How to Get Through Tough Times Without Taking Out a Loan

tough times

If tough times haven’t happened to you already, be sure that they will. At a time when you least expect it and can ill-afford it, you are going to find yourself in tough times with a financial bind. One of the first things you are going to think to do is take out a loan to manage the situation. Though it will not seem like it at the time, that will likely be the exact wrong thing to do in that situation.

For starters, you are already in dire straits. If you had enough money to cover it, you probably wouldn’t be taking out a loan in the first place. Taking out a loan only pushes the problem down the road. Like a snowball, it only gets bigger as it rolls downhill. What happens when it is time to pay back the loan plus interest? You will start asking for a little more time, and a little more loan.

Short term bandaids are fine. But you shouldn’t mistake them for long term solutions. What you need may be temporary until the problem is resolved, or permanent to reflect a new economic reality in your life. Here are some suggestions to help you get through tough times that do not involve taking out a loan:

Ask for Help


Asking help from family, friends, and emergency aid organizations is not the same as taking out a loan. What you need is a one-time donation, not a recurring bill. Maybe the emergency is that you wound up in jail in a foreign country for committing a crime that you didn’t know was a crime. That is understandable, and can happen to anyone. It’s also tough luck.

Once sorted, you might find that you are in a position to pay it back. Send money online using a service like Ria for benefits like:

  • $0 fees for your first 30 days
  • Great foreign exchange rates
  • $20 friend referral bonus

It is also a great way for friends and family overseas to send you money and help you out in a bind. Just know that there are methods for families, friends, and organizations to send you money in a pinch. But none of that matters if you don’t swallow your pride and ask for help when you need it.

Make Lifestyle Changes


It really may be time to turn off cable. Believe it or not, you can live without TV. But that is one of the easiest, and least demanding changes that might be required. This is where you need to take a closer look at your rent or mortgage payment. You might be living in too much house.

There are far less expensive homes and apartments you could be living in. Selling your home and purchasing something smaller may be the only way to make room in your budget. Dave Ramsey offers 3 money-smart reasons to downsize your home. He is not alone in this advice. Making lifestyle changes is hard, but survivable. Few people do so who aren’t glad they did.

Accept the Short-term Pain


If you have missed two months on your car payment, and your car is about to be repossessed, you might be tempted to try almost anything to keep possession of your car. That desperation is a sign that things have gone too far already. Your car is going to be repossessed. You need to let it go.

Debt doesn’t have to be a normal part of your life. Having the car repossessed may, in fact, be the best thing for you. Filing bankruptcy is not a scarlet letter, but a second chance. The mortgage company can foreclose. But they would much rather do things like move the payment to the end of the loan. They have all kinds of tricks that can help you get past a tough patch.

Taking out a loan is the easy way out that is seldom actually the way out of anything. In the short term, ask for help. For more sustainable solutions, make lifestyle changes. And prepare for the worst. Nothing so bad is set to happen that will not pass and that you can’t survive.

Photo courtesy of: 65294

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Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at or follow her on Twitter @shoeaholicnomor.

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