When you are in financial need, you need money fast. Here are some ideas to help you get fast cash.
People often assume that if you need money now, you’ve been irresponsible with spending. However, that frequently isn’t the case. A financial emergency can occur anytime for all kinds of reasons: medical emergencies, unexpected expenses for car or home repairs, job loss, a relative in need, and more.
If you already have a full-time job, taking a part-time job might be the easiest option. Or maybe you’ve set aside money for emergency expenses. But when those aren’t possible, and you need money today, there are still many ways to come up with money fast.
Following are 25 we recommend, starting with options involving institutions you already deal with and then moving into more creative options. All of them are better than defaulting on debts and having bad credit scores.
Many businesses have moved to direct deposit to pay employees. On paydays, instead of distributing paychecks, these businesses deposit funds directly into employees’ bank accounts. In that scenario, the money is typically available the same day or the next business day, so delays from trips to the bank or waiting several business days for mail-in deposits to clear aren’t a concern.
If you need money now because of timing and not because of needing more than you have, direct deposit might be perfect for you. Are you still getting paper paychecks? See if your employer offers a direct deposit option.
If you need money now but want to avoid high-interest-rate payday loans or charging everything to your credit card, you might benefit from a payroll advance if your employer offers them.
These are short-term loans an employer provides, and repayment comes from future earned wages. Usually, there’s a formal application process for this, so make sure to get all necessary information beforehand.
Whether it’s a lender, your monthly utilities, or some other entity you owe, bill forbearance is sometimes an option if you’ve hit hard financial times and need to build back your finances. This involves paused or reduced payments for a limited time. Be aware that forbearance could mean higher payments later on or hits to your credit score.
Loan From a Retirement Account
Among emergency loans, this typically isn’t recommended except as a last-resort option, but it does have its advantages. For starters, the money is there. You’ll have to pay interest, but the loan won’t require a credit check and it won’t show up on your credit report.
If you’re borrowing from a 401(k) account, you won’t pay taxes or penalties, whereas you would on an early withdrawal. Some of the downsides are that the money you borrow will no longer be growing tax-free and that when you do repay the loan, the money will have less time to grow.
If you have a lot of debts, you might be able to take out one loan to pay off many or all of the others. Borrowers doing this can end up with an interest rate lower than most or all of the interest rates they previously had. This instantly frees up some money that otherwise would have gone to interest.
Student Loans Refinancing
If you have student loans, you may be able to save thousands of dollars and free up some cash by refinancing them. When you do that, you can get a lower monthly payment which, in addition to freeing up some cash, can enable you to pay off the debt faster.
Personal loans from banks or credit unions may be good options when you need more money than you have on hand but aren’t buying a big-ticket item such as a car. You get the money in one lump sum, the funds arrive quickly, there’s usually no collateral requirement, and the loans are easy to manage.
Interest rates may be higher but typically are lower than you’ll get from a credit card. Personal loans may also hit you with early repayment or origination fees.
Because of very high-interest rates, payday loans are often recommended as another option of last resort, but for someone with a bad credit history, they might be the best option. The application process is fast and easy, and there typically are fewer eligibility criteria for approval, including no credit checks.
Payday lenders provide immediate cash to the borrowers, and that sum goes back to the lenders from the next paycheck, with high-interest rates charged.
Cash Advance or Balance Transfer From a Credit Card
A credit card cash advance allows people to borrow money against their cards’ lines of credit instantly. The higher the credit limit, the more you can borrow. Cash advances are often easily handled at an ATM.
However, they can come with high fees and interest rates, and interest begins accruing immediately upon withdrawal; there is no grace period the way there is with a credit card between a purchase and the payment due date.
With a balance transfer, you can move debt from one credit card to another with a lower interest rate. As with refinancing a student loan or consolidating debts, this immediately frees up some cash that would have gone to interest.
In a lot of cases, charging big expenses to a credit card may be a last or only resort. It isn’t desirable because you likely won’t be able to pay off the balance all at once. Therefore, you’ll be paying interest for months or years, and you might fall into the hole of just paying the monthly minimum, but it can buy some time and stave off worse consequences provided you don’t exceed your credit limit.
