The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching effects across the globe, and the United States is no exception, especially the housing crisis we are experiencing now. One of the most pressing issues that the country has been grappling with is the rising cost of rent. In a recent report, it was revealed that rents are rising four times faster than incomes in the United States.
This has made housing increasingly unaffordable for millions of Americans, and for some households, it now takes more than three full-time workers to afford the typical two-bedroom rental. This has triggered a perfect storm for evictions, as struggling families fall behind on payments and evictions pile up all across the country.
The Impact of Soaring Rent Prices on Personal Finances
The rising cost of rent has created a perfect storm for evictions, making it difficult for families to find affordable housing. As a result, many are forced to spend a significant portion of their income on rent, leaving little room for other expenses such as food, transportation, and medical bills. This, in turn, can lead to missed payments, late fees, and a lower credit score.
The impact of a lower credit score can be devastating, making it more difficult to access financial products such as credit cards, personal loans, and mortgages. Furthermore, a lower credit score can result in higher interest rates, which can compound the problem, making it even more challenging to pay off debt.
The housing crisis has had a significant impact on American consumers’ personal finances and debt management, leading many to seek out the best debt consolidation loans to consolidate credit card debt and other existing debt.
For those with fair credit or bad credit, personal loans may be an option, but it’s important to consider the loan amounts, origination fees, and annual percentage rate (APR) to determine the best debt consolidation option. Some personal loan lenders may require a minimum credit score or charge origination fees, so it’s essential to carefully review the loan agreement and ensure that loan funding will provide enough funds to cover all debt payments.
Consolidating debt can help consumers save money on monthly loan payments, but it’s important to consider the impact on credit history and credit reports. Some debt management plans may require a soft credit inquiry, which won’t affect credit scores, while others may require a hard credit inquiry, which can lower credit scores temporarily.
Credit card refinancing is another option to consider, but it’s essential to review the terms and fees carefully before making any decisions. Ultimately, the goal is to consolidate debt and create a manageable monthly payment plan that doesn’t strain the bank account while ensuring that loan proceeds are used to pay off existing debt.
Debt Consolidation Loans and Soaring Rent Prices
One potential solution for families struggling with debt is debt consolidation loans. Debt consolidation loans allow borrowers to combine multiple debts into one loan with a lower interest rate, making it easier to manage payments and pay off debt faster.
However, with rent prices soaring to unprecedented heights, many families are finding it challenging to qualify for debt consolidation loans. A lower credit score missed payments, and a high debt-to-income ratio can all impact a borrower’s ability to qualify for a debt consolidation loan.
The ongoing housing crisis in America has been a significant burden on the personal finances and debt management of American consumers. Housing costs have soared in recent years, with many cities experiencing housing shortages due to the high demand for affordable homes. The economic growth and population growth in urban centers have contributed to this housing scarcity, putting a strain on local governments and housing construction efforts. Research shows that housing affordability is a pressing issue for many Americans, with many struggling to afford even basic housing costs.
Furthermore, with the rising cost of living, families may find it difficult to free up enough income to make monthly payments on a debt consolidation loan. This can create a vicious cycle, with families struggling to pay rent, pay off debt, and cover basic necessities.
Single-family homes have become increasingly expensive, making it difficult for many American consumers to access affordable homes. High housing costs have forced many Americans to rent instead of owning their homes, putting a significant burden on their finances. In addition, the labor market and apartment buildings have been affected by the housing crisis, with zoning rules and the availability of single-family homes creating challenges for home builders.
As the impact of climate change becomes more apparent, the need for affordable and sustainable housing has become more pressing, further exacerbating the issue of housing scarcity in the American economy. The housing crisis is a complex problem that requires a multifaceted approach to resolve, but it is clear that it has had a significant impact on American consumers’ personal finances and debt management.
What Can Consumers Do?
If you are struggling with debt due to soaring rent prices, there are steps you can take to improve your financial situation. Here are a few tips:
- Create a Budget: Start by creating a budget that accounts for all of your expenses, including rent, utilities, groceries, and transportation. Identify areas where you can cut back on expenses, such as eating out or buying unnecessary items.
- Seek Help: There are many resources available to help families struggling with debt, including credit counseling services and debt relief programs. These programs can help you develop a debt repayment plan and negotiate with creditors on your behalf.
- Increase Your Income: Consider finding ways to increase your income, such as taking on a part-time job or freelance work. This can help you free up more money to pay off debt and cover basic expenses.
- Explore Alternative Housing Options: If the cost of rent in your area is too high, consider exploring alternative housing options, such as co-living arrangements, roommate situations, or moving to a more affordable area.
Rents Rising Faster Than Incomes
According to the report, the rate of rent price growth has tripled in recent years, with many areas seeing rent prices shoot up over 200%. The shortage of affordable rental units has created a perfect storm for evictions, with rental vacancy rates at the lowest level since 1984.
