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The Advance Cash Advisor – How to Pay Bills When the Money Runs Out

Is there a more pressing question in this economy than, “How do I pay my bills when I don’t have any cash?” The Advance Cash Advisor has some ideas that might help.

Dear Advance Cash Advisor:

I am not like my sister. Give her $100 and she'll manage to go out and spend it in ten minutes, usually on clothes, when she has rent due and food to buy. But even though I work hard and try to budget very closely, I get hit by unexpected expenses. This month, both my health insurance and my car insurance premiums ran up, probably because I had a car accident and a hospital ER visit last month. My next paycheck is a week away and yet I have about $400 in bills to cover – if I miss these payments, I’ll suffer close to $100 in late payment penalties. – Ray, Portland (Oregon)


Your sister probably thinks you dress badly. But if she keeps up that habit she and her clothes will end up tossed out onto the street. It’s better to wear old clothes in your own home than to have the latest fashion and be homeless (my guess, she’ll want to stay on your couch).

First, let me compliment you for looking ahead, both on not spending beyond your means and for looking at late payment fees. This is an under-appreciated expense in most peoples’ lives. Those fees can come from banks, credit card companies, utilities, landlords, car loan firms – it’s a major part of how they make money. And most people paying those fees really need that money for essentials – like insurance payments, as you note.

Second, you have a job. This is a major advantage if you need a cash advance. Here’s why: With a job, you can get a paycheck advance of cash. It works like this:

1. You show a payday cash advance lender that you are employed and have X-dollars coming in with your next paycheck (they are in stores on street corners, but now many can be accessed online).

2. You request a certain size loan (you will be limited by your wage rate and your state’s banking requirements).

3. They will ask to verify that information.

4. They will also ask for your bank checking account information, as that is where you will receive your cash advance.

5. The payday cash advance loan company will forward your loan dollars into your bank checking account overnight. It will be ready for use in paying bills that day (the business day following your loan application).

There are dozens of payday cash advance loan companies available on the Internet. One site, however, looks at the loan terms of all the lenders, then matches up the best terms for potential borrowers according to their needs. The site,, will help you decide if the interest rates, repayment schedules, fees and penalties of any particular lender is right for you.

Online payday cash advance companies have come a long way from the storefront versions that still populate many neighborhoods. The online version provides many obvious advantages: open 24/7, no time required to go to and return from the store (two or three hours versus 20 minutes), no standing in line, no talking to a teller behind a thick glass window. Online information and cash security are much further advanced from ten years ago as well. Every multinational bank and corporation uses the same technologies and systems to transfer trillions of dollars and highly confidential information every minute of every day on the Internet, with no security headaches of the past.

As for the costs of a loan, you need to weigh that against the costs of penalties. In some cases, it’s the cost of missed opportunities, such as when you see a large item on sale that will save you money overall if you can purchase it at the right time.

It’s not fair to characterize all people who need cash as being like your sister, Ray. I know you’re working hard at managing against a tough situation. I hope this information is useful and that you are able to get a handle on your cash flow. Meanwhile enjoy your clothes, whatever condition they’re in – it’s a lot smarter to buy the essentials than the frivolous in a shaky economy.

– The Advance Cash Advisor

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