Finances are finicky at the best of times. No matter how prepared you are, you can be hit by a financial emergency at any moment. Kids get sick; the car needs repairs, you lose your job…the list goes on. So, what can you do when you need emergency money? Your choices for raising cash in a hurry vary depending on how much money you need and how quickly you need it, but here are some of the top ways to make emergency money.
- Sell Unwanted Items
Everybody has things we don’t need anymore. You can get some extra cash by selling the things cluttering your home. Put them up for sale online or consider having a yard sale. You’ll be surprised by how much money your “junk” gets you.
- Take on Some Odd Jobs
If you have the time, you should consider taking on odd jobs as a way how to get emergency money. Do things like becoming a dog walker or sitter, random chores for your neighbors, or work for a ride sharing service.
- Cash in on Investments
Cashing in on investments isn’t the best method for raising money in a hurry, but if you’re facing an emergency and you’ve got the resources, then this could be a good choice. Be mindful of the fact that if you cash out stocks or bonds, then you may need to pay taxes/tax penalties on them, especially if the money was kept in a retirement account. It’s also not likely for you to immediately get cash from cashing in, so don’t use this option if you need the money right now.
- Use the Equity on a Life Insurance Policy
If you have a life insurance policy and have had it for a number of years, then you may have some equity you could borrow against. Given that the money is offered as a loan, there’s no need to pay taxes on it. Just be mindful that withdrawing money from your life insurance policy reduces how much cash will be paid out when the unfortunate happens. You could alternatively choose to cash out the policy altogether, but this could mean having to pay taxes that are equal to – or greater than – the premiums you’ve paid into the account.
- Take Out an Overdraft Loan
Your bank could hold the answer for how to get emergency money. You may be able to get an overdraft on your checking account. You wouldn’t be able to write a check for cash, but you could possibly pay off a bill with a debit card or check that would have bounced otherwise. Overdrafts can allow you to pay off utility bills to keep the power going or buy groceries to keep the family going. Just beware that financial institutions typically charge high-interest rates on overdrafts and your account is at risk if you don’t pay the money back.
- Take Out a Reverse Mortgage or Home Equity Loan
If you’re looking for ways to make emergency money that offer a considerable amount of money, then you should consider borrowing against the equity of your home. These home equity loans offer several benefits. As the loan is secured on equity, they generally come with low-interest rates, and the interest is tax-deductible. The loan terms are generally long with these loans. Just be sure that you pay off the loan in time because your home could be at risk if you don’t.
Seniors who own homes may be eligible to receive a reverse mortgage. This is basically a loan where an older homeowner borrows from equity without the need for monthly mortgage repayments. The money can be taken as a line of credit, as regular payments, or as cash. Once again, be sure to make the payments on time, or you run the risk of losing your home.
- Apply for a Personal Loan
A personal loan can be a cash option if you have a good credit score. Many personal lenders online can have loans approved within a business day and have the money in your account within another business day. Some lenders also consider borrowers who have bad credit. These bad credit loans do come with high-interest rates, though. Make sure that you can afford what you borrow, especially if you already have financial problems.
- Apply for a Payday Loan
Consider an instant cash advance or a payday loan for a short term to get cash. They are convenient, and they get you money in a hurry, sure, but they have higher interest rates. If you don’t pay the money back in full in time, you’ll also be stuck in a cycle of partial repayments and renewals that barely scratch the surface of what you owe. It is something you should consider if you have exhausted all other options but take care. Borrow what you need and get it all paid back as soon as you can.
- Take Out an Advance on your Credit Card
If you haven’t maxed out your credit card and the money you need is within the credit limit, then you could. Just be careful as credit card companies will almost always charge exorbitant interest rates on those credit advances. You can also face penalty interest rates and risk losing your account if you don’t make the payment on time too. If you believe that you could repay the loan on time though, then this is one way to get emergency cash.
- Take Out a Pawn Shop Loan
Pawnshops offer no questions asked loans that come without restrictions on how the money can be used. Just remember that pawnshops only offer a fraction of the amount of the actual value of the items and they charge some steep interest rates. If you don’t pay back the loan on time, then you also forfeit the possessions it was taken out on. It’s something you should consider only if you are that desperate for money and know you can quickly repay the loan.
These options can help you to get emergency money when you need it. Choose the right option for you, depending on your needs. Don’t forget to start building a nest egg as soon as you can so that you don’t need to rely on emergency loans in the future.