Yes, some large organisations and companies have financial assistance programs in place that can offer emergency money when you need it most. This may involve an advance on your upcoming pay, or a low cost or interest-free loans to help you through a difficult time.
Financial assistance programs are quite common, even if they are not spoken about very much, but they are designed to help loyal members of staff if they need extra money for:
- Medical bills (for themselves or their loved ones)
- Funeral costs and care
- Loss of home or accommodation due to unexpected circumstances
You may find that the repayments are taken out of your next pay cheque or drip fed out of multiple pay cheques in the future. But either way, it is good to know that there is assistance available if you need it.
Ask About a Cash Advance
You can speak to your employer about a cash advance and a lot of large organisations have this in place to help their employees. This may include an interest-free loan with your full monthly salary 30 days in advance. However there may be strict terms surrounding this such as when this must be paid back or whether it gets taken out of future wages. You may not be able to use this every month, but a lot of large corporations have this facility in place to assist their employees.
Speak to Your Union Representative or Chamber of Commerce
In the US, you are likely to be represented by a union if you are employed by someone. You can speak to your union representation who should be able to give you a list of options if you need financial assistance.
Typically, there are financial schemes in place or ways that unions are designed to help, without it being awkward and difficult to approach your employer.
Working with a trade union rep gives you credibility and can make the process smoother, rather than asking your company and being rejected.
There are also specific Employee Assistance Funds, also known as Employee Relief Funds or Employee Crisis Funds which are designed to help employees who are facing financial stress and hardships. This can be made available through America’s Charities or the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
In Fact, It Could Be Easier With Small Firms
With some small businesses, it can be a lot easier to approach the boss or manager and ask for a raise or financial assistance. This is very common with family-run businesses or tight-knit teams, especially if you have worked together for many years and there is a good level of trust.
You need to approach the situation delicately. It could be worth arranging a meeting with your manager or boss and explaining the situation i.e how much money you need and how long for.
If you have a genuine emergency or have expensive medical bills, it is unlikely that your boss is going to say no. But you want to be very clear that you are going to pay back and when – and you can always offer to take on more responsibility at work if it helps to seal the deal.
If you are going down the financial assistance program route, just make sure that you know exactly how much you need and when you are going to pay it back. If coming from your employer, it is likely to be interest-free, but you do not want to have debt hanging over your head at your place of work.
You should consider how you are going to repay it, even if it comes out of your wages and you probably want to avoid having to re-borrow and rely on this source of finance.
Consider other alternatives such as borrowing from family and friends or selling items around the house that you do not use. Whether it is clothes, board games or bits of furniture, you would be surprised how quickly you could come up with a few hundred dollars if you needed it.
But overall, there should be a financial assistance program available for you from work, but you want to only use this if you really need to.