Cash Loans From Cash App or Venmo
Cash App and Venmo may provide quick cash options for some users. On Cash App, whether you can borrow depends on things such as credit history and score, what state you live in, how frequently you use the app, and whether you’ve activated a Cash Card.
If you are eligible, you can borrow up to $200, and you have four weeks to repay it plus a 5% fee. Not paying it off in that period results in weekly finance charges on the outstanding balance.
If you have a Venmo credit card, you can get a cash advance from it. This is similar to cash advances from other credit cards, with high-interest rates that start immediately and additional fees as well.
New Cell Phone/Cable/Internet Plan
When you need money now but don’t want to mess around with loans, cash advances, etc., there are several options. Changing your phone, cable, or internet plan to one that’s less expensive is one of them. Because you’re paying less per month for those things, you’re freeing up money to spend elsewhere.
Pawn shops are a long-established way of getting cash in a hurry. You can sell items outright, you can offer items as collateral and borrow against their value, or you can sometimes get a direct loan. In that last case, you’ll have high-interest rates, but they’re often lower than those for payday loans, and they don’t require credit checks.
Selling Unwanted, Unused, and Unneeded Items on Your Own
Selling items on your own is another convenient way to raise cash quickly, and there are all kinds of options: garage and yard sales, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and neighborhood websites are some of them. You can usually get a better price than you would at a pawn shop, especially for things such as jewelry and electronics. The downside: if no one buys, there’s no cash.
Renting a Room Out
A source of side income for many people, even those who don’t need cash fast, is renting a room out. You can look for a long-term tenant, or you can go the Airbnb route and host guests. Of course, location, amenities, and market demand are key, and you don’t have much control over those.
Anyone with a pet, especially a higher-maintenance one such as a dog, needs someone to look in on them from time to time, whether it’s because of an exceptionally long day at work or a vacation. Rather than kennel their pets, many pet owners feel better about keeping them at home and having people come to them or even stay with them. Usually, pet sitting provides good pay and flexible hours.
If you have a particular skill– writing and editing, handyman, and mechanic are just some examples– you can apply it to side gigs. Demand can fluctuate greatly, and marketing yourself can be difficult, especially at first, but you get to set your own prices, and payment is often in cash and on the spot.
Online Teaching and Tutoring
The traditional school schedule doesn’t work for everyone, and there are always students in need of tutoring. Technological advances have made online teaching and tutoring easier and more efficient, and the field has seen a lot of growth. You can freelance or work through an agency. Freelancing will pay better, but then you have to find your own clients, so the work may be less steady.
There are numerous websites that will pay people to complete online surveys for research and marketing purposes. The amount paid usually depends on the length and how many you complete, and you can complete them on your own schedule.
Crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe are popular ways to raise money. Be specific about the need for the money and how it will be spent so that people will be less suspicious and more willing to give. Medical emergencies are common reasons for crowdfunding campaigns.
Some people don’t have time to do grocery shopping and other errands. In other cases, they may be high-profile people who could be at risk of threats and harassment in public places. Many of these people are willing to pay personal assistants to shop for them.
Uber or Lyft
If you have a reliable car, a good driving record, and flexible hours, driving for Uber or Lyft might be a good option for fast side income. Always calculate maintenance and fuel expenses into things when deciding if this is a good option for you.
If being a driver appeals to you, but you prefer to operate independently, that’s an option, too. A great example of this is providing rides to and from the airport for neighbors or helping elderly or disabled people run errands.
Another driving option is food delivery. There are several companies, such as Uber Eats, that deliver food from restaurants to homes. Often, you can tailor the hours you work to fit your existing schedule.
Assistance From Family or Friends
No one likes asking family or friends for money, and no one likes being asked for money by family or friends. However, these are people more likely to be sympathetic to your situation and to give you better terms. It’s best to do this only in truly dire circumstances and to make sure you repay on time.
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