Life’s little emergencies never seem to pop up at convenient times.
Of course, you try to always have an emergency fund available. But nonetheless, your car always seems to breaks down, or your kid breaks their arm when you’re low on funds.
- Credit Card Cash Advance
One of the quickest ways that you can get extra money is by taking out a credit card cash advance. You can do this at most ATMs and banks.
Be wary though, a cash advance is not the same thing as charging something on your card. Check your terms carefully. There is probably a lower credit limit and higher interest rate for cash advances. You also may be charged a transaction fee.
Because of the high-interest rate typical on credit card cash advances, this is one of the more expensive options that we’ll cover. But it’s also one of the fastest if you already have a card that will allow you to take out an advance.
- Personal Loan
If you can wait a few days at least, a personal loan could be an option. You can apply for a secured or unsecured loan at most banks.
However, this option will more than likely require a credit check. Plus, the interest rate will be based on your score. If your score isn’t very good, this could turn into a rather expensive option as well.
You could also look into online options. Peer-to-peer lending platforms like Lending Club or Prosper usually offer more reasonable interest rates. Once you get approved, you can get the money directly in your bank account rather quickly with this method.
- Payday Loan
Payday loans are another type of quick cash solution. They are typically easier to get than personal loans. This is particularly true if you have bad credit.
The idea is that the loan is an advance on your next paycheck. Thus, the repayment period is often shorter and the interest rate higher. You’ll also have to bring proof of employment and maybe even some references.
You can also try looking for online payday loans no credit check. This can be a handy, quick way of getting your hands on that much-needed cash.
In some cases, you can also go directly to your employer for a payday loan. If your employer has a program for this, and you’re in good standing with the company, this can be a less expensive option.
- Borrow From Your Future Self
If you’re even somewhat fiscally responsible you probably have a 401k or other type of retirement account, like an IRA. In some cases, you can take a loan on the money that you’ve already invested in the account.
This option often comes with a lower interest rate, which is helpful. However, the repayment window may be rather short.
Also, if you are at all unstable in your job at the moment this is not a good option. If you lose your job before you finish paying it back, the balance will usually be due immediately. If you can’t pay it, it will be treated as an early withdrawal and you’ll have to pay the penalties and taxes associated with that.
- Home Equity Loan
Do you have some equity built up in your home? You may be able to take out a loan on it in the form of a home equity loan or line of credit.
A loan works like a regular loan that you take out and then pay back on a fixed term. A line of credit is more like a credit card in that it revolves. That means you can take out an amount, be paying on it, and take out more as needed.
This method of securing funds tends to be cheaper since it’s backed by your home as collateral. Be careful, though, if something happens and you can’t pay back the loan you could lose your home.
- Friends and Family
You shouldn’t ever take advantage of family or friends, but in a pinch, they can be a good option for a loan. In order to help you out, they may offer you a loan with a very favorable interest rate. They may even give you the loan for free, but it would be in bad taste to expect that.
Instead, offer to draw up a contract like you would with a bank. Make sure the terms are clear and that you pay the loan back when you say you will. Many relationships have been lost over money because the borrower didn’t treat the lender with the respect they deserved.
- Pawn Shops
If none of these are viable options for you, start looking around your home. You may have something (or a few somethings) valuable enough to get a few hundred dollars at a pawn shop.
Pawn shops work by giving you a loan and holding your stuff as collateral. If you don’t pay back the loan on time, they have the right to sell your stuff to recuperate their investment. Thus, if you’re worried about being able to pay it back, don’t take anything you wouldn’t be willing to lose.
When You Need Cash Now, There Are Options
Needing money for an emergency can be stressful, especially when you don’t know where you’re going to get it from. But take a deep breath and know that there are options.
It might cost you a bit in interest and transaction fees, but there are many good options when you need cash now.
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