Image courtesy of Jake Rustenhoven

If you have a sudden financial emergency then it can be easy to panic and make poor decisions. If we get emotional then it can mean that things that we decide to do are not thought through as well and it is very hard not to panic, be upset, stressed, angry or even all of these if you get into a financial problem. This could be an unpaid bill, sudden demand for money, broken items that need replacing, or simply running out of money before payday.

Many people might think that a loan, such as a short term loan or even going to a loan shark is their only option. However, there are many options and it is worth stepping back and analysing the problem, if you can speaking to a free debt counsellor or a friend or family member to try to find an alternative way to get out of the situation.

If the problem is a bill, then you may be able to negotiate. Always phone the company, explain your situation and see if they can help. If there is not long until you get paid, they may let you delay or if you have some money, they may allow you to pay an instalment and give them the rest at a later date. It is always worth asking as many companies do have systems in place to help those that may struggle to pay. If you need to buy something, then consider whether you can do without it until you get paid. See whether there is interest free credit available for it or if you can find a second hand item which will save you money. You may even be able to borrow from someone until you can afford a replacement.

If you simply have no money, then check to make sure that there is nothing you can do to get a bit more. You may be able to earn some online fairly quickly by doing some freelance work, selling things or other ways. There are lots of hints online on how to do this and if you pick up small jobs you can often be paid the same day for the work that you have done. You may be able to sell things on social media groups locally and have someone come round and pay cash.

Borrowing money should always be a last resort, but if it your only choice then make sure that you look at all of your options before you do anything. Loans vary a lot in price and you need to look at all of the costs, including the interest rates, fees and charges and add them up. Consider, as well as the charges, which will be best for you with regards to the repayment amounts and process, the time it takes to arrange the loan, the length of the loan and how well you will be able to manage the repayments. It is not a decision that you should make quickly, without research as it could have a huge impact on your financial future.