What You Must Know About Rent and Bill Assistance
In 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau conducted its national Making Ends Meet Survey, which revealed that 40.4% of U.S. residents had difficulties paying a specific bill. After COVID affected the economy, consumers' financial health worsened, and many had to rely on rent and bill assistance. However, finding the programs that are out there can be time-consuming and frustrating if you don't have DoNotPay to do the heavy lifting.
Rent and Bill Assistance Lets People Stay In Their Homes
COVID resulted in stay-at-home orders. As a direct result, businesses had to close down. For some, temporary closures became permanent. Closures led to job losses. And, if families suddenly found all members unemployed, paying rent or utilities became difficult if not impossible.
Government assistance with rent and bills was designed to keep people in their homes. Besides that, it ensured the basic habitability of the homes by keeping utilities on. To do so, government agencies and private organizations partnered to offer help with rent and utility bills. In this way, residents in search of help with light bill expenses could submit applications and prevent utility shutoffs.
Stimulus Bill Rental Assistance Picked up Where Traditional Safety Nets Failed
Before the pandemic, residents who needed quick help with rent and utility bills would take out short-term payday loans, rely on friends for financial assistance, or turn to their local churches and faith-based organizations. However, COVID quickly overwhelmed these groups. Stimulus bill rental assistance and added utility assistance stepped in and allowed more people to get the help they require.
You Need Rent and Bill Assistance; Now What?
You tried to rely on your resources for as long as possible. When you needed help with power bill expenses, you tried to borrow money. Eventually, you ran out of these options, too. Now what?
Ask For an Extension Date for Rent or Utility Bills
Most organizations will work with customers who have a difficult time making a payment. You typically have four options.
- Call customer service and explain your financial difficulties.
- Send a letter or email asking the company for an extension of time to pay.
- Visit the customer service center. However, during COVID, this option frequently became unavailable.
- Entrust DoNotPay with creating an extension letter and sending it on your behalf. This is the easiest way to communicate with various utilities and other businesses.
Request a Late Fee Waiver While Applying for Assistance With Rent and Bills
Don't limit the extent of your relief! If you work with DoNotPay, the app can also send a waiver letter to the companies that you're asking for rent and bill assistance. It saves you time and could save you quite a bit of money.
Requesting COVID Relief Bill Rental Assistance on Your Own
Some people are born negotiators. They love writing letters or making phone calls.
- Connect with government agencies. Getting help with gas bill payments might mean talking to the utility and then a government agency that offers stimulus bill rental assistance and utility help.
- Enlist the help of an advocate. You might qualify for help from an advocate if you are a low-income resident, a senior, or a military veteran. Some organizations specialize in helping you.
- Explore state government programs. In addition to the federal government, there are also state government agencies that have created departments to deal with financial problems brought on by COVID.
Emergency Rental Assistance Program is one of the government programs you can apply for. ERA program makes the funding available to help households that are not able to pay their utilities or rent. There are two separate programs that ERA established:
|ERA Programs||Total Assistance|
|ERA 1||Era 1 provides up to $25 billion under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which was enacted on December 27, 2020. The funds are directly provided to the states, local government, and U.S. territories.|
|ERA 2||Under the Americal rescue Plan Act of 2021, enacted on March 11, 2021, Era 2 provides up to $21.55 billion.|
However, all these options have one thing in common: you do all the legwork. This means hours spent on the phone, sending emails, and putting together documentation. Wouldn't it be great if there was an easier way? DoNotPay is the answer.
How to Apply for Rent and Bill Assistance With DoNotPay
You don't have to spend your time on the phone. Most people don't have the time it takes to negotiate with state and federal agencies. DoNotPay streamlines the application process.
- Go to the Negotiate Bills product on DoNotPay.
- Choose whether you want us to call and negotiate your bill for you or send a bill negotiation letter on your behalf.
- Provide the details that will help us negotiate your bill including the company name and how much your current plan costs.
- Enter your contact information, including email, address, and phone number.
It is that easy. DoNotPay will now handle all stimulus bill rental assistance applications and utility bill relief requests.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
DoNotPay is an excellent solution when you need rent and bill assistance.
- Get help paying an electric bill.
- Find help with internet bill payment problems.
- Discover grants to help pay bills.
- Negotiate help paying the cell phone bill.
- Understand and deal with the consequences of not paying medical bills.