U.S. consular officers, in certain situations, can assist U.S. citizens abroad who are temporarily destitute because of unforeseen circumstances. U.S. citizens in Germany who find themselves in these circumstances should contact the nearest embassy or consulate, or the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 1-888-407-4747 (or from overseas at +1 202-501-4444).
Consular officers can help destitute U.S. citizens contact their family, bank, or employer to arrange for transfer of funds.
Fund transfers from the U.S. are typically straightforward. Most people can arrange for family or friends to send them money through commercial channels with the help of a collect phone call. Funds sent through services such as Western Union are the fastest and easiest. Although there is a mechanism for transferring funds through the Department of State, it is slower and more complex than through commercial channels in a country like Germany.