+12 votes
by (4.3k points)
This is is going to be a long post and update. As we have all experienced the effects of COVID-19, some more impacted than others, I noticed the delivery service industry has been really strong. I was hired by McDonald's on April 22 and have been with them almost a month now. I was getting dropped off at home the other day when my assistant manager asked me because she was curious if I was getting paid more at my primary job (Taco Time) than McDonald's. I kindly responded that I was actually making $0. 04 more than what I was making at Taco Time. She told me that I should immediately after COVID-19 ask for a raise because there is really not a lot of difference in $13. 71 and $13. 75. It also doesn't make sense to both of us that I would be paid more at McDonald's when I've been at Taco Time for 2. 6 years. I have had two performance reviews and three raises since I started at Taco Time. I did not have this conversation with my General Manager either of the times since my management team interceded to ask if I can have a raise probably because let's be honest, I feel uncomfortable having this discussion. I know it's a discussion I need to have and one suggestion was that I find a template to use to approach my General Manager about asking for a pay increase and explaining that I'm not only a consistent performer, I've never called out in the last 6 months, I've stayed late when asked and covered shifts for other employees. How do you approach this kind of conversation? I did think it would be professional to email the GM asking for have an in person conversation before we get right to the subject. I have been paying more than minimums to quickly reduce my CC debt and have about $600 to pay off another CC which I owe to having more money due to two jobs despite the added stress and workload. I don't intend to keep 2 jobs for very long but I was thinking at least keeping the second job for 6 months to a year to make huge strides on my CC debt. I wanted to find out if there were any programs that could help me pay off my student loan. It is a Stafford Loan with an interest rate of 4% and $1800 left on the balance. I wasn't sure if there was anything available to me because of COVID-19. Currently, my student loan is in deferment for another year. I thought that there was a federal program that might forgive private/federal loans but don't know too much information so if anyone can bring me up to speed. I'm also curious as my credit score is improving and getting closer to 700 if I should consider opening up a travel card such as Chase or Alaska Airlines. I have a credit score of 672 right now. I know that a good credit score is important but it is not everything to your financial profile.  
This is is going to be a long post and update.

12 Answers

+6 votes
by (1k points)
Best answer
Have an honest conversation with your boss. Be prepared to answer the question of how much you want to make (I’d suggest not telling him that you want a 4 cent raise. ). Also be prepared and receptive to honest feedback/criticism as that is their job. If he is not willing to offer you a raise at this time, you need to ask what steps you can take in order to receive one in the future, and what the time frame looks like.  
+6 votes
by (480 points)
There is income based repayment with a forgiveness for 25 years of on time payments but that’s the only one I know of that fits your situation. Get a credit card for rewards if you’ll stick to a budget still and won’t overspend just because you have it. Being responsible with a credit card will improve your score.  
+8 votes
by (2.4k points)
Beautiful paying down debt with extra payments. Keep the two jobs and imagine how much you could take that was going toward debt and then be able to put that money away. Be like a farmer. The more seeds planted; the more opportunity to harvest down the road. You could ask the part-time job for a few less hours each week. Keep moving forward.  
+2 votes
by (410 points)
Hi Jim! The company I work for helps clients navigate the student loan forgiveness process. If you’re looking to raise your score and pay off your debt sooner, forgiveness is absolutely NOT the way to go as you will continue to accrue interest throughout the length of your program, which would be 20 years. I’d recommend paying down your debt with the highest interest first, then attacking your student loans as they tend to carry less weight on your credit score. In response to the pandemic, The CARES Act provided a benefit of zero interest on all federal loans through September 2020. If at all possible, begin paying on your student loan before this time is up so it goes to the principal directly.  
+3 votes
by (11.5k points)
Honestly, I'm concerned about your use of credit. I think it was just in the last 6 months or so that you reported that you racked up a bill somewhere that you couldn't pay back in a month and i actually think it was at a Gamespot or something like that that was definitely not essential. So it worries me that you could fall back on old habits and spend more than you can immediately pay for. Its not like you are trying to borrow to buy a house any time soon. forget your credit score and just focus on debt payback. Good work with having and keeping the 2 jobs to help accelerate that process.  
+10 votes
by (1.1k points)
The approval rate for the forgiveness program is extremely low. Just plan on paying it off. Is Taco Time a smaller family owned company? That might be a factor for the difference in pay. It can't hurt to ask for an increase. Also I would hold off on getting another credit card. You are doing great! Increasing your income and paying down debt. It took time to get in this situation, it will take time to get out.  
+2 votes
by (3.9k points)
As some stated before, I wouldn’t ask for a 4 cent raise. I would ask for 50 cents or a dollar. I wouldn’t wait “until this is over either”. Is McDoanlds willing to give you more hours? If so, I would use that as leverage. But your letter/email should state: 1. ) How much of a raise you want. 2. ) Past performance and reasons why you deserve the raise. To include I haven’t gotten a raise in x amount of time. 3. ) what you plan to do in the future to make sure that the raise is not wasted.  
+3 votes
by (5.1k points)
Awesome job on the progress so far! Keep pushing forward to get rid of the rest of that credit card debt. Learn to recognize debt for what it is- financial risk. And like any risk, it must be managed (especially high-interest credit card debt). At lower income levels, debt is much more impactful and interest counts for a lot more. I'm all for credit cards, but you should be honest with yourself about why you have credit card debt to begin with before opening any more accounts. If you haven't already read it, take a look at "How to Manage Your Money When You Don't Have Any". If you happen to have Amazon Prime, you can read it for free through the Kindle app.  
0 votes
by (6.4k points)
Taco Time is a smaller company but they have been slammed every day during this crisis. I know they hire out their accounting. I'm not sure how strict they are on raises because some companies do a tiered system where each tier is a set pay rate. If you go in, know what to ask for. I know you've been there a while but there's no shame in finding a new employer if yours won't pay you what you're worth. Definitely don't get another credit card. It's not going to do much to help your score, you'd be better off the working on your current debt and only taking out loans when you need, like for a car (assuming you can't pay cash) or home. Especially a travel card, unless you already travel a lot.  
by (4.3k points)
@tentacle47 We are definitely slammed every day. I’m on the front lines cashing out and handing customers food and taking orders. I go home like it was a good days work and exhausted after my shift.  
+8 votes
by (2.6k points)
I'm seeing a lot of discussion online about how various meetings should have been an email. Given you're uncomfortable with approaching your manager in person, but seem to be more comfortable with email, perhaps rather than asking for a meeting, email them a request for a pay raise and outlining why, and possibly how much, but keep it to under about 500 words. Point form might be even better. Don't go for 4 cents. If you were working 40 hours/week, you're talking about $1. 60/week and $83. 20/year. I'd suggested going for at least $0. 25/hr and possibly asking what you'd have to do to move up to being an assistant manager or shift leader, etc. (e. g. taking on a roll with a bit more responsibility).  
0 votes
by (6.5k points)
Lots of good comments on this one, @concertante76454. On to the new credit card question. I would not get another card just to help with your credit score. This could turn into a bigger discussion, but that's my quick take. Good job working hard and chipping away at the debt.  
+2 votes
by (4.3k points)
I think there may be some confusion. I haven’t asked for a $0. 04 raise. That is the difference between my pay at Taco Time and McDonald’s. I would ask for at least more than $14 close to $14. 50. I’ll hit 3 years with Taco Time in November and I really like the team at Taco Time over team at McDonald’s. I find myself getting angry because people stand around and just watch me pull the quarter meat off the grill instead of just offering to help when I’m behind. I don’t understand the mindset of these teenagers or their work ethic if they have one.  
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