When faced with an emergency bill, it’s easy to become frustrated because you don’t know what to do. Unless you have a significant amount of cash saved up, you need to find a way to handle the unplanned expense as quickly as possible.
You, like most people, may not be prepared when something unplanned happens. An unexpected bill can be a result of different things: You may need to pay hospital bills because of a sudden illness. You may have missed your loan payments because of a monthly budget deficit from lost wages. You may have forgotten to settle your child’s tuition fee, and exams are coming up.
When you get an unexpected bill, it can seem impossible to pay it off quickly because you are unsure what to do. However, the first thing that you need to do is to stay calm and assess your situation. There are options that you can consider to get rid of an unplanned bill in the best way possible.
How To Pay For An Unexpected Bill
The last thing you want to do when you are facing an unplanned bill is to panic. Instead, you should focus on taking steps to solve your situation before it becomes worse. Here are several options to pay for expenses that come up unexpectedly:
Assess Your Financial Situation
Most people will immediately turn to their credit cards to pay for a bill that’s nearing the due date. Using your credit card is not the best option unless the bill is actually worth paying, and you can pay back what you owe before it accumulates too much interest. If you have time to spare before the bill’s due date, find out whether you have enough money saved up to handle the expense. Think of any other possible sources of funds you could possibly find when faced with emergency bills.
It’s also a good idea to talk to the person or company involved to see if a payment arrangement is possible. The creditor may grant you a flexible payment scheme that will be easier to repay if you show your sincere intent to do so.
Borrow From Family Or Friends
Unfortunately, not all efforts to reach an amicable payment settlement succeed. When you need to source funds, you can reach out to your trusted friends or relatives for some money. Borrowing money from family and friends is not a right, but a privilege. It means you have to pay back what you owe as agreed upon. While asking for a relative or friend for a loan can be easier than taking out a loan from an institution, your relationship can suffer if you fail to repay your debt on time.
Obtain An Online Loan
Another option to pay for unforeseen expenses is to take out a loan. Keep in mind that there are various types of loan products available in the market. You can apply for a loan from a traditional loan provider or a direct lender that operates online. It’s a must to meet the loan provider’s eligibility requirements which, at the minimum, would be: at least 18 years old, have a valid checking account, and have a job with a regular salary.
Your credit rating is another factor that lenders will look into when assessing your application. People with bad credit or those who have a history of bankruptcy will have difficulty getting a loan from a traditional lending institution. If you believe your credit report is erroneous, you should review your credit report. It can help you identify any mistakes that might be on your report and help you take action to correct them as soon as possible. The next step is to dispute the information in your credit report with the credit bureaus as well as credit reporting agencies such as Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. Ensure that you have copies of all of your documents to support your claims.
The next step is to determine what type of loan will help you pay for your bill. Personal loans from online lenders are the easiest to obtain because the requirements are easier to meet than that of mainstream lenders. Online lenders also process loan requests more quickly than banks because your credit score is not the focus, but your capability to repay the loan amount. Borrowing what you actually need helps prevent you from accumulating too much debt, but you may have a deeper financial issue to resolve if you keep on borrowing money regularly.
Charge To Credit Card
If you face an emergency like a car breakdown or a situation that requires immediate medical attention, having a source of funds can be very handy. A credit card is a convenient way to access funds for any need.
Many people pay for their unexpected expenses with credit cards because the credit is readily available. However, if you’re unable to pay for your credit card charges, the interest rates will be very high, which can put a lot of strain on your finances. As a result, many people decide to get out of debt by getting another credit card or a personal loan. Credit card debt can be challenging to handle, so you should be careful about relying too much on plastic money.
Request For A Salary Advance
If you’re employed, you may want to consider asking for an advance of your salary from the company. Some companies offer their employees emergency loans that they can use for important and sudden expenses. Explain to your manager or boss why you need to take out a salary loan or advance to increase the chances of approval. If you’re granted the salary advance, you should find ways to make up for the deductions in your wages to avoid disrupting your monthly budget. You could also consider reassessing your current spending to remove expenses that aren’t necessary.
Review Your Insurance Policies
When it comes to paying for unexpected expenses, you can also consider looking for a good insurance plan that will pay you back the unexpected expenses incurred by your car, home, or other assets. Insurance policies help relieve the burden of debt and make you financially secure as these policies have provisions that you can use to recover expenses incurred during times of emergency. Thus, before taking out a loan or charging your bills to your credit card, review your insurance policies.
Some insurance policies also offer other benefits, such as protection against theft and damage to properties, and they can pay for the cost of more expensive repairs. This type of insurance is ideal for those who do not want to bear the cost of replacing expensive items like computers, furniture, damaged vehicles, or homes damaged by accidents or calamities.
What To Remember About Paying Off An Unexpected Bill
- Reduce your expenses: Take time to review all of your financial documents. It may seem overwhelming, but you must take time to go through your credit card bills, loan statements, and other payables. It would be best if you strive hard to immediately pay off what you owe because it will hurt your credit score and further drag you into debt.
- Keep your word: When borrowing from friends or relatives, you should do your best to pay off what you owe based on the agreed-upon terms. Reneging on promises or commitments can turn your relationship sour.
- Choose your lender wisely: Your choice of loan provider depends on your needs and qualifications. Online lenders accommodate borrowers with various financial situations, including those with bad credit. However, be wary of credit providers that offer too-good-to-be-true rates because predatory lenders are looking for desperate loan applicants.
- Use credit cards for emergency bills: Instead of using cash, get a credit card so that you can make purchases and pay for the unexpected expense as soon as possible. Ensure you keep your balance low or use a debit card so that you won’t incur a penalty for charging off an item that is already past due. Using cash will help you maintain a good credit score and stay out of debt as well, and having extra cash in the bank helps with paying for the unexpected expense.
- Be Prepared: Anyone can encounter financial hardships during these difficult times. It’s crucial to prepare yourself for these challenges ahead of time. Facing an unexpected bill is a difficult situation, but you can resolve it immediately when you know your options.
Paying for unexpected expenses can mean that you will have to cut back on other things. Reassess your budget to see if you can make any adjustments. It will allow you to eliminate unnecessary spending on things that you may not need.
Make it a goal to create an emergency fund to use for unplanned bills. You have to figure out how much money you will need to pay off any emergency bills you may have. Unexpected situations and unplanned bills can happen at any time. It’s important to have something saved up to pay for these costs, so you’re not caught off guard. Financial stability is one thing that many people work hard for. You can achieve it, too, by being smart and conscientious about your spending.