Even so-called ‘smart people’ can run into money problems. It may be from a recession or pandemic-spurred job loss. It could be from an investment loss or an opportunity that didn’t exactly work out. Few people – if anyone – has a perfect record of money management. Fortunately, there are plenty of places to look for help with money problems.
Here are ten possible ways on where to get help for money problems:
1. Your Parents
Asking a parent for money can be embarrassing but when you’re stuck, just be honest. It’s important not to assume it will be an automatic ‘yes, here’s some money’. Truth be told, most parents can’t afford to lend money. It is what it is. That said, they are a resource to look to for temporary assistance.
2. Your Friends
Your friends can be a good way to get help for money problems. It could be a roommate, a friend who has done particularly well for himself, or simply a close person you trust. This fits the same bill as asking for money from your parents or other immediate family.
It is embarrassing and if you can’t pay it back in a timely manner, it can damage a relationship fairly severely. Be wary of who you ask and be reasonable in your expectation of what’s possible in terms of paying it back.
3. Try Payday Loans
A great place to get money fast is with payday loans. You don’t need great credit. The payday loan application process is quick and easy. Though you are charged a fee, when you’re in a tough spot, it’s the simplest way you’re going to gain access to cash today.
You also avoid asking for assistance from family or friends and don’t need your bank’s permission, either. Just remember to follow through with paying off the balance owing within the agreed-upon time frame.
4. Call Creditors
If you owe money towards a loan or credit card, call and see if there’s anything that can be provided to reduce the load. A creditor may be willing to settle for a majority portion of what’s owing or lower the interest rate. It doesn’t hurt to do this with other bills or money owing.
For example, if rent is coming up and you’re unsure about being able to cover the entirety of your payment, speak with your landlord and see if he’s willing to give you a few extra days. Be honest.
5. Debt Counsellor
A debt counsellor is someone experienced with advising a person on how to budget in an effective way to cover their debt within a given time period. If you are unable to manage an existing budget or are unsure of what to do, an appointment with a debt counsellor can be helpful. You can gain clarity on opportunities you may not have considered and how to best manage necessary expenses.
6. Government Programs
There may be government programs you aren’t even aware of that you may qualify for. Do research into local charity organizations as well. They may be able to offer one-time assistance with certain things, such as food or utility bills.
On the subject of utility bills, call your utility companies and see if they offer any low-income assistance programs you don’t already receive. Every little bit helps and these efforts may turn up a healthy return.
7. Money Management Books
Go to your local bookstore. Hit up the self-help or financial advice section. You can easily find hundreds of books written by people who have done well with their money, offering all sorts of advice. If you’re serious about stopping accumulating debt and saving for the future, a little inspiration goes a long way. In reading these books, you will pick up dozens of strategies and develop healthy financial habits.
8. Look to Your Bank for Money Help
Your bank doesn’t want to see you missing credit card payments and defaulting on loans. Wherever possible – within reason – they’re often willing to help. If your credit is decent or you continue to at least make regular payments, speak to your bank about a loan.
A loan or line of credit can be a lifesaver at times where income is restricted or when you need money help. A bank may also have alternative options to offer, to help carry you through a hard time.
9. Online Lenders
Alternative lenders exist. They are outside of the traditional banking system and can be easily found online. An online lender doesn’t always offer the best terms but some are equivalent to bank standards. If you need money and are weary about payday loans or going elsewhere, alternative lenders may be willing to take a chance on you. It’s a last-ditch effort to look into before giving in.
10. Look to Yourself
At the end of the day, there’s only one person who got you into money trouble. Avoid getting stuck in the same situation a second time by putting in the work. Create a budget. Minimize expenses. Sell off things like electronics or furniture you don’t use to make a quick buck.
A temporary second job might also be needed to provide a sustainable way out from the debt trouble that may surround you. Address the cause of the money problem and work for a permanent fix.