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Encountering an urgent and unexpected expense can be a frightening experience because it immediately causes you to divert your attention and funds away from other things that you had planned to spend your money on. If you have an infinite supply of money, then the occasional need for cash probably won’t mean much to you. If, on the other hand, you’re on a more typical budget that requires careful planning and financial management, then you need to know how to respond to sudden and steep expenses that could literally break your monthly budget and send you into debt.
It’s an unfortunate fact that the majority of the American population still lives from paycheck to paycheck. In a situation like that, you need an emergency relief valve that can take some pressure off you during the months that making ends meet becomes more difficult than expected. Flexible loans, also commonly called “flex loans,” provide thoroughly customizable repayment plans that can accommodate the financial needs of any individual.
In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the flex loan options that provide the highest odds of approval, fastest funding time frames, and lowest risk to your credit. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know exactly which loans to apply for, what you’ll need to be approved, and what you’ll need to do to have easy access to a variety of flex loans for the foreseeable future.
There are really only a handful of short-term borrowing options that are universally worth suggesting during times of desperation, simply because the more conventional routes might not be ideal for someone with poor credit.
If you want a one-size-fits-all solution that will work for anyone who has a job, a payday loan would be your best bet. Most payday lenders for bad credit offer flex loans with repayment periods that can be adjusted from 60 days to six months or longer, depending on the loan amount and how much you make per month.
The loan amounts are also adjustable and typically range from $50 to $5,000. After you’re approved, the lender will let you know the maximum loan amount that they’re willing to provide, and you can choose to go with that amount or take less.
You can also adjust the monthly repayment dates and for longer loan periods, you can even opt for quarterly payments instead. If you like, you can even make payments on your account weekly. Essentially, these loans make it extremely easy for anyone to revolve the repayments around their schedule and make adjustments as needed.
If you’re looking for larger loan amounts that can also help you rebuild credit, installment loans are another type of flex loan offered by many of the same alternative lenders who provide payday loans. However, for those loans, you might need decent credit and an extended income history.
As you’ve probably gathered from the information above, having proof of income is going to be vital in ensuring your expeditious approval, which is crucial when you’re facing an unexpected urgent expense. Keeping these records on standby and in good condition will ensure that you have everything needed to convince any payday or installment loan provider to approve your application on the spot.
In fact, many payday lenders are able to offer pre-approval before you even go through the process of filling out the full loan application. The lender can give you a solid ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer after completing their income and ID verification process, which can be handled on a same-day basis.
As long as you’re providing truthful and verifiable data on the form, the answer you receive during the pre-approval will stand and lead to an actual approval. If your income cannot be verified using the documents you provided, the lender may want to see bank statements, tax returns, or other documentation that can prove how much you earn.
Is budgeting really an art form? That might seem like an overstatement, but a well-designed budget and a bit of persistence can have your finances looking prettier than a picturesque painting. The reason why one could call budgeting an art is that there are so many ways to creatively allocate funds towards different expenses.
For example, there are techniques that involve using one credit card to pay off another and timing the repayments in such a way that all cards are repaid on time, thereby rebuilding and maintaining multiple card balances with the same set of funds each month while also taking care of routine expenditure like your phone or internet bill.
When you factor in rewards programs, cardholder discounts, budgeting software, the aforementioned “paying off one card with another” technique, and other advanced tactics, creative budgeting could definitely be considered an art form in its own right. At a bare minimum, everyone has to admit that there are entire degree-requiring professions that have been built around budgeting – accounting, financial management, business administration, etc.
Have you ever studied credit building tips and strategies? You’d be surprised at how quickly you can increase your credit score by as much as 50 to 100 points or more. The right credit rebuilding strategy can get your score above or close to 700 within a year or less. This might not be the most precious tip for you to encounter if you currently have poor credit, but it’s one that shouldn’t be overlooked because rebuilding your credit will ensure that you can look forward to practically guaranteed approval whenever you need to use flex loans to cover an unexpected expense in the future.
If you’re only able to gain approval for the smallest entry-level payday loans at the moment, that could very well be your gateway back onto the path towards having good credit. Although payday lenders typically don’t report to the credit bureaus, that can also be a benefit in the event of default and is something we’ll discuss more in the final section of this guide. Even so, by repaying your payday or installment loan, you could convince the same lender to extend a larger personal loan that could positively impact your credit.
It might seem counter-intuitive to take out a loan that won’t help you rebuild your credit when you’re in desperate need of credit rebuilding, but that’s actually the safest thing to do when the loan is going to be used to pay for an unexpected expense.
Loans that rebuild your credit can also further damage it if defaulted on. Payday loans and some types of installment loans will not impact your credit at all and are, therefore, ideal when you need fast cash without the risk of sending your credit into the 400 club.
In addition to choosing a lender that doesn’t report to the credit bureaus, it’s also wise to confirm that they won’t be performing a hard inquiry on your credit. This kind of credit check will show up as an item on your credit report and could deter future lenders from approving you. In general, it’s best to avoid any service that relies on credit checks or involves credit reporting in any way, if possible.
Perhaps the best part about using flex loans to take care of unexpected expenses is that even with the flexible repayment schedules, there’s still a high degree of predictability because the interest rates are often fixed instead of variable.
This means that you can look forward to paying the exact same amount on each repayment date and you’ll have the flexibility to move the date around a bit each month if needed. However, if you need to postpone a payment, it’s always wise to call the lender and let them know in advance to reschedule the payment and avoid incurring an automatic late fee.
Long-term loans can be appealing to someone who has decent credit because they can provide larger same day loan amounts and smaller monthly repayment amounts. The interest rates can also be lower, but the catch is that the interest rates are often variable, which means they can rise or fall over time with little or no notice.
The real kicker that makes long term loans a bad decision for someone who just needs to pay an unexpected expense is the extended financial commitment that they come with. You’ll be occupying your credit with a loan that could potentially prevent you from getting a mortgage or auto loan, especially if you’re late on your payments a few times or wind up defaulting.
Since a short term loan only requires you to predict the next few months of financial stability, it’s safer to lean on that kind of funding rather than borrowing a large amount and then being stuck with a reduced income for years on end. If you do opt for a long term loan, it’s best to be sure that you’re eligible for approval because many of those loans will require a hard inquiry on your credit and proof that you’ve been gainfully employed for a long time.