Should You Take Out a Personal Loan to Pay Rent?

April 29, 2024 Personal Loans

Key Takeaways

  • Obtaining a personal loan for rent is a decision that carries long-term effects on your financial and credit health
  • It can provide temporary relief and prevent eviction, but it can also result in debt with high interest that exacerbates existing challenges
  • Make sure you carefully review your options and consider whether you truly need a loan to make this month’s rent
Should You Take Out a Personal Loan to Pay Rent?

With the growing cost of living and inflation, it’s become harder than ever to make rent. Unexpected financial strains can drain your savings and hurt your financial stability. For tenants worried about eviction, an urgent financing strategy might be necessary.

Personal loans are one potential solution. Taking out a loan enables you to pay rent without worrying about high upfront costs. Instead, the bills will be spread out over time in installments as you repay the loan. Let’s go over what can make personal loans an attractive option for rent.

What is a personal loan?

Personal loans are loans granted by creditors, online lenders, and banks to individuals for a wide variety of purposes. Here are the common characteristics of a personal loan.

  • Unsecured (no need for collateral)
  • Fixed loan amount based on your needs
  • Fixed interest rate between 6 and 36 percent
  • Fixed repayment term
  • Loan terms and rates depend mainly on your creditworthiness

If your loan application is approved, the funds will be deposited directly into your designated bank account. You can then use these funds for a variety of needs and goals, including paying rent.

Over the life of the loan, you will need to make installments going toward debt repayment. For most personal loans, this means paying your lender the same fixed amount each month. Each installment includes a portion of your principal loan amount plus interest.


Reasons people consider personal loans for rent

Reduced income

Job loss is a common reason why people struggle with affording rent. With countless individuals and family living paycheck to paycheck, job changes can mean being unable to meet the impending rent. Taking out a loan can strengthen your financial stability while you’re undergoing hardship, allowing you to obtain meaningful relief.

Medical emergencies

Health insurance doesn’t always provide comprehensive coverage. If you don’t meet your insurance deductible or your medical claims aren’t covered by your insurance policy, you can end up with a daunting amount of medical expenses.

Personal loans can be used for paying numerous types of medical bills, such as ER costs, doctor bills, surgery, ongoing treatment, medications, and more. The versatility of personal loans means that you can obtain the loan early without worrying about whether you can use it for your healthcare needs. This is advantageous because other types of medical financing might impose restrictions on what you can use the funds and credit for.

Unexpected expenses

Unexpected bills can mean dipping into your individual savings, resulting in the inability to pay rent. Common unexpected expenses include:


If you’re moving to live somewhere else, your rental agreements might overlap due to awkward lease schedules. This might mean you need to pay an extra month of rent. A personal loan can be a convenient and accessible way to deal with the additional rent without any delays, ensuring a successful move-in to your new home.


Advantages of using personal loans for rent

Immediate relief

Personal loans are a quick and accessible solution for urgent rent dues. Unsecured personal loans can be obtained online and in-person with banks, credit unions, and online lenders. A vast number of personal loan providers can disburse funds into your bank account within a week of your loan application being approved. Some loan providers can even provide same-day funding for borrowers in urgent need of funds.

Flexible repayment

The structured payment plans and terms offer predictability and clarity to those who are facing financial difficulties and numerous debt obligations.

Avoid eviction

One of the most important benefits to using a personal loan for rent is that you can avoid eviction. Whether you have missed rent once or several times, a personal loan can grant you the amount of money you need to make up for the missed payments. If the landlord files a nonpayment eviction claim against you, it’s critical that you can quickly pay the amount you owe.

In addition, making your rent payments on time can help ensure you don’t receive any negative marks on your rental history. If you’re expecting to miss rent and strain your relationship with your landlord, a personal loan may be a good financing option.

No collateral needed

If you go for an unsecured personal loan, you won’t need to worry about offering any assets as collateral. This reduces your overall risk of borrowing since even in the case where you do default on your loan, the loan provider can’t seize your assets.

Risks and disadvantages

Accumulating debt

It can be easy to fall into a debt cycle if you have poor financial stability when taking out a personal loan. For tenants with existing financial obligations such as high credit card balances, alimony, and other loans, it might not make sense to add another debt burden onto your shoulders.

Potentially high interest rates

Individuals with fair or poor credit should be wary of high interest rates. The two main credit scoring models are FICO and VantageScore.

Here are the main factors influencing your credit score:

  • Credit history length
  • Credit mix
  • Payment history
  • Your total debt
  • Credit utilization ratio

Paying off your debt and using your credit card sparingly can help you steadily raise your credit score. The higher your credit score, the more likely you can obtain a loan with favorable rates.

Added financial strain

Having an active loan means you need to pay monthly payments. This means an extra bill you need to budget for every month.

Potential for misuse

Unlike other financing methods and loans, an unsecured personal loan lets you freely use the loan funds as you wish. With very few exceptions and limitations, borrowers lacking in financial discipline might end up using the loan money on non-essential goods and services.


