Where to Find Security Deposit Help

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Whether or not you receive rent assistance for a new apartment, you will probably have to pay a security deposit. This can add stress to the apartment hunting process. However, there is help.
Government programs are the first place to look. State and county governments usually have a Human Services or Social Services Department that provides help for those in need. Though they all have different requirements, most of them base their eligibility on income, family size, and immediacy of need. You can find your state and county branch by visiting USA.gov and choosing your state from the drop-down menu. This will take you to your state's contact page. Click your state’s name on this page and you will be taken to your state government homepage. You will find a State Agencies tab, usually under the Government menu option. The State Agencies page will list all of your state’s government agencies. Browse the list until you find either a Department of Human Services or Department of Social Services. Here, you’ll find contact information and details that will help you find assistance, as well as their eligibility requirements.
If your state or county government does not have any security deposit assistance, the next step is to seek out charities that may be able to help. The Salvation Army and Catholic Charities are two great places to look. To find a location near you, visit their websites and enter your city and state. You can also search for local charities and assistance programs using 2-1-1 and Charity Navigator, which may be able to guide you to helpful charities and programs in your area. Another place to look for help with a security deposit is your local Community Action Agency. Though it is not a charity, it has programs to help those in need. Search their page to find an agency near you.
Loans from family, friends, or lenders may be a better option if you are able to pay it back. Eligibility for a loan from a lender will usually be based on your credit score. Even bad credit loans will check for too many negative marks on your credit report, so this may not be the best option if you have less than perfect credit. If you have decent credit, you can check to see if they have loans available or go with another lender. Just beware of high interest rates, because you could end up paying back much more than necessary. Shop around before settling on a lender. 
Borrowing money from family and/or friends could be the ideal option if you can’t get a loan from a lender. In most cases they won’t charge you interest and you can make a payment arrangement that works for you (and them). Be sure to pay them back in a timely manner to avoid putting a strain on your relationship, though.
There a variety of ways to get assistance with your security deposit. The most helpful way to get it will depend on your situation. You will be more likely to get assistance from government or charity programs if you are lower income. Help from lenders could be the right choice if you don’t qualify for other assistance, have acceptable credit, and the means to repay your loan. Assistance from family and friends will be the best if one (or some) of them have the money to help you out. You can go with the option that’s most fitting to your situation or try a few of them and see.

By Alecia Stanton of American Hope Resources
Find more Articles, Resources, and Benefits for Parents at AmericanHopeResources.com.

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  • Housing
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