We all work for a variety of motivators. Success, personal growth, status, fame, and for a good portion of us, fortune. Or at least a salary that's acceptable to us. There will come a time, or a multitude of times throughout our careers when we'll desire more money. We could seek a job that pays more than what we're doing currently, or ask for more money from our current employer.

Asking for a raise can be daunting. Actually getting one can be a challenge. Neither has to be. With these 3 steps you can take to help you ask and receive the raise you feel you deserve, your confidence and commitment will shine through and your employer will feel good about adding some more moolah to your paycheck.

Before you burst into your boss's office, take time to get raise-ready with the steps below. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Timing Is Key

Just because you're ready to ask for a raise doesn't mean your boss wants to hear it. When you ask for a raise could be just as important as what you're asking for. It could be as simple as planning to chat before the work day is in full-force or when you know your boss is in a good mood. But there's more to timing than the obvious.

As per Lydia Franks, editorial and marketing director for PayScale as told to Business News Daily, "If your company has a regular performance review schedule, try to have a conversation about your compensation a couple months in advance so that your boss has time to make a case and advocate for budget ahead of that process." If you wait too long, there may be nothing the company can do about your request, even if they agree you indeed deserve a raise.

Plus, consider how the company is faring as a whole. As per Leslie G. Griffen, an HR consultant and career coach as told to Monster, "Asking for a raise while the company is in the middle of layoffs, for example, could send a signal that you're not tuned in to the business." That alone could be a red flag that you're not raise-worthy material.

Keep abreast of how well your company is meeting its quarterly goals and if things are positive, set a meeting with your boss at his or her convenience. Make sure you're clear as to what the conversation will be about so the timing is right for everyone involved.

Be Prepared

When you walk into your boss's office, come with a spiel that's well-rehearsed and carefully put together. If you don't appear confident in the content of what you're requesting or your delivery for that matter, distraction could get in the way of the end goal – a raise. Heck, if you don't think you deserve a raise, why should anybody else?

As per Business News Daily, carefully plan your approach. Think about how your boss best processes information. Have a good understanding as to what information will be the motivating factors in agreeing to give you a raise.

Kathleen McGinn, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School as posted on Harvard Business Review notes, "As in any type of negotiations, you should try to put yourself in the other person's shoes, and design your approach accordingly. You have to think about why your boss should even consider granting your request. By understanding your boss's interests and goals, and aligning those with your own case, you are more likely to get what you want."

Harvard Business Review also shares advice from Diana Faison, a partner with leadership development firm Flynn Heath Holt Leadership, "Rehearse out loud, practice it with someone else, record yourself, and play it back. Listen for weaknesses in your argument or signs that you aren't getting to the point quickly enough."

With this in mind, there's only so much prep work you can do before pumping yourself up and going for it. You don't want to spend all your time overthinking, just make sure you've got a solid plan. Like Your Office Coach says, "Rehearse your request, convince yourself that you're worth it, and take the plunge. The worst thing that can happen is that your boss says no. But most managers will not be surprised or offended by the request."

Know Your Value

Your past accomplishments and the ways you've helped the company meet its goals and make money are more than just part of the job. They make you an asset to the company that's worth keeping around, and that may mean by agreeing to a raise in salary. As per Monster, "If you're considered indispensable, you'll have a stronger case."

According to Hannah Morgan of Career Sherpa, "A great way to keep your current boss up to date is by sending him or her a weekly or monthly email update. State what you accomplished in objective, measurable terms. And always try to tie your achievements back to organizational goals or how those accomplishments benefit the bottom line."

Harvard Business Review adds, "First, and most important, are facts about your own unique contributions that bolster your case: money-saving efficiencies you implemented, results from a project you've just overseen, positive customer testimonials, or praise from higher ups."

Just because you know all the hard work you've done doesn't mean your boss is fully aware of everything. He or she is busy with lots of other things after all. Plus, when everything is presented as a whole, your case is more compelling and impressive.