Alternatives to personal loans for rent

Taking out a personal loan isn’t the optimal funding choice for everybody. Here are other options to consider for paying rent.

Rental assistance programs

Government and non-profit organizations often offer rental assistance programs to those who are unable to make rent. For example, you can look into state-level emergency rental assistance programs that provide financial relief to low income households. These programs and organizations aim to help residents experiencing homelessness or risks of eviction.

Negotiation with landlord

Some landlords may be willing to compromise, especially if their tenants are facing unexpected challenges. It could be a good idea to discuss the idea of temporary rent reductions or extensions.

Subletting or finding a roommate

A roommate can share the burden of rent with you, allowing you to greatly reduce how much you need to pay each month. While it can take some time and background checks to find the right roommate for you, it might be worth it if you’re struggling to pay the entire rent of the place by yourself.

Short-term employment or freelancing

If you don’t want to take out a loan, you might want to try seeking short-term employment for additional immediate income. Freelancing can be a good option for those who need quick funds and have skill sets such as photography, art, coding, writing, and more. Here are a few popular online freelancing platforms:

  • Upwork for independent professionals
  • Fiverr for a variety of freelance services
  • Rover for pet-sitting

Secured loans

If your credit score isn’t stable enough to obtain a favorable personal loan, consider a collateral-based loan. Secured personal loans (AKA collateral loans) require you to offer an asset as collateral. Note that the loan amount you can obtain is typically around half the value of your collateral. An expert may be called in to appraise your offered collateral.

Collateral loans are generally easier to acquire than unsecured loans because the lenders can seize your collateral asset if you default on the loan. This means that there will be more risk on the borrower’s part. If you need a personal loan with lower interest rates but have poor credit, you might want to opt for a secured loan.


Factors to consider before taking the loan

Genuine need vs. temporary setback

It’s important to first ask yourself if failing to meet rent is a one-time issue or if it will become a recurring problem. This can help you evaluate how large of a loan you need and whether a personal loan is actually the best financing strategy.

Loan terms

Take the time to carefully review and understand all of the loan terms before agreeing to a loan. Important terms to compare and consider include:

  • Interest rate
  • Loan duration
  • Fees and penalties
  • Lender reputation
  • Size of the monthly payments

If there is any fine print or confusing wording, contact your loan provider’s representative to ask for clarification. A red flag is if the lender’s agent dances around the subject and refuses to answer your questions. Make sure that you and the loan provider are on the same page before signing any loan agreement.

Long-term financial impact

Taking out a personal loan has effects on credit and overall financial health. For some borrowers, a personal loan is a valuable opportunity to establish a better credit score. Paying loan installments on time and consistently shows creditors that you are responsible with debt.

On the other hand, failing to make your loan payments regularly can create a creditworthiness problem, damaging your credit score for a long time. Having a loan can create a financial obstacle, slowing down your other goals. It can become harder to save up money due to the monthly payments that include interest.

Potential alternatives

It’s advisable to explore other viable financing alternatives before you commit to a personal loan. Knowing all your options can help you make a financing decision that better aligns with your needs and goals. It can also ensure that you will know what to do in the future if you end up needing financial assistance with your rent again.


Tips for those considering a loan for rent

Shop around for best interest rates and terms

Different lenders will offer different loan rates and terms. The lender with the lowest interest rates might not necessarily be the best choice, so make sure you evaluate each loan offer thoroughly. Researching the reputation of popular loan providers in your area can also help you make an informed borrowing decision.

Calculate the total cost of the loan over time

Online loan calculators can help you swiftly determine the overall interest you can expect to pay for a personal loan based on the details that you provide. Remember to account for not just the interest rate, but also any fees and charges the lender might impose on you.

Prioritize repayment

Prioritizing loan repayment can help you avoid interest accumulation and late payment penalties. It is advisable to think of repaying a personal loan as a necessity, similar to rent, utilities, and groceries. This way, you can avoid interest accumulation and credit damage.

Consult with financial advisors or counselors

For those facing financial and rent challenges, it might be worth consulting with experts for guidance. Financial advisors and credit counselors can offer individualized advice.

Avoid predatory lenders

Some lenders and creditors use predatory practices to take advantage of those in dire need of funds for rent. Here are common red flags:

  • Guaranteed funding
  • Interest rates above 36 percent (e.g. payday loans)
  • Insists on lending you significantly more money than you can repay
  • Confusing loan agreement and refusal to clarify terms
  • Expensive prepayment penalties and restrictions

If you decide to shop for a personal loan, here are popular, reputable loan providers you might want to consider:

About The Author

Author Avatar

Ru Chen

Content Writer

Ru Chen is a content writer with several years of experience in creating engaging and well-researched articles. She mostly writes about business, digital marketing, and law. In her free time, she can be found watching horror movies and playing board games with her partner in Brooklyn.

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