You never know when you’ll find yourself in a financial emergency. The truth is nobody can predict the future. Everything in your life may seem relatively stable when all of a sudden, you run into an unexpected emergency that turns your fragile budget upside down. If this happens and you’re not prepared with an emergency fund at the ready, you may need financial assistance to help you out. With all the uncertainty in life, it’s important to know how and where you can get help if you ever need emergency financial assistance.
1. See if You are Eligible for a Government Program Based on Your Emergency Financial Needs
Did you know the US government has several programs designed to help people who need financial emergency assistance? If you want to know more about these programs, you should educate yourself on how this assistance works.
The government offers financial help for affordable rental housing, financial aid for students, food, and unemployment. Typically, to be eligible for government financial assistance, you’ll have to contact and apply with the correct agency that manages each specific program. Once you do this, they’ll analyze your application and identify if you qualify for any benefits. Benefits.gov can be a valuable tool to help you determine which benefits you may qualify for. After filling out a small questionnaire, you can quickly find out whether or not you qualify for governmental financial aid.
2. Apply for a Personal Installment Loan
A personal installment loan is a short-term small-dollar loan which you generally pay off over the course of several months. These loans, sometimes known as a cash advance, are commonly designed for people who need money quickly for an unexpected emergency, like a flat tire preventing you from getting to work, or an unexpected medical expense. In order to qualify for an installment loan, you’ll need to meet certain requirements, which may include things like:
- Being of legal age to contract the loan.
- Having an active bank account.
- Having a regular source of income.
An installment loan might be a way to help you deal with an unexpected financial emergency, however, you need to be cautious. It’s important to make sure that the lender you’re borrowing from is a licensed lender, and to make sure that you have the ability to pay back your loan on time.
3. Research Specific Emergency Financial Assistance Funds
Other than the government benefits and the short-term loan we described above, you may also be able to find emergency financial assistance funds. If you have problems paying your rent, your mortgage, or medical bills, and you don’t qualify for any government programs, you can explore different options available through nonprofit funds. Do some research on programs like 2-1-1, Modest Needs, Volunteers of America, Community Action Partnership or The National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics and find help for medical costs, assistance with housing issues, or even utilities.
How to Prepare for your Next Emergency
One of the best things you can do to help prevent some of the financial strain you might face when you run into an unexpected emergency in the future is to start an emergency fund. This way you can contribute to a fund that’s intended for just this scenario.
An emergency fund is exactly what it sounds like; it’s money you set aside in case of an emergency. If you can manage to make regular contributions towards your emergency fund into your budget, you’ll have a little nest egg set aside to help you tackle any unforeseen expenses that you can’t ignore. Even if this money doesn’t cover the entire cost of your emergency, it may at least help to mitigate some of the damage to your bank account.
Explore Your Emergency Financial Options with MoneyKey
MoneyKey, a licensed lender and credit services provider, has provided loans to people who have found themselves in financial distress. Knowing your options in an emergency, may help you make the best choice for you. Learn about Installment Loans and Lines of Credit offered through MoneyKey.