Statistically, we’re all likely to face at least one unexpected expense per year. Domestic emergencies definitely fall into that category and, depending on the incident, can be very costly. Whether you have burst pipes, a break-in, a car breakdown or the boiler finally gives up the ghost, the amounts of money involved can be very intimidating. So, what do you do if you need to cover the cost of a shortfall created by an emergency like this?
You might be saving for a trip around the world but, if a domestic emergency arises, that’s the first place to turn for funding. Most money saving experts estimate that around 20% of monthly income should be put into a savings account. This will help you move towards life goals and also provide some buffer if things go wrong. However, statistics tell us that 16 million people in the UK don’t have savings of more than £100. So, if you haven’t yet managed to start putting the cash aside, you’re not alone.
Depending on the type of credit card that you have, the interest and limits, this could be a good option to cover a short-term emergency. If you don’t already have a credit card then it may be worth applying for one, particularly if you’re able to use the credit interest-free. It’s important to make sure that you can repay what you borrow. Credit card interest can be high when an interest-free period comes to an end. So, ensure that if you’re going to use a credit card for a domestic emergency, you have a plan for clearing more than just the monthly interest.
Payday loans are a type of short-term finance that are ideal when it comes to funding for a domestic emergency. They offer a short-term cash injection that you repay at the end of the month on payday. There are many advantages to using payday loans to cover the cost of a domestic emergency. For example, payday loans are quick to apply for and the money is often made available in a very short space of time – perhaps even 24 hours. You don’t necessarily need to have a perfect credit score to apply for payday loans, as long as you’re able to afford the repayments. The only real downside of payday loans is that there are upper limits on what you can borrow – usually several hundred pounds.
Personal loans have the advantage of a longer repayment term. So, if you need to borrow to fund a domestic emergency but you can’t afford to repay within a month, a personal loan gives you more time. It’s usually possible to borrow a slightly larger amount with a personal loan than a payday loan. Plus, you can choose a more extended repayment period if that works better for you. Some personal loans can take slightly longer to arrange. However, if you apply for a personal loan online this could be as quick as payday loans.
Friends and family
If you know that you can repay anything you borrow fairly quickly, it’s always worth asking friends and family to help you out. You may find that someone has a solution to your problem that costs less. Or relatives might be willing to lend at more favourable rates than any commercial lender would. It’s worth bearing in mind with friends and family that borrowing money can cause issues if not done respectfully. Make sure you repay the cash on time and don’t spend it on something else instead of making the repayment just because it’s family.
Bad credit loan options
If you don’t have savings, friends and family aren’t an option, and your credit isn’t great you still have options. Guarantor loans, for example, could provide a quick and simple way to get hold of the funding you need for a domestic emergency. These loans work with a guarantor – someone you know and trust – essentially acting as your back up for the lender. So, if you are not able to repay a loan yourself, the lender can ask the guarantor to do it. Where friends and family cannot give cash they may still be willing to be a guarantor. If you have a guarantor you’ll find a lender much more willing to offer you the money, which is why guarantor loans are often available even to those without perfect credit.
Alex Hartley is a keen advocate of improving personal finance skills. She's worked at Solution Loans since 2014 and written hundreds of articles about how people can manage their money better. Her interest in personal finance goes way back to...Read more about Alex Hartley