The cost of repairing a roof can range from $350 to $1,500, depending on the size of the roof and the extent of the damage. Needless to say, not all homeowners have extra money to fix their roof right away, much less get a replacement roof which can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
There are a lot of other expenses to worry about and paying out-of-pocket for roof repair may be out of the question, especially when you’re on a tight budget as it is. Nevertheless, there are other options that you can try when you don’t have the money to pay for repairs or replacements.
Use your credit card
Using your credit card for professional roof leak repairs and other types of repairs is often the easiest alternative when you don’t have enough cash. However, this is only advisable if the repair is going to cost you a few hundred dollars and if you can pay it off when your next bill is due. Otherwise, move on to the next financing options.
Tap into your home equity
If you have equity in your home, you may be able to use it to pay for a new roof or major repair costs. There are two main options to consider when you want to tap into home equity, namely, a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC).
- Home equity loan. This type of loan will allow you to borrow against your home’s equity with a fixed interest rate, monthly payments, and payment schedules. You can use the lump sum for major home repairs or other large expenses. However, you need to have good or excellent credit to qualify, as well as a high percentage of equity.
- HELOC. A home equity line of credit will let you borrow a specific amount of money (determined by you) to pay for home repairs, renovations, or other expenses. Unlike a home equity loan, you have the choice to borrow only as much as you need, and repayment options are often flexible.
Take out a personal loan
If you have good credit, taking out a personal loan with reasonable interest is a relatively simple way to finance your roof repairs or replacement. But if your credit is shot and you can only qualify for high-interest loans from predatory lenders, this option may not be right for you.
Apply for a grant
At the local, state, and federal levels, there are government programs that offer financial help to homeowners who can’t afford major home repairs. These government-backed loans and grants usually come with low-interest, which will help minimize the total cost of your roof repairs or replacement as much as possible.
These government assistance programs apply to:
- Low to moderate-income earners
- Disabled people
- Elderly people
If you qualify for any of these categories, start looking for a grant or a loan backed by your local or state government. If the damage to your roof was caused by a natural disaster, you may also be.
Contact your insurance provider
If you have homeowners’ insurance, ask them if they can cover the repair or replacement costs of your roof. They may be able to back the costs at least partially, if not completely. Even if it seems unlikely that they will cover the costs, it’s still worth a try.
Start saving money
Hire a contractor to assess the extent of the damage and give you an estimate of how much the repairs will cost. After the inspection, ask them if repairs need to be done right away, or if you can’t wait a bit longer. If it’s the latter, start saving up money for the cost of the repair by tightening your budget for the meantime and finding other sources of money.
Keep in mind that the estimate that the contractor will give you can change when the actual repairs are being done. It can either decrease or increase, but it’s safer to assume that it will increase. With that in mind, save up more than the estimate to give way for unexpected costs.
Ask your friends and family
Approach your loved ones and see if you can borrow money for the repairs. If they agree to loan to you, ensure that you set clear expectations for when you can pay them back, and as much as possible, pay them back on time or earlier than the agreed date.
Don’t ignore the signs of a failing roof lest you end up with an even bigger problem in your hands. If you can’t afford the repairs or replacement needed, explore these options and see which one will work for you best.