#childsafety | Renters Are at Risk—Some Tips for Tenants in Trouble

By Elizabeth Renter

We’re all feeling effects of the current recession, whether it’s the rising cost of groceries or the pervasive economic uncertainty. But some are feeling a bigger impact than others, and data indicates renters are disproportionately affected.

Half (50%) of American renters had used or planned to use their government stimulus check for necessities at the time of an early May NerdWallet survey, conducted online by The Harris Poll. That’s compared with 32% of homeowners. Three in 10 renters (30%) used or planned to use it to pay rent, whereas 15% of homeowners used or planned to use it on their mortgage.

Renters are vulnerable when expenses grow or income is slashed, due to lower average incomes compared with homeowners. Further, they don’t have access to the same built-in relief valves as mortgage-holders — such as forbearance or loan modification — when they can’t pay their monthly housing costs.

Federal, state and local eviction bans protected some renters for several months, but many of those orders have since expired, and possible extensions are uncertain. Without those protections, many tenants could be on a fast track to trouble, and even with those safety nets in place, the rent bill will eventually come due.

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