Sri Lanka was formerly one of the most promising South Asian countries, with great potential to develop and excel in all areas compared to its neighbors. However, due to various factors such as a 30-year civil war, corruption, poor politics, terrorism and, on top of everything else, effects of the ongoing unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, the current situation for most Sri Lankan citizens is very bleak with an even moreso outlook for the near future. The pandemic in particular has left many people unemployed or at least with decreased income and high expenses due to increased taxes, inflation and shortage of certain goods, especially imported ones. With the financial landscape faring very poorly across the nation, it is hardly surprising to see the long queues outside pawning centers and the desperate cries of people for financial assistance to just get by. Money is scarce and the demand for quick, short-term and low interest urgent personal loans is higher than ever. So what do you do when you need money urgently in Sri Lanka?
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you suddenly find yourself requiring an urgent loan for any amount of money that you don’t currently have within a short period of time, the first thing you should do is to calm down and take a deep breath, after which you should try to take a rational look at yourself and the available options.
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself first when you need a loan urgently:
If you’ve put any thought at all into the state of your personal finances, you should have some savings pooled up and even more ideally, a sizable emergency fund. If you had tucked away enough cash into an emergency fund, it’s time to withdraw that money - this is the kind of emergency you were preparing for. If you don’t have an emergency fund, take a look at your savings. While your savings are generally not meant to bail you out of difficult situations, exceptions can definitely be made depending on the circumstances.
Once you have an idea about how much money you currently have in hand, think about how much of that you can practically afford to contribute towards this situation. While it might be tempting to use every last cent and avoid taking out urgent personal loans or get into debt, you might need to rethink that. If you don’t currently have an income stream and you need to provide for your family, you might need to keep some of your savings to look after them as they are your first priority.
Once you have fully identified how much money you actually have, it’s time to calculate how much money you need right now. If you need money for a particular expense, make sure you calculate the exact amount you need so you aren’t left short once you have finished gathering the required amount. If you need money for general living expenses, calculate for the amount of time you would need to stabilise your finance again.
Now that you know exactly how much additional money you need to make ends meet, it’s time to hit the brakes before you start looking at your available options as most of these options involve borrowing money which in turn means that you will need to repay all urgent instant loans you take out. You should never borrow money if you don’t have any way of repaying it or at least a plan of doing so. If you have a steady job, then you can afford yourself some freedom with your choices but if you are currently bringing in no income, you might need to eliminate certain options altogether rather than risk the consequences of possible non-payment.
It’s important to note that you should not forget to look at your upcoming expenses as well, instead of just focusing on your future income. If you take out a portion of your savings, supplement it with an urgent personal loan now and plan your finances out perfectly so that you can pay it off with part of your salary during the upcoming months - but you forgot that your child’s annual school fee is due next month, all your plans will be ruined. Make sure you take any upcoming expenses (both confirmed and potential) into consideration when planning your repayment methods.
Now that you have set the groundwork on your end, it’s time to look at the options available for you if you are looking for :
If you have close friends and family to turn to for financial assistance, they will mostly likely be more than willing to help you out in any way that they can. Interest is generally not expected (although you should definitely offer) and repayment can be done in a very flexible manner. The downside of this method is that it puts your relationship with them at risk. Your friends and family might feel compelled to somehow lend you the required money even if they are unable or unwilling to do so. If you are ever unable to repay the debt, you will lose your entire bond with someone who has done you a great favour. Furthermore, your inner social circle becomes privy to your financial struggles. As a rule of thumb, try your utmost not to mix your friends and family in your personal financial affairs which are best kept discreet.
One of the most secure sources to turn to when you need loans urgently are banks. Having been around for centuries, banks are generally known to be very safe and discreet. You can get urgent personal loans at preferential interest rates and somewhat flexible payment plans. While in the past, banks had a reputation for taking a very long time to process and approve loan applications, due to the growing need of urgent same day loans, most have created special fast-tracked, one-day loan processes. The downside of approaching banks is that their requirement list is quite steep, requiring months of salary slips, letters from employers, a spotless credit report as well as loan collateral in the form of assets of guarantors. If you are just looking for an urgent loan of Rs. 10,000 which you can pay back in two weeks, banks aren’t the best option as they tend to deal with larger loan values and longer repayment periods.
With a drastic rise in the number of urgent loans needed in Sri Lanka by its people, online money lending has become extremely popular in recent times. Taking out urgent loans online is becoming an increasingly widely-accepted form of credit for people from all walks of life, as it is hands-down the most convenient and quickest way of borrowing small to medium sums of money. Online money lenders are the ideal place to turn to when you need urgent loans of Rs. 10,000 or even lower, and due to the digitalisation of the entire process, not only does application take only a few minutes but you can actually have the cash in hand in as little as thirty minutes. The application process itself is simple and easy-to-navigate, often requiring only a verified phone number, a photo of yourself and proof of identity (your National Identity Card). There are a few downsides to this option as well. Dealing mostly with unsecured loans, online lenders tend to have higher interest rates than banks, for instance. Further, there may be other fees and service charges that apply to your loan, apart from the interest so reading the terms and conditions prior to clicking “I agree” is vital. There are also a few unethical vendors out there so make sure to do your due diligence when selecting your service provider. Try to deal exclusively with licensed and registered parties as they are legally bound to operate within the financial regulations of the country. A vendor who will help you with such loans is OnCredit.lk. Their fast and innovative approach to providing loans have made them an important part of the financial system in the country.
If the idea of going into debt is irksome, there are a few other options available for you that don’t include going into debt. The feasibility of these options depend on how much money you need and how much time you have to collect the required amount.
Some of the available options are:
If you have any valuable or semi-valuable items at home, think about selling them off. Old mobile phones that you aren’t using, as well as other electronic items, are in high demand these days as there are more people in similar situations who are looking to purchase their necessities at lower prices. There are even people who buy broken electronics to salvage the spare parts. You could resell items such as your older clothes, furniture, ornaments, books, vehicles and more in order to earn some extra money. You could even try selling your skills such as food, arts or craft items through online vendors.
If you are in a suitable profession, look at taking up some part-time freelance or consulting work apart from your day job. If you are a blue collar worker, look at any other kind of odd job which you could do. Don’t shy away from manual labour - anyone who is willing to do an honest, hard day’s work to earn money is admirable. Take a scroll through job posting sites, classifieds sites, social media and even sign up on handymen listing websites or mobile apps.
Needing financial assistance is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Every one of us has been there at some point in our lives. This has been further exacerbated due to the current socio-economic climate in Sri Lanka. The good news is that as the demand for urgent loans rose, so did the supply. So the next time you need money urgently in Sri Lanka, don’t worry - you have so many options to choose from.