What to Do Financially When You’re Diagnosed with a Serious Illness – Would You Turn to Personal Debt Solutions?
According to a report by Macmillan Cancer Care, families earning average wages with average outgoings end up £200 in debt each month if an adult is diagnosed with a disease such as cancer.
The report was discussed in a recent news article, and said that the average family is left with around £365 (8032.85 South African Rand) each month after paying for necessities such as bills, food and everyday travel. Macmillan Cancer Support chief executive Lynda Thomas commented on the report, saying: “At a time when thousands of families are struggling to make ends meet, a cancer diagnosis can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, sending them into financial freefall.”
Avoid Loan Sharks
Many people turn to loan sharks to try and make ends meet. The trouble with this is that unlicensed loan sharks can often get you the money quickly but charge huge interest rates as a result and cannot always be held accountable. They are law-breakers, and can demand unreasonable repayments and deadlines, which can only elevate stress levels higher on an already delicate and anxious situation. You should always avoid this kind of loan when in desperate need for money. Same day loans website Wonga South Africa blogged recently that before drawing out a loan, you should ‘ensure that you use an honest and reputable provider and read all the terms and conditions so that you are sensible with your decision making’. A loan can be a good way to bridge the gap before pay day, but you need to understand the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ debt and never get credit that cannot be repaid. It is only a short term solution, so if you need extra money on a monthly basis, a loan probably isn’t your best bet. However, in an emergency situation, a reputable loan company could provide you with the cash you need. If you’re in doubt about whether a loan could help you or make the situation worse, speak to a financial advisor who can help guide your decision.
There are other ways to help in a situation like this. There are some benefits you may be able to receive. For instance, in South Africa you can claim if you are unable to work due to an illness. Details can be found here.
There are also certain charities that can help you. Cansa is a SA charity that can give you help and advice on managing your condition and making ends meet during this difficult period of your life.
Speak to Family and Friends
Friends and family can help you in many ways. Perhaps not in a monetary sense, but in other ways. For example, they may be able to bring you some dinner once a week, pick the kids up from school or do the laundry for you. All of these things can help you when you’re suffering from an illness such as cancer.
You may also consider talking through your feelings with a loved one. This can always be beneficial to have this kind of support.