Help with Rent
Updated April 27, 2023

Help with Rent: How to Get Help Paying Rent and Rent Assistance

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We all need help sometimes, and when it comes to paying for rent or housing, asking for help is an important step for you and your family.

No matter your situation, there are groups and resources out there that can help with your housing situation.

From government programs to private personal loans, you can get the emergency help with rent that you need, sometimes as soon as the same day you apply for assistance.

These programs are specifically designed for those with bad credit or low incomes, so you’d be surprised what you can be approved for, even with a poor credit history.

With so many programs out there that can help with rent issues, it can be confusing when you’re weighing all of your options.

Whether you’re in the middle of a housing emergency or if you’re looking for resources in case it happens, we wanted to create this guide to help anyone looking for programs that offer rent assistance.

Top Rent Assistance Programs

In this article, we will go over the top programs available to get the help you need to pay your rent.

While not all of these programs will be right for everyone, we wanted to cover as many options as possible and provide information to get rent assistance near you.

It’s important to fully research any rent assistance programs that you want to take advantage of before you sign any agreement.

Some programs are grants from non-profits, meaning the money does not have to be paid back, while other options are small loans, which do need to be paid back.

Both options can help with housing and rent issues, but one option might be better than the other depending on your personal situation.

Find Housing Benefits

Find Housing Benefits is a site that links you with countless rent assistance programs in your area.

On this site, you’ll learn about government rent programs and other housing benefits that you can qualify for.

When you enter your personal information, you’ll get matched with resources on great programs such as:

  • State rent benefit programs
  • Housing grants and how to apply for them
  • Rent assistance
  • Utilities and home improvement assistance
  • And so much more

In addition to great housing programs, you’ll get additional support information for the things you may need.

That information you’ll receive includes information on food stamps, unclaimed cash that you may be eligible for, education grants, and unemployment assistance, to name a few of the programs covered.

Sometimes we may not know where we need to go to get the help we need, or we might not even know what assistance is out there.

If you’re unsure of where to go to get emergency rent assistance or additional support, Find Housing Benefits is a great place to start.

Ways to Work

Taking out a small personal loan is another option you have to get rent assistance.

While you do have to pay back the loan, often with interest, a short-term loan can help you get back on your feet financially.

Ways to Work is a non-profit organization looking to help low-income families with loans and financial education.

This company partners with countless financial institutions to provide secured loans to families in low-income households.

You Don’t Need Perfect Credit, But You Do Need Consistent Income

While your credit doesn’t need to be perfect, you do need a consistent income to qualify for a loan.

Credit can hold you back from not only making major purchases such as a car or a home, but it can hold you back from being able to secure quality rentals, whether that’s an apartment or a rental home.

Ways to Work wants to help families with poor credit history by providing secured loans and giving borrowers the chance to pay back the loan and improve their credit score.

When much of a loan decision is made solely based on credit, those without good credit find themselves trapped, unable to get out of a bad financial situation such as being behind on rent.

Ways to Work Considers You as a Person

If you’re not able to secure the loan you need to get emergency rent assistance, Ways to Work may be the answer you’re looking for.

They consider more than just a credit score.

When you work with Ways to Work, they’re considering you as a person and your willingness to improve your credit status when they make a loan decision.

That’s a very unique way to look at financial assistance, with the end goal being to help families stay off of welfare and maintain financial independence.

Don’t let your bad credit hold you back, look into getting a secured loan through Ways to Work to help with your rent struggles.

The Salvation Army

You may know the Salvation Army as one of the top charitable organizations in the world, but did you know you can receive rent assistance with a grant through the Salvation Army?

Unlike a loan, you don’t have to pay back a grant, meaning this is a great opportunity to get the help you need to pay your rent.

You’re only able to get the grant once, and you’ll need to apply for the grant through the Salvation Army directly.

The amount of money you’ll get with the grant depends on your need as well as how much the Salvation Army is able to give.

If you’re in need of one-time assistance with getting back on your feet financially, the Salvation Army grant is a great option.

Simply stop by your local Salvation Army chapter or apply for the grant online.

Modest Needs

Modest Needs provides another fantastic grant program that works just like the Salvation Army grant.

You won’t need to pay back the grant, and there’s no interest involved.

There are countless private donors who give funds for rent-assistance grants.

You don’t need a specific credit score, and anyone with a job can apply for the grant.

