There are many reasons for rectal bleeding, ranging from hemorrhoids to colon cancer.
That said, cancer needs to be ruled out. An endoscopy is recommended, with the colonoscopy being the more comprehensive test. Depending on your age and risk factors, a flexible sigmoidoscopy can be considered as well.
In any case, these options should be discussed with your personal physician.
This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
Kevin Pho, M.D.
If you need a test, try to get it. Some doctors will adjust fees or arrange payment schedules. You don't say what sort of freelancing you do; there are sometimes professional groups through which one can get health insurance. If you are in the Bay Area and in media, I can suggest one possible possiiblity; email me privately.