7 Great (and Not so Great) Options for when You Need Fast Cash

A financial emergency is often a desperate situation, one full of challenges and tough decisions. Car repairs, medical bills and unpaid utilities frequently fall into this category as does an unexpected job loss or other kind of personal tragedy like a house fire. For these types of money-based financial urgencies, there are seven great, and not so great, options for when you need fast cash.

When Life Requires Cash, There are Seven Great, and Not So Great, Options for Getting It

The old saying “money makes the world go round” is never more relevant than when an urgent financial situation develops, and you don’t have the cash to cover it. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to gain access to fast cash. Seven great, and not so great, options for quick money range from taking out a personal loan to withdrawing cash from a credit card account. You could turn to peer-to-peer lending or even borrow funds from yourself to get the fast cash that you need.

Request a Personal Loan

Personal loans are fast cash loans that banks and other traditional financial institutions provide. Secured and unsecured versions exist. If your credit score is on the low side, then you may need to back the loan with collateral. A better credit score qualifies you for a lower interest rate. The good thing about personal loans is that banks and credit unions have designed them for personal expenses.

Credit unions are like banks, but these financial institutions are owned by the members of the credit union. Those who belong to one usually work in the same industry or reside in the same geographic location. Credit unions are nonprofit institutions that share their earnings with members through decreased fees and better service.

CBS News advises borrowers to use a personal loan calculator to determine the amount of the monthly personal loan payment as well as what the total cost of the loan will come to once it’s repaid. If you have the time, be sure to compare the rates and fees that come with personal loans to make sure that you’re getting the best deal.

Borrow Emergency Funds from Yourself

When money-based emergencies arise, consider seeking a payroll advance from your employer. Fast loans like these are typically free of fees, and you won’t be required to repay it. If your employer permits payroll advances, be sure to avoid abusing the option as it could create problems with your employment.

If your workplace does not allow for payroll advances, check into ActiveHours. This app provides advances based on your paycheck. It will require you to repay the full loan amount on your payday. ActiveHours does not charge a fee or interest for this service, but it will request a donation. To process the loan, the app will need your bank account information and access to your work time sheets.

Withdraw Money from a Retirement Account

When you need fast cash, you can withdraw money from a retirement account like a 401K or an IRA. The interest on these fast loans is typically low, and the withdrawal won’t affect your credit score. With fast cash loans like these, you will probably be required to pay it back in a certain timeframe.

The problem with taking out fast cash from a retirement account is that you are literally borrowing from your future, and this comes with consequences like decreasing the amount that you’ll be able to save for retirement.

Request a Community Loan from a Nonprofit Organization

Head to Google to search your local area for community assistance from a church or a nonprofit organization. NerdWallet reports that local churches often provide small fast loans at low rates. Community centers sometimes offer this service as well. Organizations that provide these types of fast loans may only do so to help you with bills that fall into the basic needs category. This may include rent payments, utilities or food-based emergencies. If you’re approved, the organization is likely to get the money to you quickly. They may also offer flexible repayment terms.

Take Out a Home Equity Loan

If you are a homeowner and you have equity built up in your property, then look into taking out a home equity line of credit. According to QuickandDirtyTips.com, you may be able to quality for a low-interest home equity loan. These types of fast cash loans are easy to qualify for since they’re secured based on the value of your home. However, they are complex and can result in a foreclosure if you fail to repay them. Use this option cautiously.

Make a Request for a Peer-to-Peer Loan

Peer-to-peer, or P2P, lending has been a borrowing option since 2005. Instead of turning to a traditional financial institution, you’ll be using an online platform that gives you a way to borrow from an individual. P2P lending is becoming more popular because people are discovering its benefits for fast cash as well as for cutting out the middleman.

The lending process is a streamlined one that’s a win for both the borrower and the lender. Basically, the borrower pays a low interest rate while the person who is lending out the money earns a profit. Currently, the interest rates for these fast loans are as low as 6 percent, and the average return for lenders is in the double digits.

Fast Cash Loans are Available in the Form of a Credit Card Cash Advance

When you need money right away, fast cash loans are available through credit card companies by way of cash advances. You can withdraw this money from an ATM, or you can use a check from the credit card company and cash it at the bank. Most credit card issuers charge a transaction fee for this type of loan.

They also usually charge a higher interest rate when you use your account this way. Call the company before withdrawing the funds because some financial institutions have a cash limit that’s lower than your total credit card limit when it comes to cash advances.

Fast Cash is There if You Know Where to Look

With these seven great, and not so great, ways to get extra money, fast cash is there when you know where to look. While it’s always ideal to have emergency funds set aside for urgent situations, it’s tough for many people to make ends meet let alone put money away for later. To read more about ways to gain access to fast cash, visit the Personal Money Store.