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I'm financially stuck, In that situation how should I approach my manager(most probably this is the one time approach and hope it will never happen to me again), it's really hard for me to ask my salary in advance. What is the professional way to ask for financial help?

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please elaborate your question as it is not framed well. please tell us know are you asking him money as a advance or asking money from him personally? –  suhas Mar 10 at 6:39
    
@shaan not from him personally! and updated my question –  Bala Mar 10 at 6:43
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Whatever you do, don't ask for more money because you need it. A lot of people seem to have this mentality, but it doesn't work this way. You are paid based on the value you provide to the company, not based on how much you need. –  Andreas Bonini Mar 10 at 14:17
    
Also specify whether you need a salary advance and some work has already be performed, or, you need an advance on work that will be performed. The former is more probable to succeed. –  Quora Feans Mar 10 at 18:35
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I think geographical identification will help get you better answers. My ex-company had no policies in place for US employees but would help employees in third world countries with their 'downpayments' in buying a car/house (with 0% interest free monthly payments! )- so it was in the policy for an employee to ask for financial help –  happybuddha Mar 10 at 23:18

4 Answers 4

up vote 30 down vote accepted

It's not your manager's job, or your company's job, to sort out your finances. You are responsible for them. However rarely the company might agree to help you with financial difficulty. This is really only likely in urgent or critical circumstances, like an unexpected serious illness. The company might then make an advance on your wages. But that's not guaranteed, and it's certainly never going to happen more than once. Approach HR, not your manager.

The thing that worries me in this question is the word "sometimes". It usually implies something that happens unusually but repeatedly. If you are repeatedly in financial difficulty you need to sort it out so that you are not.

A larger company sometimes has employee counselling services, which can include financial counselling. If they do, then take advantage of them.

Under no circumstances ever ask your manager to lend you money personally. It's a conflict of interest for both of you, and even asking might bring you problems.

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DJ please consider the word sometimes => rarely. –  Bala Mar 10 at 6:49
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@Bala I believe "more than once" is too often. Even 'rarely' is probably more times than a company is going to want to do. –  DJClayworth Mar 10 at 6:51
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@Bala So you get paid a week early, next month you now run out of cash earlier again because you spent it all in 3 weeks when the month has 4, so now you want your salary 2 weeks early? Soon you'll want an extra month every few months because you ran out of money before the month even started. That's how people end up bankrupt. –  jwenting Mar 10 at 14:30
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Also, get on a written budget. My last late fee, overdraft fee, and line of credit charge happened 26 months ago, the day I started writing out to the very last cent where all my money was going to go every month. Do this, and it's the first step to never having to embarrass yourself by asking your employer, or anyone, for money. Also, you need an emergency fund for tough times so you aren't relying on debt. –  jmort253 Mar 11 at 3:10
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@RaduMurzea Because one of you now has a hold over the other that might allow you to influence the other. –  DJClayworth Mar 11 at 12:50

As an employer, I would say off the bat that you are asking the wrong person.

It would be different if the financial issues stemmed from your employment (large petty cash payments, travel etc) but I don't think that that is the case from your question.

If you are having trouble managing your (short-term) personal finances you need to talk to your banker, not your employer. You may need an overdraft or personal loan.

If you are having trouble over the long term then you are living beyond your means. In that case you need to:

  • Ask for a raise
  • Get a higher paying job
  • Spend less.
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Asking for a loan of any form (including formal overdraft) is terrible advice. You cannot loan your way out of personal debt. –  Gusdor Mar 10 at 9:55
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@Gusdor Salary in advance is a loan. Just not from bank but from employer. OP is asking for a loan already, and Dale is right that loans come from banks not employers. –  Agent_L Mar 10 at 10:04
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@Agent_L I should a rephrase then. Asking for an loan in which the repayment is greater than the loan value is terrible advice. It is not sustainable. Depending on who you talk to, a loan is defined as a borrowed amount whose repayments include interest. A salary advance does not. –  Gusdor Mar 10 at 10:19
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@jwenting, many of us do not live in places with mass transit. I would agree that you shouldn't buy more car than you can afford, but to say there is always an alternative to having a car is just ignorant. –  HLGEM Mar 10 at 15:09
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Public transport does not exist when you live in rural West Virginia - 15 miles outside of town. And where I currently live, yes there are busses, unfortuntately I don't live and work in the same city and the busses do not connect. There are not always alternatives and to say there are is foolish. Further, for women, public transportation is often also the dangerous alternative. Far better to have a car loan than to be raped or beat up. –  HLGEM Mar 10 at 16:35

