Financial help for relocation
June 28, 2005 1:46 PM   Subscribe

I have been offered a new job, with a nice pay rise in another end of the country. Unfortunately, the money I was counting on to finance the move has fallen through. I have an atrocious credit record and can't get a loan, and I am not eligible for any relocation help in my new workplace as I'm not going to be working in a senior enough position. I've googled, I've used the yellow pages, I've asked friends, work colleagues and tried everything I know. I've been to the jobcentre to ask about the Social Fund, and I've run out of ideas. Does anyone know if there are any grants/aid/special loans out there that might be able to help me? I'll be able to pay it back, as I'll be on a higher salary, but I just have no money at all to finance the move. If I can't find a solution by Thursday, I'll have to turn down the offer of the job, and I really don't want to do that. Can anyone point me in the direction of some hope?? (I'm in the uk)
posted by lemonpillows to Work & Money (19 answers total)
Why do you have to move anything, except yourself? This may be a great life opportunity to sell/give away your material possessions. Pack a suitcase with three good outfits and a toothbrush, and ditch the rest. With luck you can raise enough selling your junk for the deposit on a new apartment. If not, stay in a hostel or somesuch until the first check from your new job comes through. I did something similar in my early 20s and it was the most liberating feeling. Don't be a prisoner of your stuff.
posted by LarryC at 2:05 PM on June 28, 2005

I was going to say the same thing as LarryC. Sell everything you can't fit in your car and bolt.
posted by trbrts at 2:19 PM on June 28, 2005

Or put it in storage for a month or two til you have the money to move it.
posted by duck at 2:22 PM on June 28, 2005

I agree with the previous posts. Don't let a bunch of replaceable stuff hold you back. Put it in storage or sell it. Take what you can carry and make the move.
posted by a3matrix at 2:24 PM on June 28, 2005

Another thing you might want to try is to explain your situation and then ask your new employer if they are willing to give you an advance on your salary or a loan. Even if your credit's not that great, they likely won't care, since they know they can deduct the payments from your salary. Plus, I'm sure they're just as eager as you are to not let something like relocation costs get in the way of you accepting the job, and this is a good way for them to do it without having to give you more money.

But yeah, if nothing else works out, sell your stuff, give it away, or ask your friends if you can store it at their place until you can pick it up, as it makes no sense to let relocation costs keep you from taking that job.
posted by EatenByAGrue at 2:31 PM on June 28, 2005

How much do you need, how far and where are you moving-- are the preceding suggestions useful and if not why not. What is your tolerance for further debt by looking at high (very high) interest loans--I've got to believe there are very few independent and free resources for something like this--some how it probably needs to make business sense to some one or it is an outright act of charity by a friend/loved one
posted by rmhsinc at 2:54 PM on June 28, 2005

Why do you think he has a car? He's in the UK, so it's less likely (while possible). So we're talking about literally going with just a suitcase. Storage will be a lot more expensive in the UK as well.

Personally, I'd think long and hard about how much your personal possessions are worth compared to the pay raise. It might be that you could easily get back the value of the possessions after some time on the new pay rate.
posted by grouse at 4:04 PM on June 28, 2005

1) Try family.

2) Get a family member to take out a 6 month loan and then offer them 20% on top in repayment. Offer belongings as security.

3) Pawn stuff (yes, you can do this in the UK). Think things like consoles, TV (you won't be affording a TV licence to begin with anyway), etc.

4) Use any credit card you may already have (I know you said your credit record is nasty, but many people with bad credit records still have their cards). Nasty transaction fees for cash, but it'll be worth it.

Avoid loansharks in any case.
posted by wackybrit at 4:35 PM on June 28, 2005

Having read your weblog, what about your girlfriend? You may feel you can't ask her, but you'd be surprised.
posted by wackybrit at 4:37 PM on June 28, 2005

You may stilll be able to get credit. Unless you've been made bankrupt you usually can. First, assuming you have a current account, go in to your bank and talk about a small personal loan or overdraft facility - with your reason for needing it they may be helpful.

Failing this you should be able to get, even with dire credit history, a high APR, low credit limit credit card, which may be enough to tide you over (ie Captial One etc). Make sure to pay it all off with your first few pay cheques.

Failing this even your into a world of loans off friends and family, pawning stuff (cash converters etc) or worst of all, using those cheque cashing / payday advance places, which I wouldn't unless you have absolutely no option.