This is giving landlords, especially corporate landlords, much more power to mark up prices for a limited number of available units. On the other hand, wages are not keeping pace with rising rents in the United States. In fact, 58% of renters are currently living paycheck to paycheck, paying more than 30% of their income on rent.
A Worsening Outlook for Evictions
The affordable housing crisis in the United States is widening, with the growing divide between rent prices and income. From 1985 to 2022, the national median rent price rose 151%, while overall income grew just 35%.
This means that the average rent rose over four times faster than wages in that same time frame. The cost of living in the United States has increased by 89% since the mid-1980s, leading to a steep decline in purchasing power across the last four decades.
The median rent prices have outpaced inflation by 29% since 2000, meaning that median rent prices grew 90%, while inflation grew 70%. Rent price increases have even exceeded home price increases in some metros, with rental rates climbing 152% on average since 2000, while home prices rose just 112%. The disparity was the greatest in Birmingham, Alabama, where the increase in rent prices was 92% greater than the change in home prices.
A Perfect Storm for Evictions
All of these affordability challenges are limiting supply and creating barriers to home purchasing, making imbalances in the rental market more and more unsustainable. Unfortunately, this trend is likely to continue for the rest of the year, with official agencies reporting an average monthly growth in rent prices of 1.7%. A separate study by Cool Logic exposed that the nation’s rent price growth tripled year over year in January, starting the year with a 12% annual increase, up from a 3.9% annual increase in January 2022.
This is leading to a disastrous scenario for mass evictions, with eviction filings skyrocketing in America since December. Court filings rose by double or triple-digit percentages in 32 metro areas tracked by Eviction Lab, a research group at Princeton University. Overall, 14 cities had more filings than would have been normal before the pandemic. Nationwide, there has been a 40% surge in eviction filings over pre-pandemic levels.
The Impact on U.S. Families
The impact of rising rents and evictions on U.S. families is devastating. Many struggling families are about to lose their homes as they fall behind on payments, and evictions start to pile up all across the country. Beyond the immediate threat of homelessness, many landlords won’t rent to people with an eviction on their record, further limiting housing options for years to come.
Once they find a new place to live, displaced families often enroll their children in new schools and travel further to work. Rent across the nation is on average more than $500 a month higher than it was in early 2020, and with inflation and the massive increases seen over the last few years, it’s much worse for low-income renters than it was before the pandemic. The hard-working U.S. families who are losing their independence, financial security, opportunities to build equity, and access to basic necessities are facing a very difficult time ahead.
Corporate Landlords Vs. Mom and Pop Landlords
While corporate landlords can circumvent the laws to evict tenants more rapidly and raise the price for the next renter, mom-and-pop landlords are also suffering from inflation and soaring maintenance costs.
Trade associations content Federal rental aid totaling more than $46 billion was slow to reach rental owners, even as they continued paying for mortgages, maintenance, and property management. Some have yet to be made whole, spurring them to take legal action.
No housing provider wants to evict a tenant; it’s always a last resort and reserved for the rarest cases. However, the National Association of Realtors wrote in a statement, “The nation is falling short of the demand for affordable housing by at least a million homes.”
A Disastrous Scenario for Mass Evictions is Forming
All of these affordability challenges, limiting supply and creating barriers to home purchasing, are making imbalances in the rental market more and more unsustainable. For this reason, experts believe that a disastrous scenario for mass evictions is forming. Since December, evictions are skyrocketing in America, with court filings rising by double or triple-digit percentages in 32 metro areas tracked by the eviction lab, a research group at Princeton University.
Overall, 14 cities have more filings than would have been normal before the pandemic. Nationwide, we’re now seeing a 40% surge in eviction filings over pre-pandemic levels. While corporate landlords can circumvent the laws to evict tenants more rapidly and raise the price for the next renter, mom-and-pop landlords are also suffering from inflation and soaring maintenance costs.
The National Association of Realtors wrote in a statement that no housing provider wants to evict a tenant; it’s always a last resort and reserved for the rarest cases. Unfortunately, the economic downturn that’s now unfolding all around us is accelerating, and millions of U.S. households will be pushed over the edge.
The rising cost of rent in the United States is a complex problem that requires immediate attention. Millions of hard-working American families are being pushed to the brink, with little hope of affordable housing in sight.
The government needs to step in and create policies that address the root causes of this issue, such as increasing the supply of affordable housing, incentivizing landlords to keep rent prices in check, and raising the minimum wage to keep pace with rising rents.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been far-reaching, and the rising cost of rent in the United States is just one of the many issues that the country needs to address. By working together, we can ensure that all Americans have access to safe, affordable housing and that no family has to face the devastating consequences of eviction due to circumstances beyond their control.