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In these uncertain times, it's nearly impossible to keep control of your finances. Something as minor as having your work hours reduced for one week or an unscheduled doctor's visit can easily send you into a financial tailspin.
When this happens, you'd better take a hard look at your options for getting fast cash. Each of these comes with some disadvantages - riding out the storm will depend on understanding your circumstances and making sure that you get cash without hurting your long-term situation.
Things to Keep in Mind When Looking for Fast Cash
Getting a cash loan may relieve the pain you're feeling right now, but living on credit is never a true long-term solution. Used properly, getting a loan is often the most responsible thing you can do, but it's important to remember that this isn't free cash: going into debt can have serious consequences if you don't keep your eyes open.
The first thing you should consider is the interest rate. This is a figure that tells you how much will be added to the loan over the course of a year; it can vary from about 15% for someone with good credit taking out a term loan to much, much more than that. If you're only looking for very short-term relief such as a payday cash advance, this becomes less important: even though the number is high, you'll most likely repay the loan in a matter of weeks, keeping the additional dollar amount you'll pay to a minimum.
Interest is normally expressed as an APR, which includes all normal finance and administrative fees. It does not, however, account for other charges. In general, you'll be hit with a surcharge if you have to "roll over" a payday or title loan because you couldn't keep up with the payments. In many cases, you'll also be penalized if you pay the loan off early: the lender counts on interest piling up in order to make money and requires you to give them extra cash if you short-circuit this.
Finally, the reputation of the lender is also very important. Some are definitely fairer than others; you can check this by contacting the Better Business Bureau or reading online reviews. You can generally rest easy if you apply through a loan referral service like DirectLoanTransfer: the lenders in their network are required to maintain certain ethical and professional standards.
Other Ways of Dealing with a Financial Emergency
When you need cash now and urgently, it can feel like the bottom of your world has dropped away beneath you. A quick loan you are sure you can repay can help to tide you over, but you may need to also make other changes to your finances and lifestyle.
Perhaps the first thing you should do is call up your landlord, utility company, and anyone else you may end up owing cash. They probably have their own mortgage, maintenance and other expenses, but they might also be more lenient than you think when it comes to being flexible with payments for a few months. A lot of Americans are suffering right now, so they're sure to understand the situation. Most of them will also realize that it's better to allow you a little bit of leeway for the time being instead of losing a customer or tenant. Almost all of them will appreciate being kept in the loop if you may have to miss a few payments, and the earlier, the better.
You may also want to look around for a part-time job to help make ends meet. In many cases, this will mean working for yourself; so take an hour or so to think and make an inventory of your skills, interests, and experience. Perhaps you can get paid for basic handyman work, apply your professional skills as an online freelancer, or jump in your car to earn some extra cash as a delivery or ridesharing driver. Not only will this relieve some of the strain on your bank account, but you may also find it easier to get the credit you need. Several alternative lenders don't insist on pay stubs and will be reasonable about someone getting paid under the table.
Finally, you should also be ruthless in slashing your budget. Most people really do spend more cash than they need to; this is not what you should be doing when you're relying on a loan to get by. Many of these expenses are those little luxuries we're not even aware of: a vending machine soft drink here, a gas station taco there, take-out coffee: these little things add up quietly but quickly. Of course, you should also do what you can to reduce major expenses - start shopping intelligently and put off optional purchases like clothing, or perhaps even sell your car if it's a money pit.
If you've been struck by unemployment and can't make money, how can you get the cash you need? Many lenders will indeed not supply term loans or even a payday loan to people without a source of income.
Don't, however, let this stop you from searching. Especially when you look beyond traditional banks into more innovative finance companies, you'll find that many of them will be perfectly happy with offering quick loans to people with alternative income sources, including Social Security and unemployment benefits. To find out what quick cash options you qualify for, simply complete a short registration process on DirectLoanTransfer.com and get instant access to a large number of quotes.
You will be pre-approved for these based on the policies of the partner lenders working with this website, and can apply for both long-term and short-term loans. You have no obligations to them until you sign an electronic contract. How long the process takes depends on each lender, but you'll often see quick cash appear in your bank account either the same or the next business day. Not only does this allow you to borrow money online instantly (or the next best thing), it makes it easy to compare your different options and get the best deal. Some lenders specializing in quick cash credit have no problem with exploiting someone going through an emergency, so doing your homework in this way is essential.
Depending on how much quick cash you need, your credit score, and other factors, one or several of these routes may be at your disposal:
- If you've been with your employer for a fairly long time and proved that you are reliable, you can ask them for a cash advance. Money is tight all over, though - don't get your hopes up.
- Family and friends are another possibility for fast cash loans. Many relationships have been ruined permanently in this way, however, so use this option with care.
- You can ask for a cash advance on your credit card. This comes with very high fees and interest rates, and is best left for emergencies.
- One of the easiest ways how to make money instantly is to sell something you own, even though you'll almost certainly lose money on the deal.
- If you own a vehicle free and clear, you can use it as collateral for a title loan. You can typically get cash in your bank account on the next business day and keep driving your car, but you should make sure you understand all the terms of the loan.
- If you only need cash over the short term (i.e. a few weeks), a payday loan may suit you. This is a good source of credit for quick cash, but comes with relatively high interest payments.
- In contrast to payday loans, a personal loan can be paid off over several months or years. On the flip side, this also means that a low credit score can prevent you from getting quick cash in this way.
Your credit score is a number that represents the thousands of pieces of information accumulated about you by the three credit bureaus. This is important in good times but perhaps even more so when things are rough: someone with good credit may be able to get a loan even when everything else counts against them. With low credit, you can expect, at the very least, to pay a higher interest rate.
When you're temporarily short on cash, the most important things are to keep up with your payments as far as possible and don't take out a larger loan than you need. If you can't pay all your bills, try to negotiate with that creditor and see if they're willing to not report the lapse to the credit bureaus. On the other side of the coin, make sure that the lenders you deal with do report to credit bureaus; many of them don't bother, meaning that you get no points for settling the loan on time. Also, make at least the minimum payment on your credit card, and consider using a financial service that causes utility payments to count towards a better credit score.
Many people have recently lost their jobs or are suffering in some other way; if you need a quick cash loan, you're certainly not the only one. Try to remember that, however dark the future seems at the moment, this state of affairs is only temporary. Borrowing responsibly will be key to coming out stronger on the other side.
How many of you are currently in this situation? If you like, share your experiences with us in the comment section; people will enjoy knowing that their situation is far from unique.