In a perfect world, your home would only require repairs after you received a bonus or a pay raise. Unfortunately, the world is imperfect and home repairs usually strike at the worst times. Studies have shown that the average American has less than $1,000 in an emergency fund and if faced with an unexpected bill of $400 or more would find themselves in a financial bind.Many homeowners have the foresight to set aside a savings account for those surprise repairs, but if you are hit with a bill you were not expecting you may find yourself in trouble. Included here are a few ways to afford a home repair bill in an unexpected circumstance.
Apply for a Loan
For many large unexpected home repairs, homeowners run to the bank for a loan. Unfortunately for those with poor credit or high debt, securing another loan can be unobtainable. In many areas there are nonprofits that work to supply loans to lower and middle class homeowners. You may not find funds for cosmetic repairs or new ovens, but you will be able to secure funds for repairs that are crucial to the structural integrity of your home.
While you may not want to go the intensive route of home refinancing, for those facing a substantial repair, it may be your only option. Getting your home refinanced into a 203(k) loan will allow you to include the home repair cost in your mortgage loan. These repairs must be necessary and improve the value of your home to qualify.
If you cannot find other means to pay off your home repairs, consider getting a payday loan. This is only effective if your emergency is a small bill that can be covered by a payday loan. The interest rates on payday loans can be astronomical, so this is only good as a last resort. Keep in mind that the interest rate will hurt your take home pay when the loan comes due, but if you are in a tight place, it can help.
Utilize the Internet
For people with internet access, making a small amount of cash quickly is not too difficult. With the ability to perform micro-tasks and freelance jobs online, you can have money in your account by the end of the day, which will help offset your unexpected costs.
Take a Temporary Job
With the advent of sites like Craigslist, individuals can find quick work that will pay within a day. You may be able to walk dogs, scoop poop, mow lawns or babysit and get paid that day. While it is unlikely to be enough money to cover all of your expenses, it can help you get started and perhaps have enough extra cash within a week to have your repairs completed.