This 2023, less than half (48%) of Americans say they’re financially secure. Even more concerning is that about 12% have savings of only under $100, while some have nothing saved at all. Thus, it’s no wonder many U.S. consumers can’t deal with a financial emergency.
So if you’re in a financial pinch yourself, you may wonder how to get through such a trying time. It can be stressful, but the good news is you have several options to overcome your dilemma.
Below, we’ll share tips and tricks on how to get money to cover emergencies, so read on.
Determine How Much You Need
First, determine how much money you need to deal with your financial emergency.
You may not have to borrow money from anyone if it’s only a few hundred dollars. Instead, you may only need to give up a few gadgets. For instance, you can sell an extra laptop, smartphone, tablet, or gaming console.
If that’s not an option, consider doing a side gig that pays daily. For example, you can offer your labor and service to neighbors. You can also get remote or online jobs with daily or weekly pay.
If those methods aren’t enough to cover your emergency expenses, your next option is to take out a loan.
Apply for a Same- or Next-Day Bank Loan
Traditional banks used to take days, even weeks, to process personal loans. However, that has changed since fintech (financial technology) boomed. As a result, many U.S. banks now offer same- or next-day loans to their existing account holders.
If you have an existing bank account, see if your bank offers such financial services. If so, you may be eligible for a small personal loan with a fast approval process. In that case, your bank may disburse your loan amount within the same day or the following day.
Depending on your bank and account history, you can borrow anywhere from $1,000 to $100,000. Try this first, as your bank may offer the lowest interest rate out of all your personal loan options.
It’s vital to note, though, that like other bank loans, a same- or next-day loan often requires a good credit score. So as long as you’re one of the 67% of U.S. consumers with such a score, you may be eligible for a low-interest rate loan.
However, your bank may deny your loan application if you have a poor credit score. Even if they approve it, expect them to charge a higher interest. The process may also take a bit longer, as they may require you to submit additional documents.
Explore Online Cash Advance Loans
If you can’t get a loan from your bank, consider applying for cash advance loans online. These services are often from fintech companies specializing in same-day loan approval. Some even approve applications in as little as five minutes and disburse the loan soon after.
Online emergency cash advance loans, however, often have higher interest rates. One reason is that these services usually cater to borrowers with poor credit. That means you’re still likely to qualify for a loan even with a less-than-stellar credit score.
But in exchange for the risk that lenders take, they charge higher interest and extra fees. For instance, they may charge anywhere from 10% to 20% interest. By contrast, banks often charge less than 10% for customers with good credit scores.
That said, you should apply for a cash advance loan only after you’ve tried your bank first.
Borrow Cash From Your Credit Card
You can get emergency funds from a credit card through a cash advance or a credit limit conversion. You can consider getting either if you can’t get a bank loan or an online cash advance loan. It’s also an option if you get approved for a loan, but the amount you qualify for is too small.
A cash advance on a credit card lets you withdraw money from your available card limit. For example, suppose your card has a credit limit of $3,000, of which you’ve already used $2,000. If so, you can withdraw a part of the remaining $1,000 in cash.
A credit limit conversion, on the other hand, turns a portion of your credit limit into cash, wired to a bank account. So rather than withdrawing with your credit card, you send the money to a checking account first. Then, once reflected, you can use or take that money out of your checking account.
Credit limit conversions are often better since they usually have installment plans. That means you don’t have to pay them back in full on your following billing statement or due date. However, not all card issuers offer such services, but most, if not all, provide cash advances.
Tap Your Home Equity
If, like 65% of Americans, you’re a homeowner, you may be eligible to borrow against your home equity. You can then use that loan as your emergency funds in the meantime.
Home equity loans are financial services offered by many traditional banks. They’re a type of secured loan wherein the collateral is your house. The amount you can borrow depends on how much equity you have in your home.
Suppose your home’s current market value is $350,000, but you still owe your mortgage lender $100,000. In that case, your equity is $250,000 ($350,000 – $100,000). You can then borrow a portion of that $250,000.
Because of how they work, home equity loans offer higher loan amounts than personal loans. However, you should still be careful and borrow only what you need. Because if you fail to repay the loan, your house is at risk of getting seized and foreclosed by the lender.
Get Through a Financial Emergency With These Strategies
As you can see, you have many ways to deal with a financial emergency, from selling gadgets to applying for loans. However, the best strategy is to prepare for such instances, even before they happen. That’s why, as early as now, you should consider setting aside some of your income as emergency funds.
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