Emergencies can happen. Whether you are in an pinch because of medical bills or a sudden loss of job, you may find yourself in a situation where you need money now. Here are what you can do to get cash fast.
1. Withdraw money from your emergency fund
If you have followed the advice of personal finance experts and built yourself an emergency fund, congratulations. Your emergency fund should be the first place to go if you are in need of fast cash.
2. Collect unemployment benefits
If you were laid off unexpectedly even though you had high-income skills, you would be entitled to unemployment benefits. Although these benefits may not replace 100% of your original income, they can still provide a decent amount of cash when you need it the most.
Collecting these benefits is your right, so make sure you exercise it.
3. Make money online by doing surveys
If you only need a small amount of cash, you can make it online by completing surveys on sites like Swagbucks, MyPoints or Opinion Outpost.
Swagbucks is currently offering a $5 signup bonus right now if you earn 2,500 SB within the first 60 days of membership.
Even if you don’t qualify for some paid online surveys, you may receive compensation for your time nonetheless. For example, Opinion Outpost will submit an entry for you to enter a $10,000 quarterly prize draw!
4. Trade in your old gadgets on Amazon
Do you have an old Kindle, tablet cell phone that you no longer use? Depending on the model and the condition, you can trade them in with Amazon in exchange for Amazon gift cards that can be used to redeem anything in your shopping cart!
Amazon offers free shipping for you to send in the device, and it may also offer instant payment on eligible trade-ins. If you need cash now, doing such a trade is a no-brainer. Let’s get on it today, and make some money fast!
5. Sell used items online
Selling used items online has worked wonders for me. Over the years, I have sold book shelves, lamps, computers, earphones, clothing, you name it.
Here is a list of online selling portals:
- For general one-stop shops, try Kijiji, Craigslist, Amazon or eBay.
- If you’re selling clothes or jewelries, try Poshmark.
- If you are selling used books, you may consider Bookscouter.
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6. Sell your stuff through a consignment store
If you have designer bags, clothings and accessories, you should consider selling them through a consignment store to get cash. Although the stores typically take a cut, they can help you sell the items at a much higher price.
7. Rent out your space or your car
If you have a spare room in your house or apartment, or if you are not using your car, you should rent it out to people in need. You will get paid at the same time too.
8. Do some work for your family or neighbors
There are many ways you can go about doing it. Below are a few suggestions:
- Be a driver for Uber or Lyft
- Be a babysitter for one hour
- Mow one lawn
- Become an Instacart Shopper
The list is endless. The bonus of such an effort to push yourself out of your comfort zone is that you may find the work to be tolerable, or even quite enjoyable. Who knows, you may actually turn it into a legitimate side hustle!
9. Use a pawn shop
If you have any valuables such as jewelries or collectibles, you can use a pawn shop to get some much needed cash. The pawnshop will simply keep the items as collaterals, and you can get them back once you repay the lawn.
You can also sell outright to the pawnshop as well.
10. Borrow against your retirement account
Although there are some restrictions, you can take a portion of the money out temporarily from your retirement account, such as your 401(k) in the U.S. or RRSP in Canada.
11. Borrow money from your family or trusted friends
Borrowing money sucks, but it can happen. Make sure that you have proper terms set up and that you repay your family member or friend afterward. You don’t want to be the one that takes the money and pretends that it never happened.
12. Overdraft on your bank account
If necessary, you can overdraft on your regular checking or savings account to get extra cash fast without approval. Banks can charge hefty overdraft fees, so make sure you repay the amounts as soon as you can.
13. Get a home equity loan
If you are fortunate enough to be a homeowner, getting a home equity loan is a great option if you are in need of cash.
One of the biggest advantages of being a home owner is that you can build equity over time. You can then borrow against the equity you build in your house. Because the loan is secured against the value of your home equity, lenders may be willing to offer better rates than most other types of personal loans.
A home equity loan gives you a lump sum upfront, which you pay down gradually with fixed monthly payments.
14. Use your home equity lines of credit
On the other hand, if you prefer to have something that operates more similar to a credit card, then opening home equity lines of credit can be a good alternative for home owners.
Again, because the lines of credit are secured against the equity of your home, the interest rates are much lower than those for a regular consumer credit card.
Alternatively, you can also sell a share of ownership in your home’s value to a company like Hometap.
15. Use an auto title loan
If you have a car, you can resort to an car title loan. The loan works in a similar way to the home equity loan, in that the loan is secured against your car.
These title loans typically carry lower interest rates than other loans because they are secured against your vehicles. Of course, the down side of that is if you can’t repay the loans, you will lose your vehicles.
16. Take out a personal loan from your bank
If you have a good credit score, your bank will likely be willing to give you a personal loan. You will get the funds upfront, and you will repay the loan on a repayment schedule that fits your budget.
17. Check out your local credit unions
If you have trouble getting a loan from a traditional bank, you may want to check out bank alternatives, such as a credit union. Some credit unions offer short-term cash advances called payday alternative loans.
These loans typically have more affordable interest rates. It may be easier to get approval because they consider additional factors other than just credit scores.
18. Use installment loans
An installment loan is a fast and easy method of getting financing. You can even get approved through a quick online application.
Of course, please proceed carefully. Check the interest rates and the payment terms, and make sure you can pay back the loan on time.
19. Use credit card cash advance
If you are in a pinch but have no alternatives, you can use your credit card as a last resort. Most cards allow cash advances up to a certain limit. Of course, credit card companies charge high interest rates.
The rates can be as high as 20%. Therefore, I recommend that you exhaust all other options before swiping your card. After all, you don’t want to be dealing with a huge credit card debt after your crisis is over.
20. Get a traditional payday loan
Although payday loans may seem like an extremely easy way to borrow small sums of money (there may be no credit check involved), you must be careful with using this option.
Although you can get a loan even if you have a bad credit score, it is not a free for all. Payday loan interest rates are some of the highest for any type of loan. As a matter of fact, some can carry an annual percentage rate (APR) as high as 500%! You may even be sucked into the dangerous payday loan cycle.
Although money can’t buy happiness, getting fast cash can still be crucial in your life. I hope these 20 viable ways to get fast cash can help you out. Before you proceed to choosing any of the loan options above, I recommend that you speak to a certified financial planner (CFP) or a certified professional accountant (CPA) for guidance.
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