Being late on your rent can be terrifying. Though most landlords are fairly reasonable, being late only two or three days can often be enough to qualify for an eviction in many states. So what do you do when you know that you won't be able to pay your rent on time?
Negotiate With Your Landlord
Begin by discussing the fact that you're going to be late with your landlord. Your landlord may actually be okay with you being late a few days if you agree to pay a late payment charge or you tell them exactly what day the money is going to be in. If you're going to be late more than a few days, making a good faith payment of partial rent is usually enough to keep them from starting eviction proceedings against you.
Hold a Quickie Garage Sale
Have anything around your home that you don't need? Most people do. Selling off your clutter quick online can give you enough cash to pay the rent, at least on a temporary basis. And there may be things that you've been meaning to get out of your house for a long time.
Head Over to the Pawn Shop
If you have any expensive items that you don't want to sell but don't really need right now, you can head over to the pawn shop and attempt to get a good value on them. Most pawn shops will hold things for a while before selling; make sure to read the fine print so that you don't lose anything you need.
Take Out a Quick Loan or Cash Advance
A quick cash now loan is one of the easiest ways to cover a minor shortfall in your expenses; there are cash advance and quick loan companies online and there is probably a brick-and-mortar location in your community, too. Keep in mind that the debt will need to be paid within the next couple of months.
Look At Your Budget
After the panic subsides, it's time to take a look at your budget and make sure that you're going to be able to pay your rent next month -- including any debt that you've accrued this month to pay for your current rent. The last thing you want to do is become trapped in a debt cycle and have to borrow again or be late again the following month.
Always remember to keep your landlord in the loop if you think you have even a chance of being late on your rent. Your landlord will know when that check doesn't come in; don't let it be a surprise to them. At very least it will give you an idea of where your landlord's head is at and whether they are going to take a late payment seriously.