There come times in life when we need extra cash but don’t have it in the bank. It happens to almost everyone, especially now that the vast majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, even the upper middle class.
For those with bad credit, coming by extra cash when you need it can seem like a pipe dream. While it is true that some financing options are limited when your credit score is low, it’s not impossible to get the extra cash you need.
Here are a few ideas you may want to try when cash is tight and you have an upcoming or unexpected expense:
Cash Advance Loans
You may be able to get a personal loan if you have bad credit and no collateral, but cash advance loans are still a possibility. A cash advance loan, also sometimes called an installment loan, is a short-term loan for a small amount. Essentially, the idea is that the lender is giving you an advance on your next paycheck. There are fees and/or interest involved even if the loan is only for a week.
You can find cash advance loans online that provide funds very quickly with limited requirements. Just be careful to compare the fees for borrowing cash because it can get very expensive. Borrow only the minimum amount you need for purchases that are absolutely necessary. You’ll also want to make sure the terms are very clear. Missing a payment could dramatically increase the overall cost.
There are many resources for selling used items for quick cash. In the past, people would take things down to the pawn shop to get money when funds were tight. Today you can potentially make more money by selling items yourself online.
Three of the top choices are Craigslist, OfferUp, and eBay. The first two are the best choices for quick cash since you sell items locally to people you meet in person, whereas with eBay you have to ship the item to get payment. Another advantage of Craigslist and OfferUp is there are no fees paid. eBay will take a small percentage of the sale.
Before creating your listing, do a little research to see how much similar items are being offered for online. The key to selling quickly is to price your item right and include high-quality images. Always meet the buyer in a public place and require that they bring cash for payment.
If you have extra devices to sell and don’t need the money immediately there are a few additional resources to consider. Gazelle, Glyde, and Swappa specialize in reselling smartphones, tablets, and laptops. It’s a very secure way to sell, and you’ll typically get a fair price.
Borrow From Family or Friends
It may mean swallowing your pride, but friends and family are another resource worth using. Again, you’ll ask for extra cash for a necessary expense. If not, your loved ones will quickly feel like you’re taking advantage of their generosity and will be less likely to help out if you need it in the future.
Before asking to borrow money come up with a repayment plan. Tell them what the money is needed for and lay out how you plan to repay them. Then stick to that repayment agreement! Friends and family are much more lenient than lenders and won’t charge a late fee, but always do your best to make repayments in a timely manner.
Keep Working on Fixing Your Personal Finances
No matter how you come by extra cash, it’s always important to keep working towards improving your credit score so you have more options and security in the future. There are some great programs you can use to track your personal finances to help you in this endeavor.
Start by creating a realistic budget if you haven’t already. The first step is to know how much money you have coming in and where it’s going out. You may be surprised to find there are a number of expenses that can be reduced or eliminated with a few small adjustments.
It’s also crucial to pay all of your bills on time. Late payments can cost you extra fees and will lower your credit score. Set up auto payments whenever possible, and use an app like Check.me to get reminders for all your other bills.
You may also be able to negotiate better terms with your creditors. It isn’t a guarantee, but it never hurts to ask your creditor to lower the interest rate slightly or extend the loan term so that it’s easier to make monthly payments.
Take these steps to get your financial house in order and hopefully you’ll soon have the cash you need in the bank so you don’t have to borrow.