15 Best Online Tools That Offer Emergency Financial AssistanceFree Stuff
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You never know when you’ll face a crisis that’ll leave you needing emergency financial assistance.
That’s the thing, if you already know something is going to happen that’ll make things difficult financially, then it’s not really an emergency. Since no one can expect or predict something goes south, it’s always a great idea to plan ahead just in case. If disaster strikes then you’ll be prepared, if it doesn’t then you haven’t lost anything. You know what they say: better safe than sorry.
There are plenty of emergency financial assistance tools available and we’re here to talk about the most prominent and reliable ones. The list includes tools that can provide you and your family with shelter, food, advice, refunds, and more.
1. Need Emergency Financial Assistance? Take Your Own Money Back with Cushion
No one has the time, money, or energy to fight a bank for his or her own rights. Banks charge their customers credit card and ATM fees as well as fees for not even having enough money in your account. It’s absurd.
People who go after their banks for their rights often get hundreds of dollars returned to them. Nonetheless, no one is going to leave their day job to go into a dispute with their bank.
Cushion does this for you.
Use Cushion to ask for help winning your dispute with the bank and you’re very likely to get some of your money back. If you’re trying to find out how to get online financial assistance, you can stop looking. Cushion will at most receive 25% of the money you get back from the bank. It could be less than 25% but never more.
2. Tax Deductions with Hurdlr
We spend a lot on gas and don’t get enough tax deductions for it. Those who drive long distances to work are particularly affected by this.
Hurdlr offers free financial assistance by tracking how much you drive through GPS and getting you a 54 cent deduction per mile.
Perhaps this isn’t the fastest method to get emergency financial help, but if your financial predicament is going to last a while then you might as well save money by getting tax cuts. Apart from the automatic GPS tracking, you can also enter drives manually.
The app is free to use and is a great way to save money. Take care though because leaving GPS turned on constantly can drain your battery.
Try it for a few weeks if you drive long commutes to and from work. If you’re saving a substantial amount of money then keep using it.
3. Eliminate the Unnecessary with Trim
The last thing you need when money is tight is for companies whose services you don’t even use taking money from your bank account. One form of online financial assistance is to cancel all unnecessary subscriptions.
Trim does this for you with ease.
Not only that, but Trim can negotiate better cable and internet deals for you with most of the available service providers like Comcast and Time Warner. You’d be surprised how much money you’ll save per month just by getting better deals on services you need and canceling the ones you don’t.
4. Social Security Administration
Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income are two incredible services that disabled or elderly people can use. The Social Security Administration provides them as a method of giving financial help for families in need.
The difference between the Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income is how long you’ve worked.
In order to qualify for the Social Security Disability Insurance you will need to have worked long enough to have built “work credit” with the Social Security Administration.
The Supplemental Security Income service on the other hand is available for the elderly and the disabled without prior work history.
5. Find Meals on Wheels Providers
Financial crises don’t come equally. For one family the crisis could mean having to cut back on anything that’s not absolutely essential while for another family it could mean not being able to buy and prepare food.
Meals on Wheels is a wonderful service that can provide food for those who can’t afford it.
There are over 5,000 Meals on Wheels programs all over the country. You can use the service’s website to determine where the nearest one is.
6. Get Advice with Blooom
If you need emergency financial help and don’t know who to turn to, you can check out Blooom’s online services. The company’s website has a host of tools you can use to aid you in your financial situation.
Some of the available calculators on the website that you can use for free include
- Card Affordability Calculator
- Taxable Equivalent Yield Calculator
- Long Term Care Self Insurance
- Mortgage Acceleration
You won’t end up getting cash from Blooom, but you might be able to better handle your financial crisis with some guidance.
Of course it would be exponentially better if you use their services for financial planning to prevent emergencies from happening rather than as a last ditch effort.
7. The Homeless Shelter Directory
It’s quite unfortunate but it does happen that people can end up losing their home due to a financial emergency.
If you ever find yourself and your family in such a position then you can check out available shelters through the Homeless Shelter Directory.
Losing your home is never easy and can be one of the most traumatic experiences ever but in case it happens, you need to be prepared and know where to take your family to shelter.
8. Personal Capital
Personal Capital is an online service that can provide you with financial insight, advice, and help you with financial planning.
The service is completely free and you can use it to do so much.
If you wish to make investments using Personal Capital, however, that’s when you’ll have to pay a certain fee according to your investment. In general, you can keep using Personal Capital’s services for free without looking to invest.
Through Personal Capital you can get a comprehensive and complete view of your finances all in one place. They call it the “360 degree view of your financial life.”
There are Apple and Android apps for the service. So you can access it through a web browser or via one of the apps while you’re on the go. You’ll also get to see what is called The You Index. The You Index is a demonstration of your stock portfolio and how it’s been doing over time.
