Question: I need financial help immediately. I just got a divorce and had a bankruptcy 2 years ago. As a single mom, what can I do?
A tight spot can make us need some money quick, but where can we turn for that extra cash now? The good news is that we’ve written about this before.
It involves finding local jobs that pay in cash, asking family or friends for help, and any other little way you could make a few extra bucks.
Here are links to many articles that discuss finding financial help for families.
But don’t stop reading this article yet; we’ll look at a few more ideas if you need financial help fast.
Visit local charities
Local churches and religious organizations, civic clubs and charitable institutions can be a great source for help when you’re down and barely struggling to make ends meet.
They may find ways to help you pay for your overdue housing rentals or monthly mortgage payment, debts, medical and dental care, healthcare expenditures, food, and other financial obligations and temporary support for basic needs.
If you’re a low income family dealing with some unexpected disaster, calamity, or unemployment, you might also be eligible to get free food from your local food pantry.
These organizations are often involved in specialized activities, like helping families of incapacitated union workers, reaching out to families of children stricken with AIDS, or families and members of the police force or fire fighters. See if you meet their intended beneficiaries. Many of these organizations offer financial help which includes:
- Medical bills and medication assistance
- Mortgage and foreclosure help
- Electric and energy bill grant
- Weatherization assistance
- Tax assistance
Organizations that help needy families
Need help in paying food, rent, housing, education, and other basic needs? Consider one of the many charity organizations that help low income families.
You most probably have a local branch of the Salvation Army, the International Red Cross, Catholic Charities, Crisis Assistance Ministry, and other national and international charities in your area.
Visit their local office or check out their website first to see if they have programs that will be applicable to you.
Become a member of a credit union
If you are already a member of a credit union and you have a good track record, obtaining a loan from them will actually take a shorter period of time than it would be if you transacted with banks.
However, if you’re not yet a member and you often get into tight financial fixes, it might be a good idea to become a member of a credit union.
You will be required to put in a capital, and this allows you to have a quick source of small short-term loans.
With credit unions, you are considered part-owner, have the privilege of availing the many services offered and lower interest rates, and the opportunity to gain from annual dividends.
It’s a good option for those with insufficient or poor credit scores, but you have to establish a good paying reputation with them in the long term.
Credit unions have savings and credit facilities, much the same with banks, but largely designed to provide financial assistance for low-income single moms and families.
Nurture good relations and establish a trustworthy track record with these credit unions, and you will have a financial resource for your usual needs, unforeseen disasters, disability.
Government assistance for needy families
Benefits.gov is a useful resource where you can search for potential financial assistance in various forms. Now, keep in mind that you won’t get financial help immediately; remember, this is the government.
But that site does help identify which financial assistance, grants, loans, and other benefits from the government are available, how and where to apply, and determine your eligibility if you are needy.
Take careful note that while grants don’t require repayments, loans, which often come with interest, must be repaid over a pre-agreed term or period.
The office of the Department of Human Resources nearest your area can also be a good source to learn about which immediate financial assistance from government may be available for taking. Visit your county or city human services for more information regarding their program.
Federal grants are usually conferred to states, cities, researchers, counties, and non-governmental organizations. So, there are only a few and limited grants available to individuals – occasionally called ‘personal grants’.
You can find financial loans from the government through GovLoans.gov, which includes business and education loans with interest and are to be repaid.
Most of the different forms of assistance from federal and state government are targeted for special sectors or specific category.
The common categories are: veterans, persons with disabilities, seniors or the elderlies, homeless, single parents, victims of disasters and calamities, those living below the poverty level, unemployed, medically needing support, in transition from public assistance to self-reliance, and many other conditions.
The government responds with small business assistance, housing programs, home loans, mortgage assistance, rental support, weatherization assistance, health and nutrition program, food stamps, school lunch, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, health insurance, unemployment insurance, training and employment, farm loans, student loans.
If you qualify under any of these conditions, sectors or categories, you will likely find a program that answers your particular need.
Write to Oprah Winfrey for help?
Many celebrities like good public relations and are philanthropists, but when I was looking at the Ask Oprah Page, it seems that her show is offering “get your life back together” help, not financial assistance for people in need.
When all else fails: Payday loans?
Payday loans are not a good solution. They are a quick short-term solution to an immediate need but are difficult to pay off — especially if you need financial help quick every week.
The interests rates are prohibitive, and they often bring you to the same bottleneck, or a tighter one, a month or so ago later.
For example: You might end up in a payday loan cycle — getting a payday loan to pay off last week’s payday loan. Not good. You may have a hard time getting out of that.
Think outside the box before doing something you’ll regret.
I hope this article provides some insight for you if you are saying, I need financial help immediately.