The need for cash on hand, above and beyond what may be available in a checking or savings account, comes around more often than most people appreciate. Finding quick, affordable cash for financial needs, including unexpected bills, medical emergencies, or replacement of income due to disability, is not always an easy feat, though. Instead of going to family members or friends with a hand out, consider these safe and easy way to access funding for a variety of financial needs.
Ask for an Advance
If you’re in need of cash in the next day or two, check with your employer as your first resource. Many 9 to 5 jobs do not advertise their ability to front money to an employee before the next paycheck cycle, but some do offer this as a benefit. Connect with the human resources department to see if a cash advance on a paycheck is available, what the costs are, and if there are any eligibility requirements that must be met before submitting a request. While not a common option, when a paycheck advance is available, it is the most cost-effective method to get the funds you need.
Use your Car as Collateral
When you have a vehicle that is owned free and clear, meaning there is no outstanding loan balance owed to a lender for the car, it could be a benefit when a financial emergency arises. Local car title lenders offer loans up to the accumulated equity in your vehicle, with manageable repayment terms that can extend for more than a year. When considering a title loan as an option, be sure to crunch the numbers and work with a reputable lender to ensure the loan you are taking out on your vehicle is affordable each month.
Check your Credit Card
Another simple option for borrowing when an unexpected bill throws a wrench in your financial picture is a credit card cash advance. Similar to a personal loan, credit card companies allow cardholders the ability to take out cash, either as a bank transfer or as an ATM withdrawal from an available credit line. Cash advances are typically immediate, meaning you have access to the funds you need in a matter of moments. While credit card cash advances are the easiest method to access cash quickly, they come with a hefty cost. Cash advances are charged interest, typically higher than the interest rate applied to credit card purchases, and there may be an added convenience fee added to the advance. If the balance cannot be repaid quickly, the interest charges can add up to make an advance a costly, difficult to repay choice.
Purge Unwanted Items
If you have unwanted to unused items laying around the house, purging them can be a great source of extra cash that costs you nothing except time and maybe some sweat equity. Look around your living room, bedroom, basement, and closet to see if there are pieces of furniture, lightly worn clothes, or other valuable items that could turn into cash on hand by either selling or pawning them. If you’d rather not use a traditional pawn shop to trade your items for the cash you need, consider utilizing social media apps that connect sellers and buyers without any added fees.
Needing cash in a hurry is not a comfortable feeling, but knowing where to access funding to cover unanticipated bills is the best way to prepare when savings simply won’t cut it. Check with your employer first, and consider unloading unwanted household items to generate additional funds. If these options are not available, remember that a vehicle can be used as collateral for a short-term loan, and credit card cash advances may be a last resort. Take the time to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each option before making your decision.