How to ask for advance payment professionally

Anja Bojic

Last updated on: August 12, 2022

You know that old saying: “Money makes the world go round”

Well, money also makes it harder for employees to ask what they deserve or need.

In fact, most employees aren’t comfortable discussing money or even asking for salary payments in advance.  

Now, asking for advance payment from your boss can be stressful and anxiety-inducing simply because you never know what to expect. 

But, if the situation you’re in requires you to ask for a salary advance, you should be prepared to do it properly. 

Stay tuned because, in this blog post, we’ll:

  • Try to better explain what advance payments are and when it’s okay to ask for them.
  • List the pros and cons of asking for advance payment. 
  • Share some tips on how to ask for advance payment at work. 
  • Provide you with some useful templates to ensure you’re ready to ask for an advance payment. 

Let’s start! 

How to ask for payment professionally - cover

What is an advance payment?

According to Investopedia, advance payment is a type of payment made ahead of its normal schedule such as paying for a good or service before you actually receive it.”

A salary advance payment, also referred to as salary advance, can be a good solution for employees who are currently facing certain financial difficulties.

In a company setting, a salary advance actually represents a loan an employee makes against their future earnings. It usually involves a formal and written agreement between the employee and their employer that outlines the terms and conditions of a salary advance. 

Thanks to this, the employee can get the money they need now and take care of their financial issues without trapping themselves in another loan. 

But, this also means you will receive a reduced wage next month/s — depending on the agreement you’ve reached with your employer. 

What you would want to do in a situation like this is carefully consider the steps you have to take before asking for advance payment. These would include:

  • Listing all the pros and cons of asking for salary payment in advance. 
  • Choosing the right time to ask for it. 
  • The actual steps in the process of asking for advance payment. 

💡 Pumble Pro Tip 

Some people find it hard to ask for help at work — but it shouldn’t be that way. We bring you useful tips to make it easier for you to ask for help professionally. 

Advantages and disadvantages of asking for an advance payment 

When it comes to serious decisions, making a list of advantages and disadvantages is a good way to see if what you’re about to do is the right course of action for you. 

Let’s see what the advantages of requesting salary payment in advance are.

Advantages of asking for an advance payment

Someone who is financially strained can benefit from asking for an advance in payment because they: 

  • Can gain access to the money they need quickly. 
  • Would be less likely to pay for high-interest rates or additional taxes later on (which would be the case if they were to take a bank loan). 
  • Might avoid taking out another loan from a bank or elsewhere. 
  • Won’t have to undergo credit checks required by the bank. 
  • Will be able to resolve their personal finance issues successfully. 

Disadvantages of asking for an advance payment 

Asking for an advance payment has its disadvantages, too: 

  • You’re sharing too many details about your personal finances with your employer. 
  • You might feel embarrassed and uncomfortable for having to ask for money in advance.
  • You might think that you’re hurting your reputation as an employee. 
  • You will have to make sure the money you get lasts longer than usual because you will receive only a portion of your next month’s salary.
  • You might think that you owe your employer something or that they might use this situation against you sometime in the future. 

As someone who’s always struggled to discuss money openly at work, I know how hard it can be to weigh in on the advantages and disadvantages of asking for an advance payment from your employer. 

What I also find important is to know when to ask for advance payment at work. 

When to ask for advance payment?

Salary advances should be taken seriously. 

They should be your last resort in case of an unexpected financial setback, such as: 

  • A family emergency, 
  • Health bills not covered by insurance, or
  • Bereavement costs. 

Only after you’ve exhausted all other money sources (e.g. selling your unnecessary possessions, borrowing money from family or friends, getting a second job, etc.), should you request a salary advance. 

You should also avoid making it into a habit and consider how this will affect the relationship you have with your executives

This brings us to the next phase — how to ask for advance payment professionally. 

Here’s what you should do.  

How to ask for advance payment 

Asking for a pay advance should by default be formal and professional. 

This isn’t something you would like to discuss through instant messages or in group meetings — this is a situation that requires you to prepare thoroughly and discuss the matter with your employer in a 1-on-1 real-time meeting, either face to face, or virtually. 

You can engage in 1-on-1 real-time meetings with your manager in Pumble
You can engage in 1-on-1 real-time meetings with your manager in Pumble

However, you can use your employee communication app to discuss some other details with your manager — such as set a meeting or send some important documents. 

💡 Pumble Pro Tip 

Instant messaging apps, such as Pumble, are a great way to stay connected with your remote team in real-time. 

Here are some of the steps you might want to consider when asking for payment in advance. 

Step #1: Research the company’s policies on advance payments 

If your company has already made advance payments to other employees, chances are that the company has an official advance payment policy in place. 

This also means that you can get informed about the details of the policy in question by reaching out to the HR department or your employer directly. 

Why is this important? 

Researching the policy details before submitting the actual advance payment request will minimize the chances of being turned down. 

Moreover, you’ll know what the entire procedure looks like and prepare better for your next steps. 

To help you prepare better for what a policy on advance payments might contain, we’ve made this Advance Payment Policy Template. You can download it below. 

