Personal Loans

How to Get Cash Fast in an Emergency

We’ve all experienced unexpected financial emergencies. Big or small, these unplanned expenses usually feel like they hit at the worst times. It may be an unexpected medical bill, a car accident, a broken appliance, or a job loss. Whatever the reason, you need to find cash and fast. What can you do?

In an ideal world, we all have a good emergency fund to cover these types of expenses. However, that is not always possible.

The best source of fast cash in an emergency will vary depending on whether you need to raise funds in a few weeks or a few days. Some options are safe; others can make a bad situation worse.

1. Sell your junk

Everyone owns stuff they never use. Why not convert into cash? Sell old books and games on Amazon. Post an ad on Craigslist and sell your used tech, or host a good old-fashioned yard sale. You may surprise yourself with how much money you raise. As a bonus, you’ll clear the clutter out of your house or apartment.

WEIGH THE RISKS & BENEFITS

Here is a list of the benefits and the drawbacks to consider.

Pros
  • No interest rates.
  • Clears your clutter.
Cons
  • It only works if you have valuable items to sell.
  • No control over when your items will sell.

2. Take on a side job

If you have a month or two to raise the money you need, consider taking on odd jobs to raise cash. Sign up to become a dog walker, or set up a TaskRabbit account and find out what your neighbors need help with. You can also consider working as a Lyft driver. New drivers may receive a $500 earnings guarantee for completing 150 rides in the first 45 days.

 

WEIGH THE RISKS & BENEFITS

Here is a list of the benefits and the drawbacks to consider.

Pros
  • Earn money to get quick cash.
  • Find opportunities to continue earning extra money.
Cons
  • Cash may not be as fast as you need it.
  • May not be able to earn enough right away.

Can’t decide which side gig you should take on? SuperMoney can help you out with side-by-side reviews of some of the best odd jobs out there.

3. Get a loan from a friend or relative

If you’re in a bind, you can always ask a friend or relative to lend you the money. This may be the most affordable option, but you could be putting your relationship at risk. Many friendships have been lost over “misunderstandings” around loans. Make sure you put the loan agreement in writing and set up a clear plan for repayment. Then stick to your plan and repay the amount as promised.

WEIGH THE RISKS & BENEFITS

Here is a list of the benefits and the drawbacks to consider.

Pros
  • No formal approval process.
  • Get quick cash.
  • Custom repayment terms.
  • Often much cheaper than a regular loan.
Cons
  • May strain the relationship.
  • Need to find a person who will lend you the money.

4. Cash in your investments

Cashing in investments is not an ideal means of obtaining cash. But if you’re facing an emergency, they may be your best option. Just be careful. If you cash in bonds or stocks, you may have to pay taxes or even tax penalties if those funds were in a retirement account. You are also unlikely to walk out of your bank or investment broker’s office with cash, so they’re not the best choice if you need money immediately.

WEIGH THE RISKS & BENEFITS

Here is a list of the benefits and the drawbacks to consider.

Pros
  • No interest payments.
  • No need to take on debt.
Cons
  • Will reduce the earning potential of your savings.
  • Hard to replenish your savings.

5. Tap into equity on your life insurance policy

If you have held a whole-life insurance policy for several years, you may have built up equity that you can borrow against. And since it’s a loan, you won’t have to pay taxes on it. But withdrawing money from a life insurance policy reduces the amount of cash available for payout. As an alternative, you can cash out your policy altogether. However, this might incur tax obligations on any proceeds over and above what you’ve paid in premiums.

WEIGH THE RISKS & BENEFITS

Here is a list of the benefits and the drawbacks to consider.

Pros
  • No interest paid on withdrawal.
Cons
  • Reduces your policy cash value and death benefit.
  • It may trigger tax penalties.

6. Take out a home equity loan

If you need to raise a more considerable sum of money, you may be able to borrow against the equity of your home. Home equity loans are advantageous for several reasons. Because the loan is secured by equity, interest rates are usually low. Loan terms are 0ften long as well. Just be sure to repay your loan before the term is out — if you fail to do so, your home could be at risk.

WEIGH THE RISKS & BENEFITS

Here is a list of the benefits and the drawbacks to consider.

Pros
  • Low interest rates.
  • Large amounts.
  • Typically much cheaper than a regular loan.
Cons
  • It could put your home at risk.
  • It could take weeks to access the money.

7. Apply for a personal loan

If you have good credit, consider a personal loan. Many online personal loan lenders can approve your request within 24 hours and transfer the necessary funds to your account in another day. Some lenders, such as OppLoans, NetCredit, and Speedy Cash, will also consider borrowers with bad credit. However, these lenders charge very high interest rates, so make sure you can afford the payments, or you will just compound your financial difficulties.

SuperMoney’s personal loan engine can help you quickly find your best rate. Apply to pre-qualify with our network of reputable lenders all at once, just by answering a few quick questions. Plus, it won’t hurt your credit score. Apply now!

WEIGH THE RISKS & BENEFITS

Here is a list of the benefits and the drawbacks to consider.

Pros
  • Competitive rates.
  • Flexible repayment terms.
  • Higher loan amounts.
  • Easy to shop around with SuperMoney’s loan engine.
Cons
  • Not everyone will qualify. Approval is based on income and credit.
  • Fees may apply.

Interested in a personal loan? Compare lenders here, or see what you qualify for with our pre-approval engine here. Pre-approval won’t affect your credit score!

8. Use a credit card advance

If you have a credit card and your desired sum is within your credit limit, a credit card advance could be a “least bad” option. Be cautious: credit card companies charge steep interest rates on cash advances. If you miss a payment, you may incur penalty interest rates, or the credit card company may close your account. But if you are sure that you can repay the loan before the closing date, this is a great way to get fast cash.

WEIGH THE RISKS & BENEFITS

Here is a list of the benefits and the drawbacks to consider.

Pros
  • Fast access to cash.
  • No need to apply.
  • No early payment penalty.
Cons
  • High interest rate.
  • Easy to fall into a debt trap.