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You don’t have to be married to face some of the drama that comes with a messy divorce. Whether you have a roommate who’s been casually dropping hints that you should be looking for a new roommate or they’re downright spelling it out, the prospect of that person leaving can feel like you’re about to lose everything the two of you worked so hard to maintain.
Even if you intend to stay, your landlord could annul the lease entirely if your roommate decides to unceremoniously break the lease. However, a good landlord will likely let you attempt to survive paying the lease on your own or give you time to secure rental assistance.
Ready to get to work?
Check out these tips for giving yourself a fighting chance of surviving a lease when a roommate gets cold feet and abandons the lease.
1. Find Someone New
Like dating, finding someone new can do wonders for getting you back on your feet after a roommate breaks the lease. You’d probably still have a bit of a rough patch during the transition, but looking for a roommate to sublet the apartment from your previous roommate can completely resolve the problem.
Remember: Sharing a space with a roommate isn’t about being best friends, though it’s nice when your best friend happens to be a great person to split living costs with. It’s more important to live with someone you can coexist with and rely on. If you’ve just learned this the hard way, we apologize for any salt that accidentally dusted that wound.
Be sure to ask some critical questions. Can they reliably pay the rent? Do they smoke or drink? How do they feel about guests? Make sure you’ll be compatible as roommates.
2. Get a Side Hustle Earning up to $69/Hour
It’s that feeling of not knowing where the other half of your rent will come from that makes it unnerving just to hear your roommate hint at leaving early. It’s a puzzle you’ll have to solve quickly to avoid giving your landlord a good reason to evict you and still charge you the balance of your remaining rent.
Along with looking for a roommate, make things easier on yourself by searching for a side hustle before your roommate makes their departure official. Even if you manage to convince them to stay, whatever factors urging them to bail in the first place could suddenly re-emerge — embarrassment could inspire them to slip away without warning.
If you’re looking for a flexible side hustle that could turn into your primary source of income, look into bookkeeping. It’s the No. 1 most profitable business, according to an article in Inc. And you can earn up to $69 an hour, reports Intuit, the creator of QuickBooks.
You don’t have to be an accountant or good at calculus to start your own bookkeeping business, either. As long as you’re motivated, a company called Bookkeepers.com will teach you everything you need to know. It’s one of the leading training courses in the field, and it’ll even give you the first three classes for free.
3. Stop Paying Your Credit Card Company
Without a roommate and the rent savings that person provided, you might lose interest in paying anything more than the monthly minimum on your credit cards. But if those credit cards bear gaudy interest rates, you might not be making the best use of your dollars.
A free website called AmOne wants to help. AmOne will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every single one of your balances.
The benefit? You’ll be left with one bill to pay each month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 3.49% APR), you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.
AmOne keeps your information confidential and secure, which is probably why after 20 years in business, it still has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
It takes two minutes to see if you qualify for up to $50,000 online.
4. Have a Safety Net
While consolidating your debt can help free up room in your budget, you may not want to cut up your cards afterward — especially if your emergency savings are in critical condition. That credit line could protect you from those first few late fees, which could cascade into a stream of other fees and penalties if they hit you at the wrong time.
Even if your credit score needs work first, there’s no better time than the present to start improving your score. And you’ll find that the measures you take to improve your credit are good for your finances in general.
Your credit score is like your financial fingerprint. Everyone’s is different — and for different reasons. That means everyone’s strategy to improve their credit score will look different… but how in the world are you supposed to know where to start?
Thankfully, a free website called Credit Sesame will take a look at your credit report and let you know exactly what you need to do to improve your score.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.