⬇️ Download: Advance Payment Policy Template

Advance Payment Policy Template
Advance Payment Policy Template

💡 Pumble Pro Tip

Having pre-made templates at hand can help you speed up company processes and improve internal communication. Take a look at our other templates you can download for free: 

Step #2: Schedule a 1:1 meeting with your manager

Once you’ve done your research and know you’re an eligible candidate for an advance payment request, you should make sure to schedule a one-on-one meeting with your employer or manager. 

Discuss the meeting details with your manager in Pumble, a free workplace communication app
Discuss the meeting details with your manager in Pumble, a free workplace communication app

If you want to show your manager/employer that you’re pretty serious about requesting advance payment — a virtual meeting is the way to go, especially if you work in a hybrid or distributed team

You can use this virtual meeting to do the following: 

  • Explain in greater detail the reasons behind your advance payment request. 
  • Show your manager/employer that you’re not taking this lightly and that you’ll make sure this is a one-time situation. 
  • Explain the way you’re planning to return the money to them. 

This step will bring you closer to getting your salary advance request approved and persuading your superiors that:

  • You’re aware of the seriousness of the situation, and 
  • You’re not taking your advance request for granted. 

💡 Pumble Pro Tip

Pumble is a free workplace chat app that also allows you to jump in on a quick 1:1 call with anyone from your team. 

Step #3: Write a detailed advance payment request  

After you’ve had a meeting with your manager/employer, you should also put your advance payment request in writing. 

To be as transparent as possible about what you need, you should include the same information you’ve talked about during your meeting with your superior. 

To revise, this request should include: 

  • An introduction — your name, last name, and title. 
  • The specific reason behind your salary advance request. 
  • The exact amount you’re requesting. 
  • The way you plan to pay the money back. 

Of course, make sure to state that you’re not planning on making this a habit and that you’ll do your best to make it a one-time request. 

Considering that this requires maximum formality in communication, make sure to showcase this formality even when scheduling the meeting with your manager or when writing your request. 

And, if you need help creating a formal advance payment request, we have an Advance Payment Request Email Template you can use as an example. You can download it below. 

⬇️ Download: Advance Payment Request Email Template

Advance Payment Request Email Template
Advance Payment Request Email Template

Step #4: Be ready to show documents justifying your emergency situation 

Your manager can (and probably will) ask you to provide documents that confirm the authenticity of your advance payment request. 

You should be ready to provide the necessary documents to your manager or employer at any time. 

For example, if you’ve asked for a salary advance to take care of emergency home repairs, you can deliver the document with estimated costs of repairs or the invoice to maintain your credibility and justify your manager’s trust

You can send important documents securely in Pumble
You can send important documents securely in Pumble

Step #5: Prepare yourself for different scenarios 

Another important step when it comes to asking for a salary advance is to prepare yourself mentally for various outcomes. 

For example, consider the following two scenarios: 

  • Your request is denied.
  • Your request is approved but your employer made significant changes to it. 

No matter how sure you are about your advance payment request, you should always be prepared for alternative scenarios like the ones we’ve mentioned above. 

Nevertheless, you should also be ready to negotiate the terms of your request — be careful not to agree on a repayment plan you won’t be able to meet. 

Remember — your next month’s payment will be smaller than usual and you won’t have the same amount of money at your disposal.  

Step #6: Express your gratitude 

This is the step you’ve been waiting for.

Your salary advance has been approved and you’ve managed to get your financial affairs in order. 

Now it’s time to say “thank you” to your manager. 

Saying “thank you” to your manager in Pumble
Saying “thank you” to your manager in Pumble

Why is this important?

By expressing your gratitude, you will:

  • Let your manager know how much you appreciate what they’ve done for you. 
  • Remain on good terms with them in case you need to ask for a favor in the future, too.

💡 Pumble Pro Tip 

Do you struggle with establishing and maintaining professional communication in the workplace? Don’t miss to pick up some helpful tips and tricks from our blog posts:

In conclusion: Advance payment requests require careful planning and research 

To sum up, advance payments should be your last resort in case of any financial emergency. 

If you’ve decided to ask your manager for a salary advance, you’ve probably exhausted all other financial resources and have considered your options thoroughly. 

Let us remind you that asking for advance payment isn’t something to be ashamed of — it’s something that speaks volumes of the way your employer does their business and their ability to help you in case of emergencies. 

We hope you can use the information from this blog post to prepare better for your salary advance request and maximize the chances of its approval. 

On a final note, remember to account for all case scenarios before submitting the request — and not take things personally if your request gets rejected. 

✉️ Did you ever have to ask for advance payment at work? Does your company have an Advance Payment Policy in place? What’s your opinion about making advance payment requests? Share your insights at blogfeedback@pumble.com and we may include your answers in this or future posts.

Author: AnjaBojic

Anja is a Communication researcher and author at Pumble. When she’s not researching and writing for the Pumble blog, you can find her networking with other working moms, advocating mental health at work, and trying to be a present and engaged parent.

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