It might seem strange for us to give you options besides a loan, but we understand that a loan might not be for everyone If you have cheaper or easier options, why not take advantage of them.
So, before you commit to a loan, take a look at some possible alternatives.
1. Friends & Family
This is often the go to source for help with people and for good reason. It is hard to beat a free loan. No interest, no fees, just the money that you need to get back on track. Without all of those loan fees, it is much easier to get your finances on track.
On the flip side, a cash loan between family or a friend can be dangerous. There are land mines everywhere and if you step on one, you could end up with hurt feelings or a lost friendship.
To navigate this minefield you need to do one thing, documentation. Record the entire transaction so that if someone gets a little fuzzy about the details, you have a record.
From the beginning, before you accept any money, write out a basic loan contract. Include information like how much is being borrowed, how much is to be repaid and how it is to be repaid. Include as many details as you can, but do not get carried away.
You should both sign the contract and both get a copy to keep.
In addition, when you do pay back the loan, do so with a check, money order or electronically. This assures that you have proof that you paid back all of the money.
It may sound a little odd to get a contract for a loan between friend or family, but it is in your best interest. It protects you both.
2. Selling Your Useless Property
We all have things in our home that we do not need or use but we often have a hard time letting go. Take a walk around your home and see what items that you have not used for at least 6 months. You might be surprised at how much junk you have actually accumulated.
Lucky for you, your junk is someone else’s treasure. Take all of the stuff you do not need and turn it into your emergency money solution.
For the quickest money solution, sell your stuff locally on websites like Craigslist. You can also use apps like 5Mile or the up and coming Facebook Marketplace. Once you have a sale, use caution. Accept only cash and meet in a very public area.
If you have a little leeway and can afford to wait a bit, eBay might be the best choice for you. Being a global marketplace, it can help you get top dollar for your item.
3. Eliminating Your Need For Money
Sounds odd right, but maybe you do not need to borrow any money. You may be able to eliminate your need for money by reducing your regular expenses. There are number of ways to do this.
The easiest way to go about reducing expenses if you have an auto loan is to ask for a deferred payment. This simply moves a payment to the end of the loan, allowing you to skip the current month. You usually need to be in good status with your lender to pull this off, so act quickly. If successful, you could free up hundreds of dollars right away.
The next best way to free up some extra cash is to slash that food budget. We waste a lot of money on food, especially fast food. If you regularly eat fast food during the work week, you can shave almost 200 dollars off of your expenses by cutting that out and bringing your lunch.
Another way to cut your bills is to change what you eat. Switching to cheap staples like rice, beans and potatoes can save you big. It might not sound fun eating rice and beans for a week but if it saves you from an expensive loan, it might be worth it.
Every persons budget is different, so take a look at yours and see where you can make cuts. It could help save you from a loan now and even allow you to start saving for the next emergency.
4. Get An Advance From Work
Some employers are more than willing to give you a cash advance loan on your paycheck. A good employer knows that keeping their workforce happy is in their best interest. In addition, since you get paid after you earn the money, you have probably already earned money towards your next check. A loan is a no risk deal for an employer.
The only word of caution with a loan from your employer, use it sparingly. Although there is no risk to your employer, there will be some paperwork involved. This means that frequent loans could get irritating.