Immediate Steps To Take When You Need Help Paying BillsWhat would you do if a $1,000 expense that you weren’t anticipating suddenly arose? For instance, your dog tears their ACL playing fetch and needs surgery right away, or your kid’s permanent tooth gets knocked out in dodgeball and they need cosmetic treatment, or your formerly reliable car now needs a thousand dollar repair – how would you manage the unexpected bill? Many people need help paying bills especially when they are unexpected.

According to a poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in May 2016, 66% of Americans would struggle to pay for a surprise $1,000 bill. Even more shocking was that 38% of families making $100,000 or more per year (the wealthiest 20% in America) reported that, they too, would have difficulty finding a spare $1,000 for an unexpected expense.

Steps To Take When You Need Help Paying Bills

If you don’t currently have an emergency fund and you’re a part of the two-thirds of Americans who would see an unforeseen $1,000 bill as a crisis instead of a mere inconvenience, there are several steps you can take to tackle the problem without racking up a ridiculous amount of debt:

Keep Calm and Negotiate Your Options

First things first: negotiate with your creditors. Call them up (email or website forms may take too long if you have a looming payment due date) and find out if the person, company, or organization that you owe money to is willing to negotiate the amount they billed you. If you feel you were unfairly overcharged for something, you can bring this up as a key argument but be sure to gather evidence before you make your pitch.

If they weren’t willing to reduce the amount you owe after a series of negotiation attempts (you may have to contact more than one customer service representative to see if you can get farther with someone else), then your next step would be to ask if they’ll give you an extension on the payment deadline.

For example, the IRS offers some extensions and alternative payment options for tax bills that would cause “undue hardship;” you just have to fill out Form 1127 to see if you qualify. Credit card companies and other creditors may offer similar extensions depending on your circumstances, so it doesn’t hurt to ask!

66% of Americans would struggle to pay for a surprise $1,000 bill. Click To Tweet

Temporarily Slash Your Spending

While you’re in the negotiating phase of dealing with your $1,000+ bill, you can also slash your spending to save money for when the bill is inevitably due. You can’t simply cancel all your subscriptions and eat ramen in the dark without air conditioning for a few months, but you can take reasonable steps to curtail your spending for a while until you pay off the bill.
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5 Extra Sources of Income for Poor College StudentsAs a college student, you’ve probably gotten used to the lifestyle of ramen noodles for dinner every night and making your laundry last as long as possible before washing it. Devoting your time to your studies can have a terrible effect on your wallet.

If you want to make a little extra money for more convenience and comfort, there are a few ways to get a little bit of cash without sacrificing your studies. Here are simple ways you can make some extra sources of income while in college.

5 Extra Sources of Income for College Students

1. Sell Your Stuff

One of the easiest ways you can make a few bucks here and there is to start selling the things you don’t use anymore. If you live in a dorm room, space is at a premium. Keep things comfortable in your room by getting rid of the excess.

When you upgrade your electronics, swap out the old for cash. Go through your old bedroom back at home, and find old toys or comic books that you could put on an online auction site. Join an online flea market group and sell your old clothes that are out of style.

2. Do Heavy Lifting

Making some extra dollars here and there is also possible if you do some heavy lifting every once in a while. If you have a strong back and a few hours of free time, try looking for ads online for people who need moving help.

Chances are there are tons of people on any given day looking to pay you for your help in moving their furniture or boxes. You don’t have to commit to a work schedule, and you can get paid in cash right away.
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