You can have an emergency in life anytime. There are times when you may need money fast. If you have budgeted carefully and have an emergency fund saved up, then you might be OK. But what if you don’t? What are your options?
An Emergency Loan
There are several types of emergency loans available. They include:
- Personal Loans: Many personal lenders offer funds available the next day. These loans help you repay your debt over time. A few offer same-day loans, while others may take longer but offer better interest rates. The interest rate on a personal loan depends partly on your credit rating. One of the best places to compare personal loan rates is Lantern at SoFi, an online marketplace where you can find information about these products.
- Credit Card Advances: Depending on the credit available on your card, you can get a cash advance. While these can be easy to get, the interest rates tend to be relatively high.
- Payday Loans: These are short-term loans with short repayment periods and high-interest rates. It’s best to avoid these.
Ask friends and family
While friends or family members may be happy to help you, there are several factors you should consider before you accept their help:
- Can they afford to help you out?
- Will they want a quid pro quo in the future? You don’t want to take advantage of someone you care about?
- Make sure you both understand the terms of repayment. Putting it in writing will prevent misunderstandings and keep you from losing the relationship.
Zero Percent Credit Cards
If your credit rating is high enough, credit cards offer a 0% introductory interest rate. This promotional rate typically lasts for between 6-20 months.
The disadvantages? It may take up to 2 weeks before you get the card in the mail, even after approval. However, some issuers will provide expedited delivery services. The other issue is that there are situations where you are in financial trouble, but the entity you need to pay does not accept a credit card. Also, you need to make sure you pay off any debt on the card before the introductory period expires.
Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
A HELOC offers a revolving line of credit. Because the equity in your home secures the debt, the interest rates are typically low, and the repayment period tends to be extended. However, if you don’t already have one in place, it can take several weeks to get it.
Depending on the nature of your emergency, there may be nonprofits that will help you out. Some, such as community centers, will cover food, rent, utility bills, or other necessities. There are also private organizations such as lending circles where members take turns helping each other out.
Of course, the best option is to prepare well for your next emergency. Making sure you have a fully-funded emergency fund will help you avoid needing to borrow money in the future.