Are you looking for a loan to help with rent in North Carolina? You are not alone. Thousands of potential renters are shut out of apartment communities and other preferred leasing opportunities because they cannot be approved as a new tenant.
The first challenge is passing the landlord’s credit check. This can be difficult if you have had a history of missed payments on debt accounts. Even if you have never been evicted or been late with a rent check, you still could be haunted by that old cable bill or medical bills that got sent to collections.
The next step is coming up with the money necessary to move in. In addition to the $25-45 application fee, you may have to pay in advance the first month’s rent and up to an additional month’s rent to be held as a security deposit for damages. A $725 a month apartment could require nearly $1500 up front.
What makes this difficult for many renters is the fact that security deposits can be held for up to 30 days by your old landlord. You cannot take this money and apply it to your new place. You have to come up with the money in addition to all of your other costs.
Of course, don’t forget about all of the other deposits that you may have to pay. Most electric bill and gas companies require a deposit unless you can prove that you responsibly paid your utility bills at your previous address. If you are using the same utility provider, such as Duke Power, then they will simply look at your payment history on your old account to determine whether to charge a deposit.
Given all of these costs, you might be tempted to take out a loan for rent. There are substantial problems with this approach. If you need a loan to pay rent or any other living expense, then you have insufficient savings and are likely overextended. Taking out more debt will only make matters worse.
Instead, consider other options first. Perhaps a responsible roommate can help you split the costs of a new place. While the rent will be higher for a larger apartment or house, your share of the rent and related utilities should be much lower.
Also, look for lower cost rental opportunities. If you are looking near uptown Charlotte or Glenwood South in Raleigh, you can expect rental rates to be much higher. Instead, find cheaper alternatives that might be closer to one of the colleges or perhaps an older neighborhood.
Consider rental options that may have a reduced security deposit. Some apartment communities only require a $200-300 security deposit. Many also have move in specials that could cut your first month’s rent in half or even lower! A private landlord might even be willing to negotiate how much money you need up front, especially if the property has been vacant for an extended period of time.
Finally, seek out opportunities to get help with rent from local charities or social services organizations. A church or other nonprofit organization may be able to help you locate opportunities to get established in your own place. The Department of Social Services in each county operates a Section 8 program that can subsidize rent costs. They pay the landlord directly, leaving your share of the rent as a much lower amount that you can afford.
If you must take out a loan to help with rent, consider borrowing from family first. Otherwise, the loan rates offered by North Carolina’s finance companies can be quite high.
Long is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Industrial Relations. He subsequently received his Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. His Certificate in Financial Planning was issued by Florida State University.
Long has achieved the Accredited Credit Counselor and Accredited Financial Counselor certifications through the Association for Financial Counseling, Planning and Education. Long originally achieved the Certified Credit Counselor designation through the National Institute for Financial Education.
In addition to years of nonprofit leadership, Long has been an innovator in the field of volunteer tax return preparation programs. He assists volunteer associations and nonprofit organizations who seek to integrate credit counseling and asset-building programs with free personal income tax preparation. His approach to using free credit reports as both an incentive and a screening tool for placement into asset-building programs has been shared with members of the National Community Tax Coalition, the EITC-Carolinas Initiative of MDC, Inc. and nonprofit groups across the Carolinas.
Long assists members of our armed forces in the Carolinas, Iowa, Rhode Island, Georgia and Germany with financial readiness. Please support our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors!
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."