Maybe you’re between paychecks, and you have some important bills to pay. Maybe your business is in danger of going under, and you need to press through the next few weeks if you want to survive. Maybe your car broke down, and repairs cost more than you have, but you need a vehicle to continue working.
In any case, you have a window of a few days to raise a significant amount of cash. Fortunately for you, there are several possibilities for acquiring that capital, and making it through this obstacle.
These are some of your most viable options:
1. Ask friends and family. Your first step is to ask your friends and family members for a loan. It may put you in an uncomfortable position, but your close contacts are more likely to offer you a favorable rate than a bank or other professional lender. Just make sure you approach them with a plan to pay them back, and express your gratitude however you can.
2. Sell your assets. Look around your house—you probably have more assets to sell than you realize. You could sell your old car for parts, get rid of some of your old clothing, or get rid of some of your furniture or electronic devices. All in all, you can probably raise a few hundred dollars or more.
3. Find an online loan. From there, you may need to consider getting an online loan. There are plenty of sources available to choose from, and most of them can offer you a competitive rate, no matter what your credit history is. You’ll get cash immediately, with a payment plan to follow. Interest rates are higher than they are for formal loans like mortgages or auto loans, but as long as you pay the money back in relatively short order, it shouldn’t affect you too much.
4. Take on some odd jobs. If you have a secondary skillset, you could pick up a few odd jobs around your neighborhood to raise the money. For example, you could mow your neighbors’ lawns, or volunteer your handyperson services to a local company. You could even run errands as a temporary assistant for a few extra bucks. It will only take you a few hours of work, and you could raise $100 or more.
5. Tap your savings. Ideally, you’d have a pocket of emergency savings available to help you through a predicament like this. However, if you’re one of the 57 million Americans who don’t have any emergency savings, this may not be an option. If you have any retirement savings, you may also be able to withdraw money from that account; however, this is typically inadvisable, except for genuine emergencies.
6. Get an advance from your job. If you’ve been employed for the past several months (or preferably longer), you may be able to arrange for an advance from your employer. Essentially, you’ll get a paycheck in advance of the work you’re about to do; this may result in a shortfall later on, but it will give you the cash you need to address your current issues.
7. Get creative with your credit cards. If you can use a credit card, and you have an available balance to use, you can consider using it—even though the average 15 percent annual interest rate you’ll face is steep, and could put you even further in debt. If you aren’t able to use a credit card to get yourself out of this situation directly, you could offer to pay for a friend’s bills or goods in exchange for cash.
Understanding the Consequences
There are some situations where you need to raise cash—period. However, before you pursue any of the options mentioned above, you should understand the potential consequences. High interest rates, depleted savings, and strained personal relationships may not ultimately be worth whatever you need the cash for. Minimize your losses here the best you can, and once you’ve settled on an option, work to fulfill your end of the bargain as quickly as possible to stop the bleeding.