If you have enough money in the bank, an unexpected financial setback is frustrating and inconvenient, but it’s manageable. However, if you’re living from paycheck-to-paycheck, with no money set aside for an emergency expense, then figuring out what do you do if your car breaks down unexpectedly can pose a real dilemma, especially if you need it to get to work.
Suddenly, you have to figure out in a hurry to keep your job so that you can continue to earn, set some money aside, and take care of the problem.
The first step toward solving your problem is understanding the extent of it. How much will it cost you to get your car back on the road? This will give you an idea of how much money you might be able to borrow or raise to get it repaired.
And the second thing you might want to do is to inform your employer about your situation instead of just calling in sick. This will be helpful if you need to take a few days off to get your car fixed.
So if you don’t have the money to get your car fixed immediately, here are some options:
The Fast Way to Raise Money
- Get a payday loan alternative.
Research installment loans online. Find a lender that can let you take out a personal cash loan, ideally one who can give you a loan of at least a $1,000 which you can pay in installments. With the cost of car repairs, you may not be able to pay the bill for a few hundred dollars. Good lenders often have minimal eligibility requirements like a recent pay stub or some other means of verifying your employment, an active checking account, and a social security number. Unlike a traditional bank loan, funding is often done quickly, and many will offer flexible repayment plans based on your income and basic living expenses.
- Borrow from family or friends.
It can be embarrassing asking family or friends for money, but it might be necessary if you aren’t able to raise the money you need to get your car fixed in time in some other way. If you do manage to borrow money, be sure to pay them back as soon as possible; this will help resolve any strain in the relationship, especially if the person you’re borrowing money from will be inconvenienced. If the cost of your car repair is too high to raise money from a single individual, another option is to borrow small amounts from a large number of people.
- Sell something at an online auction site.
If you have an asset that you can liquidate at an online auction, this might be a way to fast way to raise the money you need. Usually, buyers on auction sites are looking for collectibles that are selling below market price.
The Slow Way to Raise Money
If the fast way to raise money doesn’t work, then you may have to raise money over a longer period of time over a few weeks.
If you’re forced to raise money the slow way, then you may have to use public transport to still get to work or arrange to have someone give you a ride. This way you’ll still be able to keep your cash flow going.
- Get a side-hustle.
Find a side-hustle that can help you to earn extra income during your time off from work. There are many websites where you can pick up side jobs. You might also be able to find part-time jobs by looking through the classified pages of your local newspaper.
- Save money from your paycheck.
Assuming the worst—everything you’ve tried didn’t work out for one reason or another—then your choice of last resort is to skimp and save from your paycheck until you have the money you need to resolve your problem.
Dealing with a situation like your car breaking down when you need to get to work is indeed nerve-wracking. Consequently, it’s difficult to avoid panicking when things fall apart in such a dramatic way. However, you need a cool, calm, and collected attitude to help you manage to work your way out of the mess. Panicking or slipping into a depression will lower your will-power, which, in turn, will make all your efforts at resolving your situation half-hearted and ineffectual.