Your monthly rent is likely the biggest bill you face each month. Particularly if you live in a city with a high cost of living, rent can eat up over 30 percent of your income. Between student loans, car payments, and groceries, it’s easy to fall behind on your rent.
If you’ve missed payments and your landlord has initiated the eviction process, you’re not alone: A 2016 report from Redfin found that approximately 2.7 million renters in the United States faced eviction in 2015.
You can recover from eviction and, in some cases, even fix the situation and get back in good standing with your landlord. Here’s how.
What happens when you get evicted
Coming home to an eviction notice on your door can be a heartbreaking and terrifying experience. But before you panic about not having a roof over your head, know that the legal eviction process can take weeks. Receiving a notice does not mean you will be homeless overnight.
Shaolaine Loving, an attorney who has worked many cases involving landlord-tenant law, says it’s important to research how the eviction process works in your state.
“Know your state’s eviction laws,” Loving said. “Every state can have different laws in terms of timelines and procedures tenants have to follow to preserve their rights. Fortunately, a lot of information is now available online.
“Local legal aid clinics may offer free classes or seminars on the topic,” she continued, “or courts may publish information, so try to check out all free resources.”
Receiving an eviction notice
It doesn’t matter if you owe $1,000 or $10 to your landlord. If you owe any money at all after the due date, you can be evicted. In general, if you fall behind on your rent, your landlord will give you a notice to pay your balance or vacate the premises within a set period. The length of the notice can vary from state to state, but it can be as short as three days.
“Depending on your state’s laws, if you receive an eviction notice, you might have to immediately act within the prescribed timeframe to contest the eviction in court,” said Loving. “It’s possible that your landlord may have to issue a subsequent notice before taking further action, however.”
That notice doesn’t mean you have to be out of the apartment within that period; it just means you have a couple of days to pay your balance in full. If you fail to do so, your landlord can pursue a court order to evict you. They cannot force you out of your home until they get a court order.
Going to court
You can’t stop your landlord from getting a court order unless you pay the rent in full. To dispute your landlord’s actions, you have to wait to receive the court order. Then, you can choose to fight the eviction in court.
“You can […] seek to set aside an eviction order if you believe the court wrongfully granted it,” said Loving.
In some cases, the court might find that the landlord cannot lawfully evict you. Depending on your state, the following defenses could help you stay in your home:
- You paid your rent in full, but your landlord says you didn’t.
- You offered to pay rent, but your landlord wouldn’t accept payment.
- You gave your landlord a partial payment.
- The rental unit had an issue with essential services, such as a lack of heat or running water, and the landlord didn’t fix it.
If you contest the eviction and lose, you could have just days left to move. If you’re still in the home after that time, the landlord can escalate the situation to the local police. Depending on where you live, you could be forced out right away or given 48 hours or more to move.
How to handle the eviction process
By understanding how the process works, you can come up with a plan. If you’re facing an eviction, you have three options to rectify the situation.
1. Pay in full or negotiate a payment plan
If you’d like to stay in the home, you can end the eviction process by paying the outstanding balance in full. If that sounds impossible, you might be able to gather the money you need by selling toys, clothes, or furniture, taking on extra hours at work, or working a side hustle.
You may even consider asking family and friends for help. It might feel embarrassing, but losing a little pride to stay in a safe home could be worth it.
If you’re going through a temporary financial setback, such as expensive car repairs or unexpected medical bills, you can try to negotiate a payment plan with your landlord. Offer to pay back what you owe spread out over several weeks; they might be willing to let you stay and end the eviction notice.
If you and the landlord agree to a payment plan, make sure you get the terms of the plan in writing. That way, if the landlord changes their mind and continues the eviction process, you have proof that you came to an agreement if you go to court.
2. Consider hiring an attorney
If you believe your landlord is wrongfully evicting you, hiring an attorney who specializes in tenant law can help contest the court order — but it’s not essential.
“Hiring an attorney is not necessary if you are comfortable navigating the court system solo,” said Loving. “However, some people feel more comfortable having an attorney represent them to ensure all required legal steps are followed and that their arguments are ideally crafted and heard.
“Also,” she added, “some people have never been to court and are nervous about the process, so would rather have someone else speak for them.”
If you think hiring a lawyer is impossible with your financial situation, there are resources available to help you. There are many organizations and law firms that offer free or heavily discounted legal aid.
If you don’t know where to start, use LawHelp’s database to find a list of legal assistance programs near you.
3. Seek financial assistance
If you simply cannot afford your rent, there are several organizations that might help you when you’ve fallen on tough times. These resources are intended to keep low- and middle-income families in their homes during a financial emergency.
In some cases, they’ll provide one-time aid in the form of a check for your landlord. If you’re facing just a temporary setback and expect to be back on your feet shortly, that might be the best option. If it’s a more long-term situation, the organization might provide financial assistance and other aid, such as job training or free money management classes.
RentAssistance has a list of government programs, nonprofit organizations, and religious institutions offering financial assistance in your area.
Keeping a roof over your head
Having shelter for you and your family is a basic necessity. If you’ve fallen behind on your rent payments and are facing eviction, there are ways to repair the situation. By taking quick action and asking for help when needed throughout the eviction process, you might be able to find a way to stay in your home.
