Top tips on how to ask your boss for an advance

What is an advance on your wages?

A wage advance is usually the payment of the money you have already earned, in advance of your payday. Employee loans are another way to get your hands on some money in advance of your paycheck, but these involve your employer lending you money you have not yet earned. 

In theory, asking for a wage advance should be easier, as it is far less risky from your employer’s point of view, although they are still trusting you to keep to your employment contract after receiving the cash. 

Why might an employer turn down a request for an advance?

Some of the reasons your request for a wage advance might be rejected include:

  • You’ve not been in your role long enough to have built trust
  • Your employer may have cash flow problems, which makes an advance impossible or inconvenient
  • There is a written policy expressly stating that the business does not provide advances
  • They do not want to set a precedent for other staff
  • They have rejected a request before

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What do you need to consider before asking for a wage advance?

Asking your boss for a wage advance isn’t an easy thing to do and you need to take the time to consider your proposals properly before making your decision. There are a few stages that you should go through before putting pen to paper and actually applying for a wage advance. For example, make sure you check whether your employer has a written policy on payday advances. 

You also need to think about whether you have asked before and, if so, how long ago? Employers are not likely to want to get into a habit of offering payday advances to the same people time and time again for obvious reasons.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of asking for a payday advance?

Advantages of asking for an advance

  • You could have access to the money quickly
  • You are unlikely to be charged interest or fees
  • You can avoid taking out credit with a lender
  • You won’t have to go through any credit checks

Disadvantages of asking for an advance

  • Asking for an advance involves sharing details of your personal finances with your employer
  • You risk damaging your reputation as an employee
  • You may upset other staff
  • You will need to ensure your salary can last longer than usual
  • You may find the process of actually requesting the advance embarrassing

Is asking for a wage advance a good solution if I’ve been turned down for a payday loan?

People apply for payday loans for all kinds of reasons. Perhaps your car has broken down and you can’t take the kids to school any more, let alone get to work. Maybe you desperately need £200 to fix your front door after a break-in or you have a gap in your wages between jobs. 

These may all be valid reasons for applying for a payday loan, but having a very good reason doesn’t necessarily mean your loan application will be approved or that it is the most responsible option. If you find that your lender has rejected your application, turning to your employer might be the logical next step. Often, businesses will have policies in place that make it easy for your boss to say ‘yes’ to your genuine request for a financial helping hand, particularly if you are paid in arrears.

How should I ask for an advance on my paycheck?

Request a meeting

Once you have given lots of thought to whether asking for an advance is the right thing for you, the next step is to plan how you will make the request. It’s a good idea to request a formal sit-down meeting with your supervisor or line manager in order to make the request. In the meeting, try to explain why you need the advance, making the point that it is a one-off situation. You can also talk about the measures you are taking to put your affairs in order and prevent this from happening again.

If you want to ask your boss in person for an advance, it would be a mistake to do so casually. Even if you have a great personal relationship with your boss, make sure that you treat the situation with the respect it deserves. Your request will have a much better chance of being accepted if you can demonstrate an awareness that your employer is doing you a favour and that you do not take it for granted.

Write a letter

Alternatively, and perhaps the slightly easier approach, is to put your request in writing. You’ll need to include details about why you need the advance, as well as the same information as above, in terms of why this is a one-off. The request will usually take the form of a letter from you, to your employer. If you are asking for a wage loan, you will need to suggest repayment plans that are reasonable and also affordable for you.

Minimise the chances of having to ask a second time

Much like borrowing a payday loan from an online lender, asking for a wage advance is something you should try to do only once. Concurrent wage advances could leave you in the situation where you owe your employer money when you leave the job, which could lead to further financial problems, as well as legal risks and difficulties getting further employment.

If you find yourself needing emergency cash, once you have solved the immediate problem, take measures to regain control over your financial health. The best ways to go about this include:

  • Setting a budget
  • Using spending-tracking tools and apps
  • Putting money into a savings account
  • Considering lower-cost loans to consolidate debts
  • Saving money on bills and food shopping
  • Selling unwanted belongings
  • Increasing your working hours
  • Asking for a raise
  • Reducing spending on luxuries for a period

Is this a payday loans alternative?

Payday loans can offer borrowers access to fast cash, often in their bank accounts on the day they apply. Repayments can now be spread over several monthly instalments, making them more affordable. They are also small and quick loans, which means you won’t be making a long-term financial commitment. However, there are reasons why you might not want to take out a payday loan, such as:

  • The interest rates are higher than for some other forms of credit, such as secured or longer-term personal loans

  • Some lenders still require full repayment in a single lump sum on your next payday

  • Penalties and charges can add up

  • Some lenders may charge for early repayment

In addition, some people will struggle to be approved for a payday loan for one of the following reasons:

  • They have a poor credit rating

  • They are unemployed

  • They do not have a steady income

  • They are younger than 18

  • They are not UK residents

  • They don’t have access to an email address or phone

  • They don’t pass the affordability tests

Warning: Late repayments can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk

Representative Example: Borrow £400 for 4 months, four monthly repayments of £197.48. Total repayment £597.48, interest rate p.a. (fixed) 255.5%. Representative APR 939.5%. Compare Moneyboat loans.

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