New program launches in Virginia for access to fast cash

Balance Assist is one of many new ways companies are offering low-cost loans
Updated: Mar. 22, 2021 at 8:59 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Experts say it over and over: Try to set aside $500 for an emergency fund. But sometimes, that’s not possible right away, which is one reason why Bank of America recently launched ‘Balance Assist’ in Virginia and seven other states.

Balance Assist is a low-cost option for Bank of America customers to get assess to cash - quickly. It allows you to borrow up to $500, in increments of $100, for a $5-dollar flat.

Hasan Oberoi, the Bank of America director for consumer banking, explained the value of a tool like this:

“In a time of emergency when you need to dip into something to have fast access to cash, without having any collateral, it provides access to that and it helps you budget. It helps you establish credit history and it gives you that peace of mind during a time of need,” said Oberoi.

Consumers have 90 days to make three equal monthly payments to pay back what they borrowed.

Oberoi says it’s a tool to help you rebuild your credit or even establish it.

More companies are starting to offer short-term, low-cost loans like this. It’s an option if you have an emergency. But again, it’s also good to work to build up an emergency fund.

Experts say some ways to do that:

  • Use your tax refund
  • Use a stimulus payment
  • Put $25 from each paycheck into an account until you get to $500.

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