Debt advice for tenants with unpaid rents
- Professional advisers work with tenants to address debt, helping to create repayment plans, budgets, and other good financial practices
- Programs are delivered one-on-one, either in person or remotely
- Many programs include mediation services between tenants and landlords, credit counseling, rental insurance, and other tenant protection services
- Potentially more effective when used preemptively, before debt levels become substantial
Strength of evidence
Evidence level: Strong (second-highest tier)
Strong (second-highest tier)
Ranked as having the second-highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps
Low- and moderate-income adults and families
Federal programs first authorized in 1968
Outcomes and impact
- Some evidence of reduced participant debt levels and evictions
- Reduced borrowers' risk of default and delinquency
- 22% return on investment for landlords through reduced debt and associated costs, according to one UK estimate
Keys to successful implementation
- Note: This content is under review
- Debt counseling should be provided before tenants owe large amounts of rent or face eviction.
- Landlords and public housing agencies should track overdue rent and encourage tenants to obtain debt counseling to prevent unpaid rent from accumulating.
- Debt counseling that helps participants address multiple financial issues (beyond unpaid rent) produces particularly strong outcomes.