Self-Sufficiency Grant

They provide a Self Sufficiency grant, which provides up to $1,000 to cover one emergency expense, which is ideal for an emergency rent situation.

Modest Needs is tailored to low-income families that live just above the poverty level.

These families often don’t qualify for most conventional assistance programs that are reserved for those living in poverty, but those who live just above the poverty line often need assistance of their own.

Modest Needs helps families avoid a financial crisis, the kind that often leads to homelessness.

If you need help paying rent, you can apply for a grant directly on the Modest Needs website.

Personal Loans

Aside from Ways to Work, there are many other financial institutions out there that will provide small loans to those in need.

Whether it’s getting assistance with rent or another emergency situation, a small personal loan can help.

While you’ll have monthly payments and interest on top of the loan, it’s a good option if you’re in an emergency.

There are tons of personal loan options that you can explore right from your computer.


Credible is a popular personal loan servicer that actually works with several online lenders to help you get the rent assistance you need.

The best part about these programs is that you’ll often have funds in your account the very next day.

Most personal loan sites will allow you to check your rate without impacting your credit score, which is an important consideration when applying for a loan.

Also, Credible will give you quotes in two minutes without dinging your credit score.  Having a hard credit check pulled will impact your credit, so going through a provider that gives you your rate without impacting your credit score can help you make a smart financial decision.

While there are stricter approval requirements than you’d see with a grant program, you may be able to get approved for a small loan with a co-signer or collateral.

If you’ve signed up for credit monitoring such as Credit Karma, you’ll be able to explore multiple loan options without impacting your credit score, giving you the power to shop around for the best rate without the worry of lowering your score.

Section 8 Housing

Section 8 housing is a government program that will pay for most, if not all of your rent and utilities, and will help you get into a more stable housing situation.

The program has strict requirements and often has a long waiting period, but Section 8 housing can help you get the rent assistance you need.

With this program, you’ll be able to live in either an apartment complex or a private home rental.

The Housing Authority makes direct payments toward your rent and utilities, and you’re required to cover the remaining balance each month.

Available in Every State

Section 8 is available in every state, so no matter where you are, you might be able to qualify for the program.

Your income needs to be significantly lower than average in the area, but doesn’t necessarily need to be below the poverty line.

The amount that you receive through Section 8 depends on the housing that you’re in, as well as your income.

Covers Rent That Is Over 30% of Your Monthly Income

This program covers roughly the amount of rent that is over 30% of your monthly income, so while you might not have your rent and utilities completely taken care of through this program, it can help significantly with your rental needs.

Since the waiting lists are so long, we recommend applying now and focusing on other forms of rent assistance for more immediate needs.

Subsidized Housing

There are federally-subsidized housing options all over the country that can help with rent assistance.

The owner of the home or apartment gets a significant tax break, and you get a reduction in rent that’s partially subsidized by the government, making this a great program for everyone involved.

There are actually two housing subsidy programs that you can take advantage of; privately-owned subsidy properties and government-owned subsidy properties.

Both programs give you a significant reduction in your rental payment, meaning you get the rent assistance you need.

Like Section 8 housing, the government-subsidized housing programs do have strict requirements and long waiting lists, so it’s always a good idea to submit your application early while also trying to obtain more immediate housing assistance.

Subsidized housing is a great option for those that are not eligible for Section 8 housing, and there are more housing options than you’d find with Section 8 housing.

State-Specific Programs

Aside from federally-funded housing assistance, each state has their own program or programs to help families with rent and utilities.

Where you live can have an impact on what programs and services you might be eligible for, so it’s important to fully understand your state’s assistance programs.

It can be difficult to navigate the federally-funded programs, let alone the individual state and even local-level programs.

The good news is that there is help when you need it.

Get the Help You Need

These are just a few of the many programs you can take advantage of in order get assistance paying your rent.

From grants and subsidies to loans and other solutions, there are tons of resources right at your fingertips.

One of the best ways to get a comprehensive look at your rent assistance options is signing up for Find Housing Benefits.

This program is a comprehensive database of all of your options to get the help with rent that you need.

You’ll enter your personal information, including your location, income information, and rental history to get personalized recommendations to get emergency rent assistance.

From there, you’ll be able to start applying for the rent assistance programs that you’re most qualified for.

Find Housing Benefits is a great place to start looking for emergency rent assistance because it’s a thorough database of programs that match you with options based on your personal financial, credit, and housing situations.


Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA and founder of Choice Tax Relief and Money Done Right. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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