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3 things to know if you're struggling to pay your rent | Dollars and Sense

According to a recent survey, at least 29% of Americans failed to pay their rent or mortgage in full during the first week of September.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Yolo counties were recently moved to a less restrictive tier of California’s COVID-19 watch list. 

Hopefully, this means more folks who have been out of work will eventually return back to work. According to a study from Apartmentlist.com, given the recent lapse in expanded unemployment benefits, both landlords and renters have felt the sting of the coronavirus pandemic. 

If you can relate, it's important to know that you are not alone.

"It's not really a surprise, unfortunately. Every rental agreement will have a grace period, but if you are not paying until the end of the month, you are probably paying 10 percent more," Lamar Simpson a financial advisor in Sacramento explained.

And while Californians have an eviction mortarium to protect them — meaning no tenant can be evicted from now until Feb. 1, 2021 due to coronavirus hardships — at some point, you are going to owe that money.


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"Most people don't communicate with the people they owe money to and at that point, it's a problem," Simpson said. "The first thing you want to do is call and tell them that you are having a hard time paying your bills this month. Ask them to make payment arrangements for you, most of the time they are almost willing to do that."

Simpson also suggests borrowing from yourself to pay your rent. 

"There are hardship options where you avoid penalties and taxes right now with your 401k or 403b if you can't pay your rent, facing eviction or foreclosure," Simpson said. "You basically borrow money from yourself and pay yourself back with payments."

The third tip might be a little stressful, but it could really help you bounce back financially.

"If you're down money wise and not making your bills, moving in with your family can be a good alternative," Simpson suggested.

RELATED: What to do if you haven't received your stimulus check

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Tips from California EDD on how to best access unemployment benefits