Sunday, February 26, 2012

Where Do You Turn When You Need Financial Help, Quick?

I have experienced being broke, living paycheck to paycheck, (I am currently still;) But there are times when you receive a shut off notice for a utility, a late payment warning for a car loan, a mortgage, credit card payments, and you still have to figure out where the money for food, school lunch accounts, gas, money will be coming from. There are plenty of ways throughout my past, and present, that my family has to figure and re figure, and try to plan and pick what will get paid before what, etc. We do need a new roof, and a few other major or semi major repairs, but we are hanging on, for now! However, if something were to happen, and the roof needed fixed immediately, what do I do? My husband and I run a small trucking company, and the bills that we accumulate from just this alone, are rough! It eats up our savings every couple months, and it is very hard to budget and have a structured routine, because of how we get paid, when, sometimes not at all, and if we get repairs, they cost 10 times what a normal vehicle repair would cost! It just never seems to fail, every time we get back up to being comfortable and we replace our savings, and our bills are caught up, something breaks, leaks, falls apart, blows up, lol I'm sure most of you have had this happen to you! It just always seems to happen to our family. We don't have the type of careers, income, needed to apply and be approved for a loan from some magical bank who will charge us next to nothing for interest. I am a pt bartender, and we have a self employed income from our tractor trailer business. So, the banks sure aren't jumping at us with consolidation loans, credit, and no interest, no fee loans! We have been on our own, completely, for several years, and after our past credit card bills are paid off, I never plan to apply for credit again! (Yes, credit cards take several years to pay off, even when you pay on time every month!!) What have we done in the past to grab quick emergency cash when our savings and emergency cash were depleted? Lots of things! I would take on more then 2 jobs sometimes, but that wasn't much help if it was an immediate need. Besides, with 4 kids, 3 who are at home, and small, and my medical condition, this isn't an option any longer. We have re structured our bills and paid some and not others, and called to make payment arrangements, defer payments, make interest payments, and skip payments, all to make at least the biggest headache go away. Before the bank crisis, and even years before that, we would once in a while, take a "vacation" or "personal" loan from our bank or local loan stores, remember the stores that would give you a $3000 loan for a fairly decent interest rate, still higher then a bank loan, but easier to get? Then came the "payday loans", well, I have to say, they can be very helpful, especially when they offer lower interest if you pay early or on time. I remember when these payday loan offices started popping up all over our town. One was right by the grocery store, a Blockbuster, and every time you would drive by, it would be packed! Of course, a few months later, a major repair really hit us, and we were on the verge of disaster, again, so I wrote down all our options, what resources do we have? We had only so much saved up, I took extra shifts at my job, (although this was an immediate need, it still gave us extra in the near future to work with), and I had already taken the much anticipated interest payment on my car loan, and the utilities were already on payment plans. Our change jars helped a small amount, but there was a little over $1000 we desperately were in need of, and fast! So, I took a drive to the "payday loans" store, and went inside. (I did call first to see what was needed, pay stubs, id, checking account info, etc), it was fairly quick and I was a little worried about getting caught in this routine where we had to pay them back and possibly re borrow, (there was a couple that were having just that issue while I was there). It was painless, expensive? YES. But my stress was gone, for now, and I had enough to take care of our immediate needs! The extra shifts I took, could help pay this bill back. It may not be our first option, but it is there, and we have since used a similar service, which wasn't as expensive, but still much more then banks! They are online now, they are fairly reasonable, when you think about all of the benefits, and you normally have the option to pay back early and not have penalties, and fees and you could even get a cheaper pay back rate! It's just nice to know that this option is there, and I would be totally aware of the rules, the payments, the fact that they have your info, your bank account info, and that they can and will, take their payments out when you agreed to pay them! I would also check into whichever company you use them for, but make it a last resort! Most importantly to me, is when you have 2 days to pay your electric bill, get a weeks worth of groceries, diapers, and you don't see a light at the end of the tunnel, and your car doesn't start and they just called you to say it is the transmission, there could be a last resort, and when you are down in that hole, that may be the hope you need! **Please read our disclosure statement!**


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