, as well.
posted by scarykarrey at 11:48 AM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

If you're in the Boston area MeMail me. I know of a place that might be able to provide funding or at least referrals to assist you in maintaining housing.
posted by MasonDixon at 12:01 PM on June 25, 2009

Nthing selling something, or if you're really, really desperate, pawning it. Only do that if it's either something you're willing to part with, or you know you can get the money soon enough to get it back/keep it from being sold.
Do you have a video game console, TV, speakers, etc.?
posted by ishotjr at 12:12 PM on June 25, 2009

Do you have good credit or you simply don't have bad credit? There's a difference. If you have no debt or credit cards, and no credit extended to you at the moment, you might fall into the no bad credit category. If this is the case, you might not have a high enough credit score to qualify for credit cards (or, at least cards from reputable, non-usurious companies). If you are able to qualify for credit cards, if you have a paypal business account to process credit cards, in theory, you should be able to charge your credit card and then transfer the money to your account or just withdraw @ an atm if you have a paypal debit card. The upside: you won't have to pay the typically high APR associated with convenience checks. The downside(s): this would be considered taxable income, it might not be ethical, legal or inline with the credit card's or PayPal's terms of service.

If you don't qualify for credit cards, you might be in a good position to qualify for a small line of credit or signature loan from your bank (better chances if you have a credit union, if you don't, there are many credit unions that are open to the public). The job situation may or may not be an issue. I had a friend who got a small line of credit from his credit union while he was technically "self employed" (or would have been, if he had clients).

Before you do either, you have to figure out how you'll be able to repay your loan or pay your credit card bill.

If the credit card option works out, be careful of the ones that give you limit, but then charge you several hundred for the privilege of having the card. In that case, you'll end up with a limit of 500, for example, and a balance of 300 the day you get your card, leaving you with only 200 left. If you spend that, interest will probably bring you over the credit limit, and then your bill will be minimum due + OCL fee (which could be anywhere from 30 - 50). Anyway, if it does work out, you'll probably be able to get your card in a week or so. If it doesn't work out, the loan route could take longer. Either way, you probably won't have the money at rent time.

For July's rent, you have a few options:
-try to work out a deal with your landlord
-if you can not work out a deal with your landlord and he starts eviction proceedings, you might be in a better position to get help. I think certain housing aid agencies won't help you unless you are in the eviction or foreclosure process.
-Go to your state/city/county's department of human services (that's not the official name to look for, just a description of what the office does) and make an appointment to see what kind of help you'll qualify for.
-I have a friend who works at her local one-stop/career and service center and she mentioned that a lot of self-employed people file for unemployment when their businesses fail. I don't know whether or not you'd be eligible for this, I don't know the criteria. It's worth looking into

Finally, I don't know if people still use Prosper, but it used to be quite popular. You can try that, too.

Good Luck. Oh, also, if you can let us know (through a mod or memail one of the people who replied) where you live, I'll bet someone will know of resources, and maybe even contacts, in your area.
posted by necessitas at 2:39 PM on June 25, 2009

For this month, ask friends and relatives. For next month and beyond, get a day or night job. It's really your best bet here; all loan options are worse, because if things don't go as you expect, you won't have rent or the loan payments.
posted by davejay at 4:05 PM on June 25, 2009

It sounds like a good thing you don't have a credit card. I was in a similar situation and had to pay (a very exorbinant) rent and didn't have the income to pay it. So I slapped down my credit card and paid rent that way about 4 or 5 times in a one-year period. I supposed it was my only option, but looking back now I wish I had simply worked more hours than I did; I was working several part-time/freelance jobs at the same time, but I still had tens of hours throughout the week I could've worked instead of loafed. The credit card companies took their cut and I had to pay back that interest, when I could've just worked more. Keep the job search going.
posted by zardoz at 10:32 PM on June 25, 2009

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