Finding yourself stuck with no cash in your wallet when the bartender informs you that the establishment is ‘cash only’ can be frustrating, but what about times when a big medical expense arises and then your rent is due or your car transmission breaks down and you need it TODAY so you don’t miss your job and make your financial problems worse? These are the times when you NEED the money – NOW. Times like this are often what lead people into a debt spiral, but there are other things to try first. Here are eight ways to get cash fast (though some may be better than others):
1. Sell things you own: Whether it’s something valuable in your home or stocks you have accumulated in your employer’s stock plan at work (or stocks or mutual funds you hold outside retirement account), this is definitely a place to quickly find cash.
- Nothing to reimburse
- Can help declutter
- May be the least painful option
- You may have to sell an item for less than its actual value
- Maybe something you wanted to keep
- Capital gains taxes if you sell more than what you paid
2. Call for favors from the community: Many churches, synagogues, mosques, and other social communities maintain funds to help community members in need, so check there to see if you are eligible for assistance. Your workplace may also have an employee crisis fund.
- Usually no refund required
- Often comes with emotional support
- The application process can be thorough and seem intrusive
- There may be restrictions that require funds to flow directly to vendors like auto mechanics, homeowners, medical facilities, etc.
3. Donate plasma: Cookies and orange juice are enough to fill blood banks, but plasma donation centers actually pay people to donate this resource which is used in a wide variety of medical products.
- Your blood is a renewable resource (although federal regulations state that you cannot donate more than twice in a 7 day period and that you must wait at least 48 hours between donations)
- Your first time comes with a comprehensive health examination
- If you have a rare blood group or other antibodies, you may receive a bonus for your plasma.
- It takes time, takes 2-3 hours
- You must be in good health
- Some centers only pay with prepaid debit cards
4. Apply for a loan from your family or friends: You have to be careful not to abuse loved ones who may be too generous for their good, and I strongly advise to sign an agreement to keep things tidy, but asking those around you could be the relief you need, no credit score required.
- No credit check
- Low or no interest
- Flexibility possible with reimbursement
- Potential annoyance
- Could endanger important relationships – watch out for extravagant spending if you haven’t paid back the money yet to avoid possible resentment
- Thanksgiving could get awkward
5. Get an odd job that earns tips: Waiting for tables, bar, washing cars, delivering pizza, even babysitting and caring for animals while people are on vacation – there are many ways in today’s world where you can work for a while. a shift and bring home money without having to wait for payday. Be creative and ask around in your community.
- You don’t have to give up anything but your time
- The harder you work, the more you earn
- It may take a while to build up the amount of money you need right now
- Time is limited. If you have children who need care while you are working, it may not be worth it
6. Borrow from your 401 (k): Depending on your plan, you can sometimes get a check in hand within a day or two.
- Repay yourself
- No credit check
- Relatively low interest rate
- Need to have enough in your account to borrow (you are generally limited to 50% of your balance up to $ 50,000)
- You may have to pay off the outstanding balance all at once if you lose your job or quit, risking tax problems if you don’t.
- Could jeopardize your retirement
6. Use a credit card cash advance: Not the best option, but worth exploring if you are desperate. Ideally, you would only use it if you had a card with a low or 0% promotional interest rate.
- No credit check, assuming card is already open
- Can often write a check
- Very high fees and often high interest rates
- Could negatively affect your credit score if you approach your credit limit
7. Take out a payday loan: I wish I didn’t even have to include this as a viable option because these are so toxic to people’s financial well-being, but I have to do so so I can explain how bad they can be. very bad.
- Honestly, I can’t think of a good thing besides the fact that you can get the cash fast
- High fees and interest rates
- Can quickly snowball out of control
- Little or no flexibility with return on investment
- One of the main reasons people end up in bankruptcy
If you are unsure which of these options is best for you, help may be available. Check with your employer to see if you have a financial welfare benefit or if you have access to financial advice through your EAP (employee assistance program). They won’t be able to write you a check, but you may find it useful to brainstorm with the help of a professional who can also help you get your finances back on track once you get through the bottom of the roller coaster. . of life.