Q: I have a friend who needs some money for a security deposit and two months rent. How can she get a small loan until she gets back to work? She’s been on disability for a couple of months, and is returning to work around end of January. She has a job waiting for her and her credit score is 680. I want to know if the book Bounce Back From Bankruptcy will be helpful to her. Debbie S.

A: I’d encourage your friend to consider a few things before jumping into renting a new apartment/house. The challenge with borrowing money to get back on track when you’re starting a new job is that you start out the new phase of life using the new money that’s coming in to pay for things that were purchased in the past (the security deposit and rent).  If at all possible, I’d encourage her to stay where she’s at or rent a room from a friend for a small amount until she’s saved up 3 month’s rent. THEN start looking for a place, when she’s got the income coming in. The challenge is that if something happens and the job falls through or falls short of expectations, your friend would be saddled with a new rent payment AND new debt.

Now, let’s say that there’s an absolutely intolerable situation and there’s no way for your friend to stay where she is or do the above strategy. In those cases, loans from personal friends are the best ways to get short term money for security deposit and rent. Next up is selling things that you have to generate the cash. Third, is to see if the landlord is willing to barter in exchange for the money itself – there are ALWAYS things that need to be done – whether it’s fixing things up around the place, babysitting the kids, doing paperwork/filing/cleaning. Think outside the box and release those thoughts that say “I don’t want to do that”. When we want something bad enough, we’re always willing to go the extra mile and do whatever needs to be done to make it happen. Encourage your friend to stay put and save up money from the new job before taking on any new debt. Otherwise, she’ll be paying new rent AND paying off the loan for the security deposit and 2 month’s rent!

Folks (including bankruptcy attorneys!) rave that Bounce Back From Bankruptcy is the BEST resource available for people who are recovering from bankruptcy or other financial challenges, so I’d highly recommend that your friend get a copy, or at the very least get the free 48-page Do’s and Don’ts of Bouncing Back From Bankruptcy booklet to get started – she can grab a free copy of the booklet at www.newcreditafterbankruptcy.com.