7 Ways to Get Quick Cash in an Emergency

Some emergencies in life can't be ignored, no matter how little cash you have in the bank.

If you need cash quickly, it may be time to think outside the box because it can take a week or more before you’d see loan funds from a traditional bank.

In an emergency situation, you just don't have that kind of time, so here are a few ideas on how to get fast cash (without falling into a debt trap!)

First Lines of Defense

Your first line of defense are the people in your life - you can always try asking for help before turning to a lender.

Perhaps you could negotiate an extension for a medical charge or utility bill, or maybe you could convince your boss for an advance on your next paycheck.

Friends and family can also be helpful, though it's unlikely you'd be reading this article if that were an option right now.

In any case, you may be able to avoid a high-interest loan if you just brush up on your people skills a little bit.

Online Loans

Some online lenders are designed to get applicants cash as quickly as possible, so bills that can't wait another minute longer may benefit from their rapid response times.

There are a variety of companies out there when it comes to online loans, so it pays to do some homework.

Some may cater to those looking for larger loans up to $50,000, for example, while others may specialize in applicants with poor credit.

Just keep in mind the cost for these conveniences is often reflected in a higher cost of borrowing.

Always calculate your interest and payments ahead of time to confirm you can afford an online loan (and know exactly what you’re getting into!)

Credit Card Cash Advance

It's possible to use your credit card to draw cash if you're in desperate need, but you'll need to start paying it back as soon as possible if you want to come out ahead since there is often no grace period on cash advance interest accruals.

All you have to do is take your credit card to an ATM and enter your PIN to get the money.

You almost certainly won't be able to take out cash up to your credit limit, but you can still get a good portion of it in this way.

Check your account to find out how much cash can be extended to you, but take note of the full cost of borrowing cash in this manner.

Interest rates are even higher for a cash advance (23.68% on average) and you may be charged an additional fee of $5-$10 just for processing.

Pawnshop Loans

A pawnshop loan is one that requires the applicant to leave something of value as collateral for the loan.

If for whatever reason you're unable to pay back the loan, your credit won't be affected but you will lose the rights to your physical property.

People often choose pawnshop loans because they can’t qualify for a loan otherwise.

In addition, a pawnshop loan doesn’t include a legal requirement to repay, so you don’t have to risk debt or credit problems - though it may lose you a cherished possession that you might not be ready to sell.

Payday Loans

Payday loans are typically open to people who have a steady job and stable bank account but need fast cash for an emergency.

They're popular because credit scores aren't generally checked, and they're a reliable source of funds when a person really has nowhere else to turn.

Interest rates are comparable to many of the options on this list, but the applicant has a shorter timeframe to pay back pay back the loan (around 14 days.)

Anyone who takes a payday loan should prioritize repaying the debt as quickly as possible to avoid compounding interest, or worse, getting caught in a payday loan debt cycle.

Payday Alternative Loans

If you have a little more wiggle room when it comes to paying off your debt, you can apply for a payday alternative loan at a credit union.

However, a federal credit union may only be able to lend you a portion of what you need and may take several days to approve your application.

If you only need a few hundred dollars, you may be able to get a starter credit card from a federal credit union to supplement your financial obligations.

Credit union loan approval times vary depending on who you see, but some may be able to approve your request in less than a week.

It's always going to be stressful to try to come up with emergency funds if your savings can't cover all of your bills, but you can make it easier for yourself by knowing what to expect.

Keep all your options in mind to make the right decision when the time comes!