In order to look at the right personal loan for single mothers – or single fathers too for that matter – setting up and working through a monthly budget is the critical piece in determining where you are at and where you need or want to get to. I essentially raised my own kids as a single parent so not only do I understand the financial and emotional challenges but I have also personal loans to consolidate debt, pay off that debt and see credit scores in the 800’s – which is pretty good for a dude who once had a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. I’m not immune from this. I’m also a fricken lawyer who was never properly educated when it came to my own person shit.
But that’s another story which you can check out in Loan Camel’s About Us page. I had good credit and a solid income and did that Chapter 13 when personal loans could have helped me without wrecking my credit for years. But that’s the thing – I say personal loans saved me but they really didn’t save me the first time I took them. The thing that’s missing in all this eventual success I’m not really gloating about is that I failed the first time with personal loans. All I did was move debt. Yeah man, I paid down some of that debt… and I built up other debt… on credit cards. Some of it was out of my control and some of it was all me.
I never budgeted – I would just wing it. Next thing I know I need another personal loan for my existing personal loan and new credit card debts. You can’t wing this shit. Not if you are someone of modest means, which I was. Believe me, you can earn a 6 figure income, have child support and/or alimony payments and a ton of other commitments and expenses, plus unexpected expenses, and easily live paycheck to paycheck. I had employees making half of what I made who had more disposable income than I did and had no personal debt.
So while I am going to help you understand how a personal loan can assist you – and at Loan Camel we do help match borrowers and lenders through our Personal Loans page – it would be remiss of me to not help you address your budgeting. I wouldn’t be fulfilling my mission in helping people over the hump. As I say, I suffered so you don’t have to. I can’t change where I messed up but I can get some redemption knowing that I can help others not make some of the mistakes I made.
This isn’t a world of the Cleavers from the Leave it to Beaver TV show of the 1950s where our households were dominated by 2 married parents with a stay at home mom and a working dad. I mean, I grew up in a house like that and my parents grew up in homes like that but I didn’t provide that traditional model of parental stability to my kids. And I felt guilty about it. But I learned that the definition of parental stability has evolved and I’m a part of that evolution.
The Single Parent Center published an article entitled What Do Single Parent Statistics Tell Us? Well, they tell us that there are 14 million single parents in the U.S. raising more than 21 million kids and more than 83% of the custodial parents are single mothers. 80% of the single moms are employed and 90% of single dads are employed though only 50% of single moms and 72% of single dads are employed full-time.
We’re significant. We matter. We make a huge difference in the success and failure of our country’s future. We’re often made up of the working people trying to raise their kids as best we can, live a decent life with dreams of a decent retirement some day and hopefully see our kids do better than us. We shouldn’t be neglected but we also can’t neglect ourselves. We often can’t control the winds of the employment needs of those we rely on to support our families but we can still do what is within our control in a variety of areas, one of which is personal budgeting.
It’s really this simple. How much do you take home each month and how much do you spend each month? Now where are you spending that money? You need to write it out so you will have something like this:
Expenses (including job and support payments received)
equals Balance Left Over
What you will want to do is work on the areas where you can cut down expenditures. For instance, my vice was over-spending on groceries and restaurants. I also cut down on my costs for cell phone, home internet and TV expenses. Notice, I haven’t even gotten to personal loans yet. I’m simply trying to work on expenses for a budget and see how far I can take it without the loan. Where the loan will come in to play is after the budget is set up to take me out of revolving personal debt and loans into a consolidated loan with a date certain for pay-off.
I’m a big fan of Dave Ramsey. From him I learned how to look at personal loans for consolidating debt. You aren’t paying debt off through the consolidation, you are moving your debt… which you can then pay down. But if you rack up more bills on your credit cards, as I did the first time around when I tried to wing it without a budget, you won’t get anywhere. You’ll stay on the treadmill.
And that sucks. So let’s not get to that point. Let’s now take everything we have, in terms of income and expenses, and set up the budget. I recommend using Dave Ramsey’s free EveryDollar budgeting tool which you can access here for free. There is an upgraded version but start with the free one and see how that works for you.
If you do not have revolving or high loan payment debts, you may not need a personal loan, and if not then great. If you do have debt that is killing you and/or not getting paid down then it’s time to get off the treadmill and look at personal loans. The right personal loan for single mothers or even for single fathers, was not where you started, but rather, it’s where you have ended up.
You’ve done all the hard work with your budget. Loan Camel can help you take the next step where you can check out your rates and terms without impacting your credit. You will be able to pay your debts off by a date certain and you will see your credit scores increase if you continue to avoid taking on new debts and make all payments on time. For a look at your rates and the opportunity to apply quickly, please see our Personal Loans page here.
If you have private student loans that you would like to look at refinancing, our loan matching partner uses community banks and credit unions to offer some of the best rates on the market. Likewise, you can also check private Student Loan Refinancing options here at Loan Camel.
I know it’s not necessarily fun and it takes a little work up front but setting lining up income and expenses, setting up a budget and then taking a look at personal loan needs is how I proceeded when I was successful. It’s how others have proceeded successfully as well.
Please keep in mind that you cannot successfully use a personal loan to consolidate debt and pay it off if you start racking up debt again. Don’t be like the younger Daddy Poorbucks, Debtor-in-Chief of Loan Camel. Be more like the older Daddy Poorbucks talking to you today. If you have any questions or comments, as always, please feel free to add that in the space provided below and either Daddy Poorbucks or the Camel will respond. You got this.