How to Get Help Paying Your Utility Bills
If you haven’t budgeted for a high utility bill, e.g. a cold snap or heat wave has you relying on temperature control more than usual, a bill can throw your budget off course and leave you scrambling for funds. What should you do if you need cash to pay your utility bills?
How to get money to help pay your utility bills
Call the utility company for a payment plan option
If you’re a customer in good standing, it may make sense to call your utility company. They can assess the bill for errors — which could be a possibility, especially if the bill is much higher than usual — and may also have options to spread out the payment for the bill across season, which could include a payment plan.
See if you’re eligible for utility bill assistance from the government
Eligibility for utility bill assistance is dependent on factors such as income, age (some seniors may be eligible for assistance), and disability, and may vary by state and county.
One national organization to look into is LIHEAP — the low-income home energy assistance program — a federally funded and state-administered program that helps low-income families afford utility bills. One simple way to find programs to help with your utility bill is to call 211.
Consider a fast cash loan
If your high utility bill was a one-off and you don’t qualify for ongoing programs, a cash loan may help you make your payment.
For example, if your utility bill is due now but you don’t get paid until next week, a Payday Loan — a short-term loan to be paid back when you next get paid — could help bridge the gap and ensure that service doesn’t get cut off or won’t add penalties or late fees to your account.
Or if multiple monthly bills have piled up and you have to pay or risk service being cut, an Installment Loan may make sense. This loan allows you to pay back the loan over multiple installments, so you can budget to pay back the loan as you assess your energy needs.
Lower your energy bills
A sky-high energy bill doesn’t need to be the norm — and can spur you into action to find ways to lower the bill. Some ways to reduce your energy bills include:
Assess ducts and seals.
Leaky seals (on the windows, doors, even the fridge) and leaky ductwork in the vents may be costing you. Consider repairing yourself or — if you’re renting — loop your landlord into the issue. Fixing these issues may lower your electricity bills. For winter winds, you can buy plastic sealing for windows or unused doors for under ten dollars to reduce the amount of heat your house needs.
Rethink your thermostat.
Be conscious of how you use the AC or heating in the summer and consider installing a programmable thermostat, so the temperature automatically shifts when you’re away from the house or sleeping.
Adjust your water heater temperature.
Lower your water heater temp to 120 degrees and you may save up to 10% on water heating costs. In addition, repairing any leaky faucets, doing all laundry on cold settings, and making sure your showerhead is energy efficient can all have a noticeable impact on your utility bills.
Ask for an energy audit.
Utility providers may offer energy audits, which can be conducted for free or on a sliding scale. They may give you customized advice and improvements, such as switching to Energy Star lightbulbs, updating appliances, or assessing any energy leaks.
Benefits of getting a loan to pay your utility bills
Here are some advantages of getting a fast cash loan to help pay your utility bills:
Many fast cash loans, like payday loans and installment loans, have a quick and easy application process. You can normally apply for these loans in just a few minutes, either in-store or online from the comfort of your home.
Get cash quickly
If you get approved for a fast cash loan, you can get the money you need quickly to pay your utility bills. Lenders who offer fast cash loans typically have a quick approval process, and you may get an instant decision once you submit your application. If approved, you could receive the funds in your bank account the same day you apply or within 24 hours.
You don’t need good credit
If you have a fair or poor credit score, don’t worry. You can still get approved for many fast cash loans. Advance America and other lenders accept people with all types of credit scores.
Bottom line: There are ways to get help paying your utility bills quickly
Getting fast cash to pay utility bills now can give you peace of mind that your services won’t be shut off as you’re assessing ways to budget for utility bills in the future.
But it’s important to treat a high utility bill as a clue that something — whether it’s family habits or a piece of equipment — could be improved when it comes to energy usage.
Performing an energy audit, either on your own or with a pro, and being conscious of your energy usage can help ensure that your bills are manageable in the future.
Advance America can help you pay your utility bills
If you need cash to pay your utility bills right away, consider getting an Advance America loan. Our Payday Loans, Installment Loans, and other loans can get you instant funds to cover your expenses. You can fill out an application online or in-store in just a few minutes and may get an instant decision. Advance America doesn’t require you to have a good credit history to get approved, so you can still get a loan from us with poor or fair credit.