20 Ways To Get Fast Cash (And 3 Ways That You Should Avoid)

Sometimes, people need some fast cash when they can’t wait for their next paycheck and don’t want to mess around with high-interest credit cards with an APR that could get them into debt and bad credit.

One of the most common ways to do this is to add a side gig to supplement income from your full-time job, but not everyone has the time or interest for that. Fortunately, there are plenty of side gigs and one-time cash opportunities to choose from when you need some fast cash.

Good Ways To Get Fast Cash

Sell Something

If you have items in good condition that are just collecting dust, sell them. You have all kinds of options to do so: a garage sale, lawn sale, neighborhood website, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay, etc. Garages and basements are often filled with unused sellable items.

Pawn Something

If you have something valuable like jewelry that you don’t want to part with, you can pawn it. The pawnbroker trades you cash for the item, keeping it as collateral until you pay the money back.

Sell Unused Gift Cards

A gift card only has value if you use it. You turn unused or unwanted gift cards into fast cash by selling them below their stored value.

Take on a Freelance Gig

Freelancing lets you set your own schedule. You can offer copywriting or graphic design services, write a blog, do odd jobs, and so on.

Pet Sit

There are always pet owners in need of a pet sitter. When you pet sit, you earn fast cash while doing something that’s usually pretty fun and stress-free.


If you’re good with kids and know first aid and CPR, you can babysit for fast cash. It doesn’t have to be a regular gig, sometimes, parents just want a date night or to run errands without the kids.

Ask for a Loan From a Family Member or Friend

This can be an awkward situation, and many recommend avoiding it. However, if you’re good for the money, friends or relatives may be okay with agreeing to short-term loans. And there are no credit checks or draconian repayment terms.

Become a Food Delivery Driver

These gigs offer flexible hours and the chance to move about. Another plus is that delivery drivers often get tips in addition to their wages.

Rent Out Extra Space

Do you have extra space or rooms in your house? Make them make money for you. People in your neighborhood could save money on renting a storage unit, or you can be the host of an Airbnb.

Consolidate Your Debt

One way to escape high-interest rates and manage debts is to consolidate them. Because you’ll be paying less interest, you’ll instantly free up some cash.

Flip Items

When you flip things, you do some restoration and then sell them for more than you paid for them. People usually think of houses with flipping, but there are many things you can flip that require far less capital: musical instruments, antiques, sports jerseys, vintage concert t-shirts, toys, and more.

Look For Paid Research Studies

Researchers are often willing to pay people for their time in order to get the information they need. Today, this often requires little more than an internet connection, so it’s really convenient.

Turn Coins Into Cash

Everyone knows how coins can accumulate. No one wants to throw money away, but then they forget to spend their spare change. Gather it together and take it to a machine that will count it and return cash to you.

Find Unclaimed Money

Many people don’t know this, but if a business owes you money but can’t locate you, they can turn it over to the state. There are free websites that can help you locate any unclaimed money you may be due.

Ask for a Raise

You can always ask your employer for a raise; make a firm but polite case for why it’s appropriate. If you have direct deposit, that money will be easily available on your next payday or the next business day.

Request a Payroll Advance

You can also ask your employer for a payroll advance. This is a short-term loan taken from an upcoming paycheck when you have unexpected expenses that can’t wait.

Sell Spare Electronics

Laptops, tablets, stereo equipment, and other electronics can be sold for money. So can CDs and DVDs. Often, companies will buy back your electronics in order to refurbish and resell them.

Seek Community Loans and Assistance

If you have a truly dire situation, such as a job loss or health emergency, you may be able to rely on generosity in the community. It’s usually better if someone else makes the appeal.

Take a Loan From Your Retirement Account

This is an option you should use only if others aren’t working. Borrowers have to pay the loan back within a set period. During that time, the money isn’t growing, and the account, having less value, isn’t growing as much as it was.

Change Your Cell Phone Plan

Do you really need all the bells and whistles of your cell phone plan? Free up cash by switching to a cheaper plan that still meets your basic needs.

Avoid These Ways To Get Fast Cash

There are some ways to avoid when there’s a need for fast cash. These should be last-resort options and are best avoided entirely.

Payday Loans

There’s many an example of a payday lender who engages in questionable practices. Even if predatory lending isn’t going on, payday loans come with very high interest rates that may get you into a cycle of debt.

Title Loans

This is a short-term, high-interest loan with your car as collateral, often marketed to people with bad credit. If you don’t meet the terms, you don’t have a car.

Credit Card Cash Advances

With a credit card, you can go to an ATM and withdraw cash against your credit limit. It’s not a shady practice, but it’s usually associated with high interest rates, and the interest starts accruing immediately, not at your payment due date, so there’s no option to pay it all back without interest.


Fast cash isn’t hard to get since there are so many options for it. It’s not a long-term solution to financial problems, but it can provide a quick fix. Just be careful with options that could get you stuck in debt.


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Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.