Emergency Money Help for Low-Income Families
An emergency can happen at any time, regardless of whether you are prepared for it. Often, low-income families struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis, so a single unexpected expense can throw everything off. Luckily, help is available for many who need it, as long as you know where to look. Here are a few options that may be available to you during your hour of need.
Human or Social Services Offices
Every state has a human or social services office that provides support to families in need. There are usually local offices too. Whether you have low-income, are unemployed, or fall below the poverty line, a variety of services may be available.
These government offices work by connecting people with resources and programs that can provide assistance. Often, there are strict qualifications, though they may vary depending on your location and the exact service being acquired. While receiving cash might not be an option, they can assist you in other ways, such as with mortgage or housing costs or purchasing food. This means the money you would normally spend on those expenses can be redirected to other needs, allowing you to handle an emergency with greater ease.
Charities and Churches
Non-profit organizations like charities and churches can also provide assistance to low-income families. Many of these agencies can provide help with expenses, such as food and rent, and some may also provide cash to those facing certain emergencies.
For example, Modest Needs provides grants to families in need for a variety of reasons. You do have to fill out an application and must be currently employed, but those who qualify can receive funds without having to worry about paying anything back.
Like government programs, you may need to be eligibility requirements to receive any funds. Additionally, many of these operate on a first come, first serve basis, and their source of money may be limited. Learn about different churches that help here, along with charities and non-profits here.
Friends and Family
In some cases, the easiest way to get some emergency money is to ask friends and family for help. Often, these individuals have a vested interest in your well-being, so they may provide support if they are able.
If you do borrow cash from someone you know, make sure to spell out the specifics of the agreement. It’s important for both parties to understanding if the money is a loan or a gift and, if it’s a loan, what the repayment terms will need to be. You also want to take care when paying them back if the money is borrowed and not given. Otherwise, failing to meet the obligation could damage the relationship.
BONUS: Sell Unneeded Items
Sometimes, selling your unwanted household items can also help you weather an emergency. Whether you want to hold a garage sale, sell items on eBay or Craigslist, or find a local consignment store, you may be able to bring in a little cash while getting rid of things you no longer need. That means you won’t have to borrow money from the people in your life and you can obtain some extra money if you don’t qualify for assistance programs in your area.
In other instances, a small loan or cash advance may be appropriate especially if cash is needed immediately. If considering borrowing money, make sure you are well aware of the costs associated in doing so; you may put yourself in a worst position.