Emergency Rent Loans

Emergency Rent Loans

Written by Lisa Rennie
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated July 12, 2022

Are you struggling to make rent this month? If so, emergency rent loans are available to help cover your rent costs. The financing option you choose depends on a few things, including your financial and credit profile, and how long you expect to be experiencing financial hardships. 

Read on to find out more about emergency rent loans, along with some alternatives to borrowing.

Types Of Emergency Rent Loans

There are a few different loans you can apply for to get the funds needed to cover your rent, such as the following: 

Personal Rent Loans 

A personal loan can be used any way you see fit, including to cover your rent. You can borrow as little as $500 to a few thousand dollars, so just about any size rent can be covered. 

These types of loans are usually best for those who have a steady job and decent credit. If you’ve got excellent credit, you may be able to secure a relatively affordable loan rate. 

Loan terms for personal loans are typically anywhere from 6 months to 5 years, so you’ve got plenty of time to repay the loan you took out to cover your rent. 

Find out how to get a $5,000 loan?

Payday Rent Loans 

If you’ve got bad credit and can’t get approved for a personal loan, a payday loan may be a last resort. They’re generally very easy to get approved for. All you need is a steady income to ensure you have the funds from your next paycheque to repay what you owe. You might also be able to qualify if you have an unconventional source of income, such as government benefits

Approval and funding are very fast, so you can get your hands on the cash you need to cover your rent by the time it’s due. Funding times vary by lender but some can approve and fund you the same day.

While personal loans allow you to repay the loan in regular instalments, payday loans must be paid back in one lump sum, usually by your next paycheck. Keep in mind that the interest charged on payday loans is higher than any other loan type. In fact, payday loan APRs are usually in the triple digits and can be as high as 780%. 

Given this, the amount you inevitably owe will be much higher than the loan amount you apply for. For this reason, it’s important that you exhaust all other options before resorting to a payday loan. 

The following chart displays the maximum cost to borrow $100 with a payday loan:

ProvinceMaximum Allowable Cost To Borrow
Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, & Ontario $15 per $100 borrowed
Manitoba & Saskatchewan  $17 per $100 borrowed
Nova Scotia$19 per $100 borrowed
Newfoundland & Labrador$21 per $100 borrowed
Prince Edward Island$25 per $100 borrowed
Northwest Territories, Nunavut, & Yukon$60 per $100 borrowed
Quebec35% annual interest rate (AIR)

Can I Get A Rent Loan If I’m Unemployed? 

Payday loans for rent are also convenient as many lenders accept various forms of income. So even if you’re unemployed (whether due to job loss or a disability) and need an emergency rent loan, you can still qualify for one. You simply need to show your other source of income, whether it’s EI, disability payments, or other financial assistance programs. 

Use A Credit Card For Rent

Rather than taking out a loan to cover your rent when cash is tight, you may want to consider using your credit card instead. If you’ve already got a card in your wallet with a high credit limit, ask your landlord if credit card payments may be accepted as a form of rent payment. If so, you can pay your rent by credit card and pay it back by the payment due date.

It should be noted that credit cards typically come with relatively high APRs, so borrowing against your card can also be an expensive option if you don’t make a full payment by the next billing period. 

However, if you have a new credit card that is still within the low-rate introductory period, you won’t pay as much in interest even if you don’t make a full payment by the due date. But carrying a high balance month after month can cost you a lot in interest, especially once the APR jumps back up after the promotional period ends. 

Services To Pay Your Rent With Your Credit Cards
RentMoolaLearn More
PlastiqLearn More

How To Get A Rent Loan

To apply for a rent loan, follow these steps:

Step 1. Complete The Application

To start the application process, you’ll first need to fill out a loan application, either online or in-person. Your lender will require several pieces of information, such as your personal details and contact information. They’ll also require details about your employment, income, debt, and your housing situation.

Step 2. Get Pre-Approved 

Getting pre-approved will allow you to see how much you qualify for without officially applying for the loan. This will give you the opportunity to compare your options without any hard credit checks. 

In many cases, you can get pre-approved within minutes after completing a loan application.  

With pre-approvals, lenders will assess your financial situation to determine how much of a loan you can get approved for and the interest rate to charge you.

Step 3. Provide Documents 

If you choose to go ahead with the loan, you’ll need to provide your lender with a few important documents to support the information provided on the application. This may include a letter of employment, pay stubs, and bank statements. You’ll also have to show proof of identity in the form of a driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued ID.

Step 4. Get Approved 

If the lender approves your loan application, be sure to review it carefully and sign it only after verifying that all information is accurate and you understand the costs.

Step 5. Get Funded 

Once you sign the rent loan agreement, your lender will send you your funds, usually by direct deposit or as an Interac e-transfer. Depending on the lender, you should receive your funds within 24 hours after loan approval.

Alternatives To Emergency Rent Loans

Before applying for an emergency rent loan, consider other options first, such as the following:

Partial Payments

If you’re able to come up with some of the rent, ask your landlord if you can make a partial rent payment. Your landlord may be willing to consider this option if you can prove that you can come up with the remaining funds before the next rent payment is due. 

