Yes, you can get financial assistance from your place of work. A lot of large companies offer financial support systems available to their employees for when they need it most.
This support could involve an advance on your paycheck, or an interest-free, low-cost loan until you are financially sound again.
Financial assistance schemes are actually quite common, and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers are searching for ways to support their employees in light of the financial hardships caused by the pandemic.
- Many employers will be happy to financially assist you if you find yourself in a sticky situation.
- A cash advance may be attainable, whereby your employer, in essence, gives you an early paycheck.
- In exceptional circumstances, you may be entitled to employee relief funds.
- Many employers – such as Amazon – will financially assist employees who want to return to education.
Can I Get a Loan From my Employer?
You could speak to your employer about a cash advance, which is an advance on a future paycheck. A lot of large companies have this in place to help their employees, if needed.
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 also may not be able to use this every month.
Employee Relief Funds
Employers can also fund employee relief efforts by making a contribution to certain public charities that administer employee disaster programs on behalf of employers. In certain circumstances, but exceptional ones, this could be the right option for you.
Direct Payments To Employees
In extreme cases, under Section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code, employers may provide disaster relief payments directly to employees to cover reasonable and necessary expenses incurred as a result of a federally declared disaster.
The payments could include coverage for expenses such as childcare, home office costs, medical costs, or funeral expenses.
These payments will qualify under Section 139 only if the payments are for expenses that are not reimbursable by insurance or other assistance.
Are Financial Assistance Schemes Available Within Every Company?
Financial assistance schemes can be great if you are an employee at a large company or a company that has extra liquidity and strongly cares about the wellbeing of its employees, but bear in mind that they are not available at every company.
That was embodied by the Coronavirus pandemic which saw some, but not all, big US employers providing economic relief to employees. Companies such as Kroger and Walmart, offered bonuses and hourly wage increases, while many companies did not alter their payments.
Financial assistance schemes are designed to help loyal members of staff if they need extra money for such things as medical bills (for themselves or their loved ones), funeral costs and care or even a 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 often assistance available if you do need it.
What If I Want To Go Back To College?
Then there is a good chance your employer may offer you a financial step-up! In trying to nurture employees and their skills, many employers partake in tuition reimbursement programmes to help workers go back to school.
Participating employers include Target, Walmart and Amazon.
Make Sure To Plan Carefully For Repayment
If you are going to ask your employer for financial assistance, make sure that you know exactly how much you need and when you are going to pay it back. Whilst the advance is likely to be interest-free, you do not want to have debt hanging over your head at your place of work.
It is important to 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.
Alternatives To Borrowing From Your Employer
You could also 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 it is needed.
Overall, whilst not every employer is able to offer financial assistance, you will find that a lot of larger companies do have financial assistance programs in place for instances of employee hardship, even if they aren’t spoken about too much.