National Payday Scholarship 2012 Official Entry SealBy: Cindy Ehrlich

As the single mother of three small children, there were many times that short-term financing could have helped us.  When my kids were little and I was struggling to keep them fed and clothed with a roof over their heads, this would have been a God-send!  I was divorced from their father because he had a substance abuse problem and financial help from him was, to say the least unreliable.  I was working, but with only a high school diploma I couldn’t find a job with wages that supported the four of us properly.  I juggled bills, paying the electric one month and the phone bill the next.  It was that way with the car insurance and other necessities too.  Buying school clothes was difficult and I tried to shop sails and thrift stores to keep my kids looking good for school.  I wanted them to be proud of themselves. I wanted them to have good self esteem and not feel “poor”.   If one of us got sick it would completely disrupt my ability to pay the bills, even with my “system”.  I couldn’t afford the health insurance for my family that my job offered so I had to pay for office visits and prescriptions out of my own pocket.

Once my son got really sick, I didn’t have the money for the doctor visit.  After a couple of days of him being sick and not getting better I took him to the emergency room.  He was admitted with a severe respiratory infection. He stayed in for several days.  My mother watched my other kids so I could stay with him in the hospital.  I didn’t get paid for the missed time.  Now I was faced with hospital bills that I couldn’t afford on top of everything else.  I didn’t want to apply for public assistance.  You see, we had to live that weekend with no electric because I didn’t have the money to pay the bill.  I went to food banks more than once to keep us fed.   I felt helpless and defeated.  My children were fantastic and didn’t deserve the situation that we found ourselves in.  I worked as much as I could, helped my kids with homework and kept our home clean.  I found extra part-time work to make sure that my kids had a decent Christmas.  Working so much took away valuable time with them that I can never get back.  Looking back, there are so many things I would do differently.  I would have taken advantage of short-term financing to better our quality of life!

Transportation was another challenge.  I had a station wagon.  It was a hand-me down from a relative but it ran and was very convenient for our little family.  It got us where we needed to be.  It wasn’t pretty but we didn’t care.  Keeping it maintained was costly and was problematic for me.  Buying food for dinner or getting the oil changed???   Christmas presents or new tires???  I was so stressed out!  It was so unnecessary!  Short-term financing would have saved the day!

Knowing now that women in the same position today can get short-term financing and keep their families safe and comfortable is amazing!   Short-term financing is good for many situations and needs.  But nothing can compare to being able to keep your family safe and comfortable in the worst of times.  That is the ultimate reason to make a short-term financing agreement.  Travel, school, a new vehicle; these are all good reasons to consider short-term financing but protecting your children, knowing that a person has the ability to better the lives of innocent children is a gift, the gift of security!

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