If you’ve been diligent with every rent payment up to now, your landlord might be even more open to accepting partial rent payment this one time. Be sure to get the partial payment agreement in writing just in case you encounter issues with your landlord in the future.

Check out the average rent payments in Canada.

Friends and Family

If you have a close relationship with your family and friends, consider asking for some financial help. But before you borrow from loved ones, make sure you are all clear on the stipulations of the handout. 

More specifically, determine when and the money will be repaid and make sure you pay back the money borrowed by then. Otherwise, you could negatively affect your relationship.

Credit Card Cash Advance

If your landlord doesn’t accept credit card payments, you might be able to get a cash advance instead and use the funds to pay your rent. Generally speaking, credit card cash advances are a bit cheaper than short-term loans. 

That being said, you’ll likely be charged a cash advance fee, in addition to the interest. Plus, there may be a limit to how much you can withdraw per day, which is usually no more than $1,000. 

Rental Assistance Programs In Canada

There are several rental assistance programs offered by the government and private entities throughout Canada to look into, such as the following.

Short-Term Housing Assistance 

It’s one thing to be a little short on cash one month and unable to make the full rent payment this one time. But if this is a long-term financial issue you’re having, perhaps it may be time to look into other options to help you handle your hardships. 

Different provinces and cities across Canada offer their own short-term housing assistance programs to help residents who are having trouble covering their housing costs. Depending on the program and your particular situation, some or all of your rent can be covered temporarily. 

Get in touch with a representative from your province or city to find out what types of programs are available to you. 

Local Charities

If you don’t find any luck with government-based assistance, consider local charities or churches that may offer financial help. Reach out to ministries and non-profit organizations in your area to see how they can help.

How To Avoid Rent Payment Problems

Before you get to the point where you’re scrambling to come up with enough money to cover this month’s rent, consider some preemptive measures to avoid such a situation. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you don’t encounter any rent payment problems that may require an emergency rent loan in the future:

  • Sign up for a government assistance program. Many provincial government assistance programs exist to help you make ends meet if you’re struggling financially. These include subsidized housing, public housing, and housing vouchers, among others.
  • Enroll in credit counselling. Working with a credit counsellor can help you learn how to budget effectively based on your finances and come up with a workable debt repayment plan.
  • Consolidate your debt. If you have several high-interest loans or credit accounts that are eating into your savings, consider debt consolidation. This involves taking out a loan and using the funds to pay off all your outstanding debt, leaving you with just one bill to pay every month. And if you can get a lower interest rate with a debt consolidation loan, you can save a lot of money and leave more left over to help cover the rent.
  • Find a roommate. Depending on how much space you have in your unit and what your lease allows, you might want to consider getting a roommate to split the rent.  
  • Get a side gig. If your current schedule permits, consider getting a side job to supplement your income to avoid falling short on money. 

Emergency Rent Loan FAQs

What rights do I have as a tenant?

As a renter, you have the right to safe, habitable housing. Most provinces have their own regulations when it comes to non-payment of rent and evictions, so be sure to find out what your local laws are and what legal protections you have if you can’t pay your rent.

What happens if I don’t pay rent? 

If you can’t pay your rent, it’s best to contact your landlord before you miss the due date and see if something can be worked out. Otherwise, failure to pay the rent will give your landlord grounds to take steps for an eviction.  Keep in mind that every province has its own governing body that deals with these issues, so the steps that landlords must take may be slightly different from one jurisdiction to another. Depending on where you live, you’ll likely receive a notice from your landlord to terminate your tenancy if you don’t pay your rent. Following the eviction notice, you will be given a certain amount of time to come up with the outstanding rent before further action is taken.  If you still don’t pay, you’ll have to fight the eviction with your respective landlord and housing board, though you may have a tough time fighting your case if you don’t pay your rent.

What is a “tenants’ rights” attorney? 

A tenants’ rights attorney is a legal professional who may be able to help you if you’re at risk of being evicted or your landlord is in breach of the terms of your lease. 

Can a loan help me stop an eviction? 

Yes. You can use the funds from a loan to help pay your rent if your landlord is threatening eviction. That being said, consider speaking with a lawyer first to help you find out if your landlord is violating the terms of your lease and/or your tenant rights throughout the eviction process. If so, you may have some recourse to reverse your eviction without having to resort to taking out a loan. 

How many months can I go without paying rent before being evicted? 

That depends on where you live and the terms specified in your lease agreement. Find out what the rules are in the province of your residence and the details of your rental contract. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re having financial issues, an emergency rent loan may be a life-saver. That being said, there may be alternatives to loans, so you can get your hands on the money you need to make this month’s rent. But before you find yourself in a position where you’re unable to cover your rent, consider taking steps to ensure you’re never faced with the perspective of missing a rent payment in the first place.


Rating of 5/5 based on 2 votes.

Lisa has been working as a personal finance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same.

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