The service is overall quite easy to use and super comprehensive. It’s certainly one of the best when it comes to providing financial advice and helping people allocate their investments the right way.
If you need tips for financial assistance, Personal Capital is there for you.
9. Have Extra Space? Rent it Using Airbnb
Renting space for money in an emergency is one of the oldest financial tricks in the book.
With Airbnb the entire process is made quite easy since you can do it all online.
It might not be pleasant for you or your family to have a stranger at home, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Plus, it’s not all bad. You get to meet new people and you’re likely to have a great time with your temporary visitor. Worst case scenario is for them to stay in their room all the time which doesn’t hurt you in any way.
Just set up the extra room and post pictures of it on Airbnb after setting up an account.
You’d be surprised how much you can make just by renting out a vacant room in the house. If you’re living in a popular city like New York or Chicago you’ll probably have a surplus of people wanting to rent the room.
With time as your ratings go up you might be able to raise your asking price a little and increase your income too!
10. Boost Your Credit Score with Credit Sesame
Credit Sesame is one of the elite online tools that can help you know your credit score and find ways to boost it.
The service will show you how you score on the most important credit factors for free. These results are updated every month as well. You’ll also get customized tips to help you manage any debt and loans.
The faster you pay off these loans and debts, the sooner your credit score starts to rise. Another useful feature is that the service can show you if you’re overpaying on loan and credit card interest. By helping you find better deals, you’ll be able to say more money and lower both existing and potential debt.
It’s understandable that you might be hesitant to join Credit Sesame because you’re afraid of identity theft. Well, the app provides each of its users with 50,000$ identity theft insurance without you having to pay anything.
Apart from the online version which you can access through your computer, there are mobile apps for Apple and Android devices so you can keep track of your credit score wherever you are.
11. Circle of Care
Circle of Care isn’t your ordinary emergency cash assistance provider.
Their services are focused on families that are having financial difficulties because cancer treatment is simply too expensive. People who get seriously sick without insurance often have a difficult time making ends meet. At some point the medical expenses become unsustainable so that a family might end up with a choice between putting food on the table or paying the medical bill.
Circle of Care is mainly useful for families living in Connecticut who have a child suffering from cancer.
Even if you don’t live in Connecticut, the child receiving his or her cancer treatment in Connecticut makes your family eligible for help from Circle of Care. The organization has provided over 1.5 million dollars in direct financial assistance over the past 10 years or so.
This isn’t an option for everyone, but for those in Connecticut struggling with pediatric cancer, it’s definitely a wonderful option.
12. Use the 2-1-1 Program
2-1-1 is a service that’s available online and on the phone. Just visit 211.org or call 211 using any available phone. With 2-1-1 you’ll be able to find emergency financial assistance in so many aspects.
The website and hotline can help you find the nearest food bank, shelter and housing aid, emergency information, services for veterans, healthcare and vaccinations, and more.
2-1-1 also provides help to those escaping from domestic abuse and those seeking help recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. Whether you need help because of a natural disaster or due to a dire financial situation, 2-1-1 exists to make your life as easy as possible.
If you prefer to use the internet just visit their website. Those who don’t have internet access can give them a call.
13. Collect Unemployment Benefits via Nolo.com
The odds that you’re in a financial emergency because you suddenly found yourself out of a job are quite high. It’s also quite likely that you lost your job without doing anything wrong.
If that’s the case, visit Nolo.com in order to try and get unemployment benefits.
After visiting the website you’ll have to select your state of residence because each state has different rules when it comes to unemployment benefits. Getting these benefits isn’t much and probably not a long term solution, but it’s something to keep you afloat while you find another job.
Unemployment benefits aren’t just for people who are laid off, but also for people who were fired for anything other than misconduct and for those who quit for good cause.
14. Disaster Unemployment Assistance
If the reason you lost your job or can’t go to work because of a natural disaster, file a claim online to receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
Eligibility includes those living in an area where a disaster has occurred and:
- No longer have a job or place to work or
- Cannot reach their place of work or
- Cannot work due to damage of the workplace or
- Cannot work because of an injury caused by the disaster
If you meet these criteria then you’re eligible to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance which will serve as a serious form of financial aid for you and your family.
15. Make Money Online
Making money online is a decent option for people who have it bad, but not too bad. If you can afford to wait a few days or weeks until you make money online then definitely do it.
You can take online surveys at SurveyJunkie or make money through freelancing. There are also plenty of apps that can help you save money on groceries and items you buy online.
Needing emergency financial assistance is never pleasant.
Hopefully you’re looking through this as a precaution, but if you actually need assistance, there are plenty of useful tools online that you can rely on.
What emergency financial assistance tools would you consider using? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!
Logan is a practicing CPA, Certified Student Loan Professional, and founder of Money Done Right, which he launched in 2017. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.