Writing a letter asking for a salary advance is not difficult. The tough part is understanding how the letter will affect your professional reputation -- if at all. Salary advances are not common for all employers; sending a letter asking for advance pay could indicate you are having financial problems. The disclosure is an important consideration, especially for people involved in jobs managing money. In some situations employers have the right to check an employee's credit, and the letter could lead to a financial review. There are other instances in which salary advances are not a problem at all, however. For example, the University of California San Diego routinely issues salary advances for new international hires to help with moving expenses.
Check with your company's human resources department to determine if there is a standard policy for salary advances, or discuss with your hiring manager if you have accepted an offer and you are relocating to take the job.
Exhaust other avenues for a short-term loan -- perhaps from the company's credit union -- before writing a salary advance letter for a personal need unrelated to work.
Write the salary advance letter if no other options are available. Only a few paragraphs are necessary. Explain your hardship in the first paragraph. For example, explain that you are facing foreclosure and must raise a specific amount of money by a deadline. Or indicate that you need money to help a family member who has a crisis. Make the explanation clear and honest. List the amount you wish to receive and the desired date.
Tell the employer in the next paragraph that your hardship is a one-time occurrence -- if the salary advance is personal -- and that you do not expect to seek future salary advances. Also indicate that you exhausted all other possibilities for raising the money.
Request a meeting with your supervisor to discuss the situation. Present your typed, signed letter during the conference, along with any forms required by human resources.
- University of California San Diego; How to Request a Salary Advance for a Non-U.S. Citizen; November, 2009
- "The Business Letter Handbook"; Michael Muckian, et al.; 1996
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