A better job opportunity. A more affordable living arrangement. A quick home sale. An unfortunate eviction. There are many reasons why now more and more people are faced with the task of leaving their current homes and moving.1 And when the need to relocate is sudden, coming up with the money needed to move can be difficult in a pinch.
From common moving expenses like van rentals and packing supplies to those unexpected moving costs that pop up out of the blue, everything on your moving checklist costs money. The average relocation cost is about $1,100, and that figure more than doubles if you’re moving out of state.2 So unless you’ve been saving for emergencies, it’s likely you’re going to need help with financing your move.
Whether you need to move quickly or are thinking about moving very soon, here’s where to find money to finance relocation costs and cover common moving expenses.
Ask friends and family
Approaching your family and friends about borrowing money can be awkward, uncomfortable and downright hard. But those closest to you can be your biggest allies when you need to get something done. If you need money to move, financial help from your parents and friends could help bridge the gap between how much you have and how much you need to pull off the big move.
But be mindful of whom you ask, knowing that borrowing money can sometimes put a strain on a relationship. Be clear about whether the money is a gift that doesn’t need to be repaid, or a loan that does. If it’s a loan, it helps both of you to put the details in writing including how much you’re borrowing, how you plan to pay it back and when.
Outside of financial help, asking your friends to pitch in with packing, lifting, hauling and other logistics of moving can really help save time and money.
Research government grants and programs
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers various relocation programs for households that can meet specific requirements for their move.3 There are also state and local programs that give grants to assist in covering moving expenses, rent and other costs like utilities.4 And if you’re a veteran of the U.S. military, there are even more resources available to help.
Talk to local charitable programs
There are several civic, volunteer and religious organizations that offer moving assistance to community members who meet certain income and household criteria. Call 211 or visit 211.org to connect with the resources available in your town.
Take out a personal loan
For help getting money fast, a personal loan could be the answer. Be sure to choose a lender that offers fixed payments, a fixed rate and a fixed payoff schedule. This type of loan can get you the money you need to move, allow you to pay it back over time and give you a clear timeline for when your loan will be paid off.
Use credit cards
If you have room on your credit cards, you might consider using them to finance your move. Just make sure you don’t max them out doing so! If you decide to use credit cards to finance your relocation, it’s important to make a plan to pay them off or at least pay more than the minimum payment due each month. Otherwise, you could find yourself paying off your move for the next 25 years!*
Talk to your employer
If you’re relocating for work, speak to your new employer about any relocation assistance they may have available. Many companies have in place a standard relocation assistance policy that explains what they’ll offer and how it works.5 If your company doesn’t have a relocation program, still consider asking if they could help with any portion of your moving expenses. If they think of you as a valuable asset to the company, they should at least consider helping you with the costs associated with joining their team.
It’s your move
When it comes to financing relocation costs, the key is to examine all options available to find the solution that works within your timeframe and budget. As you plan your move, be sure to consider all common moving expenses, and keep in mind that you’re likely to need extra money to cover unexpected moving costs as well. The good thing is there are many resources out there to help. It just takes a little planning on your part to come up with a way to get it all done.
*Payoff schedule reflects a credit card balance of $7,500 at 24.15% with a minimum payment of 3% of the total balance or $15.00, whichever is greater. Assumes only the minimum monthly payment is made each month and no new fees or charges are incurred.