Wednesday, 29 July 2015
Guest Post by Gingerbread: Getting Financial Help In An Emergency
I've heard so many awful stories about people who have taken out payday loans in a desperate bid to pay bills and keep a roof over their children's heads, so when Kathyrn Excell at the rather brilliant single parent charity Gingerbread offered to write some money tips for us, I jumped at the chance to feature it!
Getting Financial Help in an Emergency:
“I work full time at minimum wage and have to work 60+ [hours] a week to cover rent, bills and food”.
“I’m always playing catch up”.
“There’s no respite from watching every penny”.
These are the words of some of the single parents that we’ve spoken to at Gingerbread, the single parent charity. Our research found that nearly early eight out of ten single parents find managing their financial commitments is always difficult at best – and at worst, often means falling behind on rent or bills .
We know that single parents work incredibly hard to provide for their children, carefully monitoring their outgoings and planning for anticipated costs such as birthdays or Christmas. But when there’s an unexpected change to your finances, keeping on top of things can become challenging.
It can then be very tempting to take out a payday loan, or other short term loan, to cover the shortfall. However, these types of loans can often make things worse. Payday loan debt can quickly spiral as the interest payments are very high, meaning that if you don’t pay it back on time, it could end up costing you a lot more than expected.
Fortunately, payday loans are not the only way to get financial help in an emergency. In our new video below, Gingerbread Adviser Yvonne talks through some of the other options available such as budgeting loans, hardship payments, short term benefit advances, and even grants. She explains how you can get support with your rent payments, or help with utility bills. The video also looks at getting help with one-off payments for furniture or clothing for example, explaining how you could access interest-free loans or a grant.
The two most important things to remember are: the help is out there and you are not alone. If you’re worried about managing your finances, or know someone who is, please watch and share the video.
You can find more advice on our website, by calling our helpline, or by speaking to other single parents by joiningGingerbread as a member (it’s free).