A Guide to Splitting Rent With Roommates

A new financial service called Group Pay helps college roommates calculate the cost of shared living expenses.

Students rooming together in college apartments may not like each other, but they might like a new “group-based” application that splits monthly bills up even-steven.

Chicago-based WilliamPaid developed the idea and its product, “Group Pay.” WilliamPaid says Group Pay allows college roommates to share, manage and pay bills online “without typical rent collection hassles.”

No doubt, there is a demand for such a service. The National Multi Housing Council says there are more than 38.3 million rental households in the U.S. today with more than two roommates currently living there. The ingredients in multi-resident households for financial combustion is high, especially for young Americans with little to no experience in managing finances.

WilliamPaid intends for Group Pay to solve those monthly rental payment issues between roommates, primarily by setting up payment schedules, issuing “payment” alerts via texts or e-mails and speeding up payments via debit or credit cards (and even allowing roommates to make payments from outside accounts, such as a parent’s credit card or bank account).

Group Pay bundles all of the separate payments from each roommate, and makes one total payment to the landlord. The software also tells each roommate who contributed to the rental payment and who didn’t.

That could make millions of collegiate households more stress-free.

"Collecting rent from roommates is a hassle. Conflicting class schedules, extracurricular activities and life in general can mean that some off-campus college roommates don't ever really see each other," says Jessica Nunemaker, director of social media at MyCollegeGuide.org. "Trying to track down various members of your off-campus household can definitely make it a lot more difficult and stressful to collect the monthly rent."

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