In addition, be sure to know what others in the field are raking in and that your salary and raise request jive. As per Harvard Business Review, "You should also gather information about company- and industry-wide salaries so you can go in with a reasonable target figure in mind. Your professional network, HR department, and sites like PayScale and GlassDoor are all helpful resources for determining your worth in the marketplace."

With these tips in mind, asking for a raise will be easier than you may have anticipated. Be sure to keep yourself together and show your true investment in the company. Honesty and honor will get you to the next phase in your career!

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What do you do when financial hardship hits and you can't make your monthly mortgage payments? This is a question on many homeowner's minds as nearly 17.8 million Americans are reportedly unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic.

When homeowners face financial hardship, such as the loss of a job, they often look to obtain a forbearance agreement from their lender. A forbearance happens when your lender grants you a temporary pause or reduction in monthly payments on your mortgage. Forbearance is not the same as payment forgiveness, in that you still have to pay the entire amount back by an agreed-upon time.

Mortgage lending institutions differ on their mortgage relief policies and qualifications; however, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act were signed into law in late March of this year to protect government-backed mortgages.

Federally backed mortgages include:

  • Fannie Mae
  • Freddie Mac
  • The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
  • The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
  • The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Under the CARES Act, homeowners with a federally backed loan who either directly or indirectly suffer financial hardship due to coronavirus automatically qualify for mortgage forbearance.

Even if your mortgage is not secured by one of these agencies, you still can call and see if you qualify, as many lenders will still offer the option in order to avoid foreclosures.

Under the CARES act, homeowners can claim mortgage forbearance due to financial hardship from COVID-19 for up to 12 months without requiring any documentation or verification. During the forbearance period, mortgage lenders cannot charge late fees or penalties.

Additionally, as long as your mortgage is current at the time you claim forbearance, the lender is required to keep reporting your mortgage as paid current throughout the entire period.

At the end of the forbearance, the CARES act protects consumers from having to make a lump sum payment. Instead, you will be given a repayment plan from your provider. Since repayment options vary, it's important you ask your provider about all of your repayment options.

Possible Repayment Options:

You may be eligible for a loan modification at the end of your forbearance. With modification, the mortgage terms are changed in order to add payments that were missed during the forbearance onto the end of the loan, extending the term.

Another option that may work for some is a reduced payment option. This allows you to keep paying monthly payments at a reduced amount. The amount missed is usually added back into the monthly payments at the end of the forbearance.

For example:

Regular payment: $1000 per month

Reduced payment: $500 per month

Payment after forbearance period: $1500 (until caught up)

Balloon payments, or lump sum payments at the end of the forbearance, are prohibited under the CARES Act. However, mortgage lenders may require homeowners who are not protected under the CARES Act to make a balloon payment at the end, so again it is best to check first with your provider.

Mortgage forbearance should only be considered in true financial hardship. In other words, just because of the pandemic, you should not take a forbearance on your mortgage if you can still afford your payments. Likewise, if you are able to start making payments before the forbearance period is up, it's best to do so as soon as possible.

The Next Steps:

Before you get in touch with your mortgage servicer, save time by gathering as much documentation about the mortgage as you can. Also, be ready to list your income and monthly expenses. Due to an influx in calls, financial institutions are experiencing extremely long wait times right now, and having your information at the ready will help.

Have questions ready to ask. Here are some questions you should be asking:

  • What fees are associated with the forbearance?
  • What are all the repayment options available to you at the end of the forbearance?
  • Will you be charged interest during the forbearance period?

If your forbearance is approved, make sure to keep all documentation pertaining to it. Make sure to cancel any automatic payments to the mortgage during the forbearance period, and keep tabs on your credit report to make sure your lender doesn't report the loan as unpaid.


For more information on forbearance, contact your lender and discuss your options. If you need more assistance with understanding your options, you can contact a local agent for the housing counseling agency, or call their hotline at 1-800-569-4287.