Expert Advice: Crystal Rau

An OppLoans eBook

Expert Advice: Crystal Rau

Crystal Rau, CFP®, MBA, Beyond Balanced Financial Planning LLC

“If someone finds themselves in a desperate financial situation, avoid payday loans at all costs! To preface this, I would define desperate as needing to cover food, utilities, shelter, or medication. Things like dining out, entertainment, or transportation because you have more car than you can afford is not an emergency. In the case of an actual emergency, reach out to your family or friends. This option can get you out of a bind quickly, and ensure you don’t damage the relationship by being diligent about repaying the loan. You never know when you may need their help again.

Go back to the basics with a budget. If you find your expenses are consistently outpacing your income, you have two choices. Either increase your income or decrease your expenses. You are the most important person in your life. That may sound sort of selfish but without you, who will take care of your family and you certainly don’t want to have to depend on your kids to take care of you when you’re older. Don’t be afraid to ask for a raise! If a raise is just not in the stars, ask your employer if there is any available overtime.

Find a side hustle. Got a garage full of junk that you can sell? Are you the best baker on the block? Perhaps you have the gift of photography! Whatever it may be, it goes back to increasing your income. A side hustle may start small but it can grow into something big and increasingly grow your income.

And finally, don’t forget your local credit unions. Credit unions may offer personal loans at a much lower interest rate than a payday loan company ever would. The only problem is you must have some credit history to your name. If you’re in a position where you have no credit history or you have damaged your credit in the past, start building your credit up. You can do this by taking out a secured credit card from your local bank. You do this by depositing a certain amount in a holding account with the bank and they will issue you a credit card on the amount you deposited on hold with them. By using the secured credit card, it will begin to grow your credit score allowing you to borrow on more favorable terms in the future.”

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