Good Luck!
posted by prentiz at 4:40 PM on June 28, 2005

Obviously I mean Capital One...
posted by prentiz at 4:42 PM on June 28, 2005

Credit Unions See if there's one either where you are or where you are going. They are there to help people who the banking system fails. There's a search facility on the site.
posted by Flitcraft at 5:31 PM on June 28, 2005

Long-distance moves are very expensive and a super duper pain in the ass. I just moved from LA to Colorado and if I had known what I was in for, I would have sold a lot more than I did and gotten a fresh start. It sounds like you have the opportunity to do just that. If you have sentimental pieces you would like to hold on to, I think the storage option is probably a good one for now. You can pack your car with essentials, mail clothes (they're light!), and have an adventure starting over with your big raise.

Good luck!
posted by Kimberly at 8:29 PM on June 28, 2005

I see young men, my townsmen, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, barns, cattle, and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired than got rid of. Better if they had been born in the open pasture and suckled by a wolf, that they might have seen with clearer eyes what field they were called to labor in. Who made them serfs of the soil? Why should they eat their sixty acres, when man is condemned to eat only his peck of dirt? Why should they begin digging their graves as soon as they are born? They have got to live a man's life, pushing all these things before them, and get on as well as they can. How many a poor immortal soul have I met well-nigh crushed and smothered under its load, creeping down the road of life, pushing before it a barn seventy-five feet by forty, its Augean stables never cleansed, and one hundred acres of land, tillage, mowing, pasture, and woodlot! The portionless, who struggle with no such unnecessary inherited encumbrances, find it labor enough to subdue and cultivate a few cubic feet of flesh.

-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
posted by LarryC at 9:40 PM on June 28, 2005

There's a site, whose name and URL I've forgotten, which doles out small emergency loans. None of that "payday loan" extortion crap, just trying to help out people in need of a short term solution. No strings, if I recall correctly, but it's also not a lot of cash. I think the limit was around $500. Coulda sworn the site was posted to the blue in the last year or so, but my google-fu is failing. Hopefully this will jog someone else's memory of it, though...
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 10:18 PM on June 28, 2005


There's a site, whose name and URL I've forgotten, which doles out small emergency loans.

You wouldn't happen to be referring to Modest Needs, would you? Modest Needs gives emergency grants, not loans, and they ask for nothing in return.

I think the limit was around $500.

Their maximum is $1,000 but, according to their site, they rarely have enough funds to make a grant of this size.

Unfortunately, lemonpillows is in the UK and Modest Needs only helps legal residents of the United States or Canada.

Here's their FAQ for requesting assistance (may not be useful to lemonpillows but Canadian/American residents in a similar situation would most likely be drawn to this thread).

P.S. If you cannot find the funds to make the move, I agree with the above posters that you should dump your furniture/possessions. A new job with higher pay is a once in a lifetime opportunity to expand your horizons and enhance your skills. Furniture and possessions can be easily bought again and just as easily lost for more trivial reasons - fire, thieves, natural disasters, whatever. The skills gained in this new job, on the other hand, are yours to keep.
posted by cup at 12:13 AM on June 29, 2005

As some people have suggested, you're more than likely to be able to get some form of credit. However, this will come at a premium rate. Search for "adverse credit history loan" or similar. Shop around. Use financial advice websites.

Word of warning: pay it back ASAP! This may actually help your credit record. But, seriously - pay it back, as soon as humanly possible. Put yourself on a budget, reduce your outgoings, whatever it takes. If you can raise the money through selling goods or asking friends and family instead of taking more credit, I'd do that. You really don't want to make a bad credit reference any worse.

Something you should do regardless is to get a credit check. Go to and request the basic credit check (or whatever it's called). This costs a couple of quid. You may be surprised what it tells you. Then give them a call - not an email - and ask what you can do to improve it. I got some surprisingly simple tips (such as: open an account at Argos or similar mail-order store, but never use it - the account remains in the black, so you have 1 good credit reference).

Another last-ditch suggestion is to place a couple of ads in magazines or newspapers. The back of Private Eye often has a few such ads, with a brief explanation and a bank account number. I have no idea if this actually works, though.
posted by ajp at 6:52 AM on June 29, 2005

As some people have suggested, you're more than likely to be able to get some form of credit. However, this will come at a premium rate.

Credit Unions don't lend at premium rates: that's part of the reason for their existence, to save people with poor credit from falling into the hands of loan sharks and people asking for exorbitant interest.
posted by Flitcraft at 7:01 AM on June 29, 2005

cup, yes that's the one. No wonder I couldn't find it!
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 10:27 AM on June 29, 2005

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