You Need a New Roof But You Can’t Afford It: Now What?

Not looking good In this day and age, it’s a real challenge for many people simply to keep up with the cost of living. But if you need a major home repair, such as a new roof, coming up with the money to cover the expense can be next to impossible.

Whatever you do, you should resist the temptation to try to pay for it with a credit card. The interest rates on most credit cards are extremely high, and once you dig yourself into that kind of a debt, it can take years to dig your way out of it. You should also resist the temptation to buy the cheapest roof possible from a questionable contractor. Remember that all reputable contractors will have an actual physical address and phone number, as well as being insured and bonded. Most states require roofers to be licensed as well. Before you decide to do business with any roofing contractor, make sure the company meets all those criteria.

Logical Steps to Take

So what should you do if you need a new roof and can’t afford it? Here are some steps to take should you find yourself in this situation:

1. Make sure you really do need a new roof.

Many contractors are able to make repairs for much less money than it would cost to replace your roof completely. Although it’s not advisable to try to make the repairs yourself unless you are an experienced roofer, it’s entirely possible that a contractor can make some necessary repairs that will last you for a year or two – enough time to save money for a new roof at that time. Get estimates from at least three reputable contractors for how much it would be to repair your roof. If the contractors say that repairs won’t work and you absolutely need a new roof, move on to step 2.

2. Consider refinancing your home in order to cash out on some of your equity to pay for a new roof.

It’s quite common for homeowners to use the equity in their homes to pay for major home repairs. Two notes of caution with regard to refinancing: it can often result in higher mortgage payments, so you should make sure that you can afford the new payments if that’s the case, and; refinancing may not be the smartest thing to do if you plan on selling your home in a few years since you may not have a lot of equity left in the property due to refinancing.

3. Look into the possibility of applying for a loan or grant from the federal government.

This may be a viable option if you’re elderly, disabled, or if you have a low or moderate income level. Most federal government loans come with an extremely low interest rate. For more information, check out the website of the National Residential Improvement Association ( The information listed there is free to consumers.

If you need a new roof, ignoring the situation is not an option. Once you have a damaged roof, it won’t be too much longer before it impacts the rest of your home, and that will require even more money to repair. Letting your home fall into disrepair will lower the value of your property, not to mention making it an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous place in which to live. Fortunately, there are some smart options that will allow you to pay for a new roof with just a small amount of effort on your part.

Hurricane Sandy caused damage at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (NJ) | Flickr – Photo Sharing! : taken from – U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region