I Need Help Paying Bills - What Should I Do?

There are plenty of reasons to ask for help with paying bills. If you have missed paying the rent for a few months, you could get evicted. You may need help paying your utility bills before they get cut off.

Or maybe it is as simple as paying on time to maintain a good credit score. Here are some of the best ways to get help with paying your bills.

Government Assistance Programs and Services

There are several programs and services sponsored by the government that can help you pay your bills. Several programs are designed to help people stay in their homes and meet their most basic living necessities.

These programs are usually for people with low income and no other resources for help. But these programs are also available for people during emergency situations.

In most cases, this kind of financial help will not require repayment. There are programs that provide financial assistance for free (usually during emergencies). There are programs that offer loans and financial assistance with only a small percentage that needs to be repaid.

These programs are available all over the country, with a variety of services including national programs, state programs, and even some county programs.

Charities and Local Organizations

There are several local organizations and charities such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army that provide financial programs to help people pay rent and bills.

There are programs that offer assistance for anyone that needs help, while others require special qualifications, such as low-income families or people hit by natural disasters.

In most cases, these charitable organizations are funded by private investors or large corporations. Some charities ask for repayment, but they do not add any interest, and they encourage people to pay when they can.

For local charities, they may require you to pay back your community, by giving back in kind. This includes volunteer work or working with people that are also less fortunate.

Special Group Charities

Some financial help programs offer assistance with paying bills for special groups that need them. These programs cater specifically to a select group with special needs, including single parents, military families, working students, or youths under 18 years of age. These special programs usually provide financial assistance and they do not require any repayment.

These special programs have a lot of requirements, including proving that you are indeed part of the group that they cater to. This means signing a lot of forms and submitting a lot of certifications and documentation. But it is usually worth it in the end, to take advantage of free financial assistance.

Religious Groups

Religious groups are very much like local charities and organizations. Their programs are usually smaller, and they focus on the people that really need help in each specific community. There are also larger religious groups that have a wider scope and provide assistance to those in need. They usually cater to people that are in dire need of financial support.

The most common religious groups with these kinds of programs are Christian groups or Catholic groups, but there are also groups from other religious denominations that help out their community. Some of these groups serve people that do not follow the same faith.

Loans

Most people turn to banks when they need help paying bills. This is most commonly known as taking out a personal loan. These loans offer substantial financial help and you can usually borrow a lot more than what you need, especially if you have good standing with the bank, or if you have a good credit score.

The downside is that you will have to make payments on time or there will be fees and penalties. There is also a very good chance that these loans will have a high interest rate. Another downside to this kind of financial help is that it can take a long time to get approval for a loan. At which point the due date for your bills may have already passed.

Credit Cards

One of the best options for help with paying your bills is using a credit card. Credit cards are a convenient solution. Especially if your creditor accepts credit card payments. If you have bills from companies that don’t accept credit cards (for example: paying rent to your landlord), there are other ways to use your credit card.

You can do a cash advance and withdraw cash for the payment. Or you can use financial apps that accept credit cards and send a check to whoever you owe.

Much like loans, the downside is that there is usually a very high interest rate when you use your credit card. This is especially true with cash advances, because most cards have cash advance fees that can be quite substantial.

Do your research before you choose this option because each card and each bank have different cash advance fees.

Family and Friends

Some would say the first people you should turn to for help with paying your bills are your family or friends. But there are others who say that they should be your last resort when it comes to financial assistance. There are several advantages to asking your family and friends for help.

For one, there is usually no interest, and there are usually no deadlines. These people also care about you and they will be more willing to give you some leeway when it comes to repayment.

The downside is that you are placing your personal relationships at risk. Every person is different, and you can’t really predict how they will react in each situation. But when it comes to money and debts, it can be a very sensitive subject and reactions can be volatile.

If you are unable to make your payments on time, you risk damaging your relationship with a friend or family member.

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