You never know when you may need some extra cash. Everyone falls on hard times or has to deal with something that is beyond their financial means. An urgent home repair, car problem, or personal emergency could set you back for months, if not longer. Fortunately, there are resources you can turn to for assistance.
For small personal emergencies like a shut-off notice for a utility bill or a minor car repair can be handled using your credit card. If you don’t have one, they’re pretty easy to apply for online. You will, however, need to have decent credit in order to obtain a reasonable limit at a low interest rate. It also takes several weeks for the approval process and arrival of the credit card, so if you have an immediate emergency, applying may not be quick enough.
Emergency Savings Accounts
Some people set aside money on a regular basis just in case of emergencies. Obviously, if you’re having a difficult time, you can dip into this account to resolve the matter, then deposit the funds back periodically. If you don’t have an emergency savings account, though it won’t do much good at this time, you should start building one for future use.
Short-Term Installment Loans
Loans are convenient when you’ve fallen on hard times. Unlike traditional bank loans which require you to have a sizeable income, good credit, and collateral, short-term installment loans are a lot easier to qualify for. All that’s required is that you be 18 years of age, have a valid checking account, and meet the minimum monthly income requirements. If approved you could receive the funds in as little as one business day. Lastly, the repayment options are small and affordable. You can read more information online to learn about installment loans.
If you’re dealing with a much bigger problem it may be best to borrow funds from your retirement account. Many pensions allow account holders to borrow several thousand dollars at a low rate. Since they already have your employment information, there aren’t many criteria required to apply and get approved. It can take a few weeks to receive a check and will need to be repaid in full within a few years to avoid any fees or penalties. Keep in mind, however, if you lose your job, the balance in full will become due or you’ll be on the hook for early withdraw penalties.
If you’re having trouble paying your rent or mortgage, have a shut-off notice that’s too much to afford on your own, or recently lost your job and need financial assistance, there are government programs you can qualify for. These programs are for low-income families and seniors and are designed to provide free or affordable assistance with food, housing, healthcare, utilities, and more. It can take a while for the process to be approved, so you may need to use one of the above-mentioned resources to keep you afloat.
At the center of everything that goes on in life, money is always involved. While you may be able to cover some things out of your own budget, others are too much or unexpected. When you find yourself going through hard times such as this, it’s good to know where you can turn. Any of the above resources can help you get out of a long or short-term jam. Just be sure to review your options, know the risks, and make the most informed decision.