United States citizens often think of California as one of the most prominent states in the country. In addition to its powerful, large size, it’s also the home of incredible cities, like Los Angeles, Fresno, and San Francisco. The state’s economy makes up 14 percent of the United States’ economy, further proving that it’s a powerhouse. Or, is it? Just like many other states, California is also stricken with areas of poverty that hurt individuals and families. California is no more immune to financial crises than any other state, but fortunately, the state does have several avenues in place for financial help.
California, an Economic Leader?
There’s no denying that California has the largest economy in the United States. It produces over $1 trillion more than New York, which is the 2nd most productive state in the U.S. But, you might be surprised to learn that California has the sixth largest economy in the whole world, falling just behind huge powerhouses like China and the United Kingdom.
It’s safe to say that California’s economy is bustling, especially when its gross domestic product sales ranks only five spots lower than the United States as a whole. However, an excellent economy doesn’t always equal little poverty, and California is perfect proof of that.
Large Economy, Large Poverty Rate
Even with its successful economy, California has an extremely high poverty rate. Almost one in five California residents is poor, making it the state with the highest poverty rate in the country. The sad truth of the matter is that California’s economy is hiking up the cost of living, making it nearly impossible for the average person to afford building or maintaining their life in the state.
Interestingly, California is one of the leaders in the United States for welfare programs and other assistance meant to stamp out poverty. However, the increase in spending has still led to an increase in needy families, so there appears to be an important disconnect somewhere with its citizens and the state’s lawmakers.
What to Do if You’re Suffering Financially in California
Most states offer several forms of help if you’re suffering financially, whether you just lost a job, are in between jobs, or had some other financial setback that’s caused problems for you and your family. Here are a few options that you have available as a California citizen:
Check Out Unemployment Benefit Laws
First, if you lost your job through no fault of your own, then your first step should be to see if you’re eligible for California unemployment benefits. Generally, for you to be considered for weekly benefits, you must have made a minimum amount at your job during a specific period, be actively looking and available for work, and must not have lost your job for something that could be your fault.
If you were laid off from your job or fired because you weren’t a good fit for the company, then you may be eligible for a weekly benefit of up to $450. It’s worth your time to apply so that you can have some cash in between jobs if you are approved.
Take Out a Personal Loan
There are many types of personal loans you can take out to help you in a pinch. However, if you can find another solution that doesn’t involve racking up debt, it’s best to aim for that instead. Applying for several loans can have a negative impact on your credit score, as can asking for too much of a loan that you can’t afford to pay back.
If possible, try to steer clear of quick personal loans, like payday loans and cash advances, that can charge high interest rates and make it more difficult for you to pay them back. You don’t want to spend years repairing your credit – instead, speak with a loan professional and find the best option for you, now and in the future.
Get a Car Title Loan
Car title loans can give you money against the title of your car. You’d need to have any loan on the car paid off and be the full owner of it and its title to be eligible for a car title loan.
These loans can give you money quickly and you can typically pay back the loan over the course of 36 months. Even though your car is used as collateral, you can still keep and drive your car during the term of the loan.
The benefit of this type of loan is that the loan officer won’t have to check your credit to see if you qualify. Instead, the loan officer will place a value on your car and ensure that you’re the rightful owner before handing you your cash. It’s a fast, simple loan option when you need some money quickly. You can read more information on car title loans in Fresno before you make any final decisions.
Look Into California Assistance Programs
California is known for its incredible assistance programs, from help paying for food to assisting those with low incomes in affording their energy bills. If you’re income falls within the guidelines for assistance, then you should visit your local welfare office to speak with someone about your options. There are several options you can turn to if you need help – do your research and find the best solution for you and your family.