Quick – you need $1000, and fast. What do you do?
Ideally, we’d all have emergency funds, but unfortunately, financial emergencies typically catch you unexpectedly. What do you do when the money is in short supply, but you need it quickly? Here are 5 ways to raise cash fast in an emergency situation.
- Borrow from Friends and Family
In situations like these, everyone’s first stop is probably friends and family. It’s the easiest solution, and the one that is quickest and requires the least amount of effort and paperwork. Especially if you have a close friend or relative who you know can afford to lend you the money, you’re golden.
Even if you can’t get the entire amount from only one person, asking around and contacting everyone you know might pay off. $30 here with $100 there and a few $10 contributions can help get you out of your predicament.
Why it works in an emergency: Unlike loans you get from the bank or other financial institutions, “unofficial” loans like this don’t come with credit checks, waiting times, paperwork, interest rates, contracts you need to sign, etc. A loan from a relative is much more casual.
The possible drawback: Mixing money and personal relationships can be tricky at best, and destructive, at worst, so you need to be careful and weigh your options.
- Get a Payday Loan
If family loans are out of the question, and a traditional loan from a bank takes too long to process, then it might be time to consider an alternative borrowing method: payday loans. Payday loans (or same day loans) can be pretty much instant, and while they don’t give you access to tons of money, they should be enough to cover your financial emergency in a timely manner, thus saving you from a colossal headache.
Why it works in an emergency: Payday loans are a reliable option in an emergency situation, because they are granted to almost everyone, even if you have bad credit, the applications are processed fast, and you should have the money by the end of the day. Sometimes, a few hours can really make a difference when you’re in a pinch.
The possible drawback: The downside is that payday loans don’t exactly have the best reputation. The interest charges are enormous (especially if you have a bad credit score), you need to pay the money back in a month (or up to 3 – 6, usually), and it can be a great way to get into a vicious circle of getting more payday loans to pay off your previous loans.
- Use Your Credit Card
It’s not the best solution in the world, but desperate times call for desperate measures. A lot of us have emergency credit cards just in case. Even if you don’t typically use it, now is the time to break it out in order to cover whatever financial emergency you’ve got, whether that’s an unexpected medical bill, a car repair, or some other issue.
Why it works in an emergency: This is money you have access to instantly, and that you’ve already been approved for, so there is zero waiting time. All you need to do is swipe. It’s good to keep a level head and remember that while credit cards can be dangerous, they can also be used for good, not evil.
The possible drawback: Of course, when talking about credit cards, words of caution are always needed: credit card debt is no joke, and if you’re not able to pay off the balance, you’ll incur some serious interest charges. Unless, of course, you take advantage of one of those no-interest introductory periods.
- Sell Valuable Possessions (Or Pawn Them)
Ok, we’re nearing crunch time and you haven’t been able to raise enough money. The other things you tried haven’t panned out like you’d wished, and you need a solution. I hate to bring it up, but have you considered pawning or selling some valuable items? It’s far from being an ideal solution, but even if it doesn’t solve the problem completely, it can buy you a little time.
Why it works in an emergency: Pawning or selling is the go-to for a lot of people, because it’s an instant transaction where you get to walk out with the cash you need. You just pick the item you want to pawn or sell, take it down to the pawn shop, they appraise it and give you an amount. You can haggle somewhat, but most of the time, you take it or leave it. Gold and other jewelry is great, but you can also trade in tech items or other possible heirlooms.
The possible drawback: Obviously, this can be majorly risky, because in the worst-case scenario, you might not get your item back. In addition to the permanent loss of your item, you don’t even get the full monetary value, but only 40%-70% of the value.
- Set Up a Go Fund Me
When nothing else works out and you’ve exhausted all your other options, it turns out the kindness of strangers can be relied on. You can set up a Go Fund Me for pretty much anything these days, so depending on your issue and the reason why you need money, you may be able to convince someone (or several someones) to help you out.
A good idea is to ask your friends and family to post it to their social media accounts. Getting funded by your loved ones might work, but if their loved ones and acquaintances also get wind of your predicament, they may be willing to chip in. If every person pitches in just $5, but you publicize it really well, you may reach your goal sooner than you thought.
Why it works in an emergency: This option is great because it can work pretty quickly, especially if you make it clear that you are in a tight spot and need the money as quickly as possible. Compared to other options that can take weeks to come to fruition, this can work out for you in just a few days, or even a few hours, depending on how much money you need, how much people want to help, and how much you publicize your case.
The possible drawback: Depending on your case, the amount you’re asking, and how likable you are, people might not be inclined to give you money that they won’t see back.
You’re never as stuck as you thought – which one of these emergency financial solutions is the right one for you?