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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.


Commercial Banks

To find out whether you can borrow from a commercial bank, you can call or visit the banks in your area. When you meet with a loan officer, be prepared to discuss your income and expenses. The bank will check your credit score. The key elements to consider is how much the bank is willing to lend you, at what rate of interest, for how long,and whether there are additional costs. If you think you may be able to pay off the loan early, ask about what costs, if any, are involved in prepayment. In addition to calling or stopping in a local bank, look on line at such sites as offsite link.

NOTE: Additional lenders may be a source of a loan. For instance, a list of lenders is available at offsite link. Click on "loans", then on "personal loans."

Credit Unions

A credit union is a non-profit institution that is owned and operated entirely by its members. Credit unions provide financial services for their members - including lending (as well as savings.) To join a credit union, you must generally meet eligibility criteria.

Credit unions generally have lower interest rates and fees on loans.

If you are not a member of a credit union, following are alternatives for finding a credit union. Be sure to check eligibility requirements.

  • Check with your employer, family members or organizations of which you're a member to learn about local credit unions and to find out if you are eligible to join one.
  • Several web sites list credit unions by ZIP code. For instance:

If You Are An Employee

Perhaps you can borrow money from your current, or an ex-employer. If you're considering borrowing from your current employer, speak with your Advisor for advice before you do.

Be sure to remind your employer how valuable you are to the company.

NOTE: If you cannot borrow from your employer, you likely qualify for what is known as a Payday Loan because of your paycheck. To learn more, click here.

Refund Anticipation Loans

Many people have more money withheld from their paycheck each year than they will owe in taxes. A refund anticipation loan is a cash advance against income tax refunds you expect to receive. Your tax refund pays back the loan.

Refund anticipation loans come with very high interest rates. Interest rates are particularly high when you consider that high interest rates usually reflect a great degree of risk that the lender will not be paid back. In this case, repayment comes from the U.S. Treasury.

Refund anticipation loans are not worth considering unless immediate cash is an absolute necessity.

You can get such a loan through your accountant, car dealer, check-cashing service, retailers, internet sites and tax-software companies.

Loans Using Securities Such As Stocks And Bonds As Collateral

Interest rates on loans from your securities broker are generally much lower than those charged on credit cards.

The risk is that if the securities decrease in value, you may have to sell them to meet a margin call from your broker.

How To Borrow Against Life Insurance

Alternatives for borrowing money, using your life insurance as collateral are:

Cash Value

If your life insurance has a cash value, you can borrow most, if not all, of it. Interest rates are usually lower than commercial rates.

You don't have to pay the money back but you do still have to pay premiums (unless there is a waiver because of disability.) If you don't repay the debt, when you die, the amount that is outstanding plus interest will be deducted from the death benefit payable to your beneficiaries.

Check with the insurance company to find out what affect, if any, the loan will have on future dividends, premiums and cash value.

"Living Benefit" (Also known as "Accelerated Death Benefit.")

Your policy may have a "living benefit" also known as an "Accelerated death benefit." Under this provision, the insurance company advances you part of the death benefit, often as a loan. If the amount is a loan, it is repaid from the death benefit. The difference between the amount and the benefit goes at your death to your beneficiaries.

Even if your policy does not specifically say there is a living benefit, it is worth checking with the insurance company. They may be able to add the benefit - at no cost.

Friends And Family

You can borrow money from friends or family. See Friendly Loans Against Your Life Insurance Policy

Note: If you have a shortened life expectancy, or you are over age 65, you may be able to sell your policy in a Viatical Settlement or Senior (Life) Settlement.

Commercial Lenders

There are a few commercial companies that will loan you money against your policy. See A Commerical Loan Against Your Life Insurance Policy.

Borrow From Your Retirement Funds

Most employers will allow loans from a 401(k) or other retirement plan. Borrowing is relatively easy. Generally you can borrow up to 50% of the money that is vested (belong to you) in the plan, up to a maximum of $50,000. Interest rates are usually reasonable.

On the downside:

  • You put your retirement at risk.
  • Interest is generally not deductible from your taxes
  • The loan must be repaid in 5 years or less
  • If you lose your job, the loan usually becomes due immediately.

To access the money, ask the benefits department for the forms.

For more information, see:  Borrowing Moneyt From A 401K, TSA Or Other Defined Contribution Retirement Plan

How To Borrow If You Have A Business

If you have a business and you have receivables, consider using the receivables as collateral for a loan (known as “factoring.”) Factors advance between 50 and 90% of the value of your receivables. The factor collects the debt from your creditors. When the full amount if collected, the factor gives you the remaining 10 to 50%., less a fee for the factor. Fees range from 1 – 5% of the amount financed and according to volume of receivables. To find a factor: look at the Commercial Finance Association site at offsite link and/or type “Factoring companies” in your favorite search engine.