If you’re having trouble making ends meet and need assistance to get other essentials like food or utilities, these charitable resources can help get you back on your feet.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 8 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.45% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.99% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.89% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of November 21, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 11/21/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
3 Important Disclosures for Figure.
Figure’s Student Refinance Loan is a private loan. If you refinance federal loans, you forfeit certain flexible repayment options associated with those loans. If you expect to incur financial hardship that would impact your ability to repay, you should consider federal consolidation alternatives.
4 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Mortgage lending is not offered in Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association.
ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE (“APR”)
There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties associated with the loan. Lender may assess a late fee if any part of a payment is not received within 15 days of the payment due date. Any late fee assessed shall not exceed 5% of the late payment or $28, whichever is less. A borrower may be charged $20 for any payment (including a check or an electronic payment) that is returned unpaid due to non-sufficient funds (NSF) or a closed account.
For bachelor’s degrees and higher, up to 100% of outstanding private and federal student loans (minimum $5,000) are eligible for refinancing. If you are refinancing greater than $300,000 in student loan debt, Lender may refinance the loans into 2 or more new loans.
ELIGIBILITY & ELIGIBLE LOANS
Borrower, and Co-signer if applicable, must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a valid I-551 card (which must show a minimum of 10 years between “Resident Since” date and “Card Expires” date or has no expiration date); state that they are of at least borrowing age in the state of residence at the time of application; and meet Lender underwriting criteria (including, for example, employment, debt-to-income, disposable income, and credit history requirements).
Graduates may refinance any unsubsidized or subsidized Federal or private student loan that was used exclusively for qualified higher education expenses (as defined in 26 USC Section 221) at an accredited U.S. undergraduate or graduate school. Any federal loans refinanced with Lender are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment.
All loans must be in grace or repayment status and cannot be in default. Borrower must have graduated or be enrolled in good standing in the final term preceding graduation from an accredited Title IV U.S. school and must be employed, or have an eligible offer of employment. Parents looking to refinance loans taken out on behalf of a child should refer to https://www.laurelroad.com/refinance-student-loans/refinance-parent-plus-loans/ for applicable terms and conditions.
For Associates Degrees: Only associates degrees earned in one of the following are eligible for refinancing: Cardiovascular Technologist (CVT); Dental Hygiene; Diagnostic Medical Sonography; EMT/Paramedics; Nuclear Technician; Nursing; Occupational Therapy Assistant; Pharmacy Technician; Physical Therapy Assistant; Radiation Therapy; Radiologic/MRI Technologist; Respiratory Therapy; or Surgical Technologist. To refinance an Associates degree, a borrower must also either be currently enrolled and in the final term of an associate degree program at a Title IV eligible school with an offer of employment in the same field in which they will receive an eligible associate degree OR have graduated from a school that is Title IV eligible with an eligible associate and have been employed, for a minimum of 12 months, in the same field of study of the associate degree earned.
The interest rate you are offered will depend on your credit profile, income, and total debt payments as well as your choice of fixed or variable and choice of term. For applicants who are currently medical or dental residents, your rate offer may also vary depending on whether you have secured employment for after residency.
The repayment of any refinanced student loan will commence (1) immediately after disbursement by us, or (2) after any grace or in-school deferment period, existing prior to refinancing and/or consolidation with us, has expired.
POSTPONING OR REDUCING PAYMENTS
After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship.
We may agree under certain circumstances to allow a borrower to make $100/month payments for a period of time immediately after loan disbursement if the borrower is employed full-time as an intern, resident, or similar postgraduate trainee at the time of loan disbursement. These payments may not be enough to cover all of the interest that accrues on the loan. Unpaid accrued interest will be added to your loan and monthly payments of principal and interest will begin when the post-graduate training program ends.
We may agree under certain circumstances to allow postponement (deferral) of monthly payments of principal and interest for a period of time immediately following loan disbursement (not to exceed 6 months after the borrower’s graduation with an eligible degree), if the borrower is an eligible student in the borrower’s final term at the time of loan disbursement or graduated less than 6 months before loan disbursement, and has accepted an offer of (or has already begun) full-time employment.
If Lender agrees (in its sole discretion) to postpone or reduce any monthly payment(s) for a period of time, interest on the loan will continue to accrue for each day principal is owed. Although the borrower might not be required to make payments during such a period, the borrower may continue to make payments during such a period. Making payments, or paying some of the interest, will reduce the total amount that will be required to be paid over the life of the loan. Interest not paid during any period when Lender has agreed to postpone or reduce any monthly payment will be added to the principal balance through capitalization (compounding) at the end of such a period, one month before the borrower is required to resume making regular monthly payments.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of November 8, 2019 and is subject to change.
5 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers.
6 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 1.76% effective November 10, 2019.
7 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 12/07/2019 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% to 8.59% Variable APR with AutoPay and 3.49% to 7.75% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
8 Important Disclosures for College Ave.
College Ave Disclosures
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
1College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine.
2All rates shown include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
3$5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees.
4This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
Information advertised valid as of 12/1/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
|1.99% – 6.89%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.31% – 7.36%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.21% – 6.21%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 6.65%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.43% – 7.60%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.85% – 6.13%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.90% – 8.59%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.74% – 6.25%8||Undergrad & Graduate|