Another reason not to ask your company for an advance is that companies do not like employees who are in financial trouble. They are the ones who tend to a greater risk for stealing from the company. Asking for an advance for anything less than my child just got diagnosed with cancer is a huge risk that you will be put on the list of employees to get rid of at the first opportunity.

This is also a reason to get your act together as it will be much harder to get another job if you have financial problems.

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I think that companies do not like employees who are in financial trouble is an unfounded claim, the companies I know don't care about your financial situation at all (it's none of their business, too). Also, claiming that people who are in financial trouble are the ones who tend to a greater risk for stealing from the company is an inaccurate and prejudiced point of view in general. –  Frerich Raabe Mar 10 at 23:25
    
@FrerichRaabe, this is the real world where companies do care about this stuff, that is why they ask for credit reports in hiring a lot of places. And yes they have been known to fire people in financial trouble for just the reason stated, especially if the person has access to confidential records or company money in any way shape or form. It is also why a lot of government security clearances are denied. You may not like it (I personally think they go overboard on this) but many companies operate this way. –  HLGEM Mar 11 at 15:23
    
If this is the real world for you, then I can probably only feel sorry for you. I've never had a job which asked for a credit report. In fact, I'm not even sure that would be legal in many countries (especially Europe). Companies have a hard time attracting talent, the last thing they care about is how people decide to spend their money. –  Frerich Raabe Mar 11 at 17:00

What is the right way to ask for my salary in advance?

Assuming you've determined that your employer is the best resource you have to resolve your situation, and that it's appropriate to do so given your position and culture, there's no harm in asking in whatever way you feel comfortable.

However, your success will depend in part in how you ask, so here are some suggestions:

  • State the amount you need in advance. Don't ask for the full paycheck in advance, only what you need.
  • Explain that this is a one-time only situation, and without explaining the details of your personal problem, express that you're doing this only because you have already exhausted all your other avenues of support.
  • Describe how you'll deal with the lack of paycheck, or reduced paycheck, when the next pay period comes - this way they know you aren't going to be back asking for a continuous advance, that you will "pay" it back immediately by working, knowing you've already received payment.
  • Through your conversation, assure them that you'll be sticking around and working without outright stating it. Expressing your love for this job, that you are glad to come to work, that you have family and obligations that will keep you in the area may assure them that you won't quit as soon as they hand you the check.
  • Hopefully you've worked with them without problem for years already, and this is the first time you've come to them for help. If you haven't worked for them for long, or you have already received help from them, this will be much more difficult.
  • If you have paid vacation days they may be willing to "pay out" some of those days so your regular paychecks don't stop or become reduced.
  • Be reasonable. If they only cut checks once a week on Friday, asking them for a pay advance on Monday for a bill due Tuesday isn't going to happen, and becoming angry when they offer you an advance, but refuse to give it to you in cash or immediately will not help you. Sometimes you can get a letter from them indicating the plan which you can take to the person you owe money to, and convince them to extend your due date based on the promised early payment of your paycheck. It's difficult, but you're already asking for a payment advance, it's not much more work to ask for a billing delay without penalty.

Critically, I think it's important to focus on the fact that this is an emergency, it's a one-time situation, that it's a smaller amount than your full paycheck, and you have plans to avoid this situation in the future.

In general I don't suggest an appeal to their humanity, by describing the terrible situation you have fallen into. A short explanation saying that it's an emergency should be enough to help them make their decision, without forcing them to feel like a monster for refusing you. You don't want to make your employment situation bad. Make sure they understand that while you need this help, if they refuse it won't alter your work or working relationship.

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In my opinion, this is the most well rounded answer. –  happybuddha Mar 10 at 23:21

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