Where Renters Are Lagging on Payments

November 16, 2020

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, nearly one in six renters are late on their payments, according to a LendingTree analysis reflecting data from late September to early October. Further, more than one in four renters say they have no confidence or are only slightly confident in being able to make next month’s payment.

A federal eviction moratorium will expire Dec. 31. That could leave many renters without a home and property managers with missed payments and fewer tenants. The National Association of REALTORS® has been advocating for rental assistance. Read more: Encourage Tenants to Seek Rental Assistance

LendingTree recently analyzed in which areas around the country renters are struggling with their payments the most. Topping the list, 29% of Mississippi renters are behind on payments, nearly double the nation’s average rate of 16.2%. Louisiana follows with a 28.3% default rate and Tennessee with a 24.8% rate.

The 10 states seeing the highest percentage of renters behind on their payments have a median household income below the national average (excluding New York). “That can make it more difficult to stay up to date with rent, especially during a pandemic,” LendingTree notes.


The age demographic most behind on rent are those between the ages of 40–54 (22.2% of renters in that age segment are struggling), the LendingTree study finds. The 65 and older age group (7.2%) and the 18-to-24 age group (11.1%) are reporting some of the fewest instances of falling behind on rent.

In many areas, renters aren’t feeling any better about their finances. The following states have the most renters who have expressed the least confidence in making their next month’s payment:

  • Mississippi: 46.5%
  • Louisiana: 42.8%
  • Iowa: 37.3%
  • Pennsylvania: 33.9%
  • Florida: 33.4%
  • Connecticut: 31.5%
  • New York: 30.7%
  • Delaware: 29.9%
  • Michigan: 29.1%
  • Alabama: 29%

On the other hand, in some states, renters are doing much better and appear to be less affected by the pandemic. The states in which the fewest renters are falling behind are Montana (4.2%), Vermont (6.8%), and Utah (8%).