DULUTH, Ga. (12/8/10)--For consumers, taking a second job is a sometimes way to make ends meet. For someone working in collections, it’s a warning sign. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 27 million Americans are working second jobs. And according to ABCNew/Money
, the number of Americans looking for second jobs is expected to grow. “Usually, these are people who have been laid off from their primary job and are taking on two or even three part-time jobs to make ends meet,” said Ted Walden, president of Community Federal Credit Union, Waycross, Ga., in a Georgia Credit Union Affiliates press release. However, Walden doesn’t typically uncover these details until a member becomes delinquent on a loan. And with an economy sputtering like an engine that just won’t quite start, he’s seen an increase in “second-job syndrome.” “When we learn about these situations, we work with the individuals to help them prevent repossession or foreclosure,” Walden said, noting that he urges people who are struggling to make payments to contact their financial institutions first. “When we are apprised of the situation, we do everything we can to help people find a way out of the problem.” Working two jobs is never ideal, and Walden suggests credit unions can help members who want to cut an extra job by helping them make a plan. For example, consolidating high-interest debt may allow people to pay the debt down more quickly. “The goal is to reduce the debt and get to a point where you could live without the extra cash,” Walden said. Credit unions looking to help members who are facing the possibility of taking on a second job might ask these questions:
* What types of sacrifices is the family making when a second job is added? * How much additional income will a second job generate for the family? * How many hours per week will the member devote to a second job? * What factors should the member weigh to decide whether it’s worth getting a second job? * Are there alternatives to making ends meet without resorting to a second job? * Does having a second job alleviate stress or add to stress? Why or why not?