In today’s economy, it can be a challenge to find a job or a career right out of college. Chances are you currently don’t have enough money or aren’t making enough money at that part-time job to afford the things you need to advance your career or find that dream job with. Maybe you just graduated with an art degree and want to build an amazing online portfolio, but you need a new iPad to do it on. Maybe you have a degree in business, but can’t afford the professionally tailored suit you need for your first major job interview.

The problem of not making enough money to help get you to the career you want is fairly common for recent grads. However, with small loans and cash advances, you can find the tools you need to have the career you want. But that doesn’t mean you have a limitless source of free money. Borrowing can advance your career, but it must be done responsibly. Before you begin taking out loans and racking up debt, there are a few questions you need to consider.

Can I really afford this?

Taking out loans doesn’t have to be scary. If done in a smart way, loans can really help you out. When you’re stretched for cash but need to buy a new suit for an interview, a small loan or cash advance can make all the difference. However, when you go to apply for a loan, ask yourself if you can afford the loan in the long run. One of the biggest mistakes young people make when getting a loan is that the loan is simply too large. For example, if you take out a $1,000 loan (and you only need $500), you may end up paying twice as much due to fees and interest rates. Instead of taking out a large loan that will take you years to pay off, consider how much money you actually need. How much will you be able to pay off quickly? It isn’t just about that one crucial thing you need to land the job; it’s about what you will have to pay back in the long run.

Is this tool really worth it?

If you’re waiting for your dream computer to go on sale, you may be waiting a long time. Sometimes the breaks we’re waiting for just don’t come. The suit we think will help get us the job never appears on the clearance rack. The software suite we need goes down in price, only to be upgraded and replaced a week later. This is the part of the loan process that is really crucial. Before you go to get your loan, make sure the tool or product you’re after is important to your career. Can you survive or get the job done without this one item? If you ask these questions and come to the conclusion you must have this one tool, a short-term loan is probably for you.

How will I pay off the loan?

Always be sure to find a loan that is right for you. Instead of taking the first one that comes your way, do some shopping. Find a loan or cash advance that meets your needs. Does it provide you with the correct amount of cash? Is the interest rate reasonable? Will you be able to pay the loan off in a timely manner? Since there’s a good chance you have some recent student loan debt, you may not get the interest rate you want, so be sure you’ll be able to pay the loan off when those monthly statements start rolling in.

It’s important when borrowing money to remember you have to pay it back. The feeling of finally having some cash in your wallet or bank account is great, but don’t let it burn a hole in your pocket. Instead, consider carefully what you are spending this money on. How will it help you advance in your career? Are you going to be able to pay the money back in a reasonable amount of time? Borrowing money isn’t a bad thing, unless you borrow too much and get too far in debt. Just remember to keep your loans reasonable and you’ll be on the road to financial freedom in no time.

Felicia Baratz is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media addict living in Indianapolis, IN. As a contributor to, Felicia discusses new, innovative technology and it’s relation to the business world and social media marketing.