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One in six tenants in the United States does not pay for housing on time: what to do if it's you

According to LendingTree analysis of Census Bureau data for late September - early October, almost one in six tenants in the United States is unable to pay rent on time. The situation is likely to worsen as more than one in four tenants say they are unsure or have little confidence in their ability to pay next month. Writes about it MSN.

Photo: Shutterstock

With the federal eviction moratorium expiring on December 31, 2020, and many statewide eviction moratoriums expired or will soon end, tenants may soon be homeless. To see which states have tenants lagging the most in rent, LendingTree researchers looked at state data and took into account the uneven impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

Researchers analyzed data from a U.S. Census Bureau household survey from September 30 to October 12, 2020 to rank the states in which tenants are most delayed in payments and also least confident they will be able to pay in the next month. ...

Demographic overview

While age tends to indicate higher wages (which could mean rent is easier to pay), the 40-54 segment has been hit hardest. And those in the 18-24 age group report fewer housing delays than almost all other groups, with the exception of those 65 and over.

Nearly 26% of Americans report that they are unsure of their ability to pay their rent on time in the next month. Lower income is correlated with a higher rate of low or no confidence in being able to pay next month's rent.

On the subject: In California, a couple cannot evict tenants from their home to whom she did not even rent it.

What to do if you have no money to rent next month

Here are some tips to help you cope.

Know your rights. Evictions of some tenants (for example, those who have lost a significant portion of their income) are suspended until the end of 2020 at the federal level. And additional moratoriums may be imposed at the local or state level, depending on where you live. Be sure to find out if you fall into protected categories and what that means for your circumstances.

Consider a personal loan. A personal loan can provide tenants with the ability to pay money month after month, with funds arriving fairly quickly, depending on the lender. It's best to consider other options first to avoid interest costs. But if you have bad credit, this can be a serious consideration.

Consider cutting costs... If you think your circumstances are unlikely to change in the near future (for example, by early 2021), it might be time to think about larger cost-cutting measures, such as moving to a cheaper apartment or getting rid of other unnecessary expenses.

Consider a low interest credit card. Again, this should be used as a last resort and not as a first option. And be careful: if your low interest card includes an introductory period of 0% per annum, it is important to pay off the balance before the end of that period, otherwise you will owe much more interest than expected.

Explore additional income opportunities. Increasing your income is another way to make your finances work for you. But, of course, it is important to adapt these parameters to your needs and capabilities.

Take a closer look at the data

The higher rates of late payments among the top 10 states are not surprising given their economic situation. For example, in Mississippi and Louisiana, poverty rates range from 19% to 20%, about double the US average (10,5%) in 2019. Every state in the top 10 has a poverty rate above the national average.

10 states also have a median household income below the national average (outside of New York City). And in half of those states, the difference was more than $ 10 a year. This can make it difficult to get your rent on time.

Only 2 of the top 10 states - New York and Illinois - currently have state-level eviction bans in addition to federal ones.

Experts talk about a potential increase in the number of Americans who will not be able to pay their rent. This is due in part to the loss of the $ 600 additional unemployment benefit that ended nationwide in late July. These were later replaced with a $ 300 grant, which some states were slow to implement. As a result, many people were left without the support they needed to pay their rent.

In addition, according to a recent LendingTree study, 4 of the top 10 states have higher rates of job loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic: Michigan, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Renters in general are also often at high risk of financial distress: many have no headroom for a rainy day, and once they lose their jobs, they have no money to pay rent.

Here are the statistics for some states:


  • Share of tenants with delayed payments: 10,3%
  • Total lease receivable: $ 106
  • Renters unsure of payment next month: 16%


  • Share of tenants with delayed payments: 15%
  • Total lease receivable: $ 685
  • Renters unsure of payment next month: 33,4%


  • Share of tenants with delayed payments: 15,2%
  • Total lease debt: $ 2 123 370 330
  • Renters unsure of payment next month: 24,6%

New Jersey

  • Share of tenants with delayed payments: 16,3%
  • Total lease receivable: $ 313
  • Renters unsure of payment next month: 21,8%


  • Share of tenants with delayed payments: 18,8%
  • Total lease receivable: $ 285
  • Renters unsure of payment next month: 33,9%


  • Share of tenants with delayed payments: 19,7%
  • Total lease receivable: $ 414
  • Renters unsure of payment next month: 24,4%

New York

  • Share of tenants with delayed payments: 20,9%
  • Total lease debt: $ 1 201 824 316
  • Renters unsure of payment next month: 30,7%

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York.

The five states with the highest lease payment delays are:


  • Share of tenants with delayed payments: 22%
  • Total lease receivable: $ 252
  • Renters unsure of payment next month: 29,1%


  • Share of tenants with delayed payments: 22,9%
  • Total lease receivable: $ 377
  • Renters unsure of payment next month: 28,8%


  • Share of tenants with delayed payments: 24,8%
  • Total lease receivable: $ 234
  • Renters unsure of payment next month: 27,9%


  • Share of tenants with delayed payments: 28,3%
  • Total lease receivable: $ 156
  • Renters unsure of payment next month: 42,8%


  • Share of tenants with delayed payments: 29%
  • Total lease receivable: $ 79
  • Renters unsure of payment next month: 46,4%

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