When you find yourself in a financial bind and need extra cash right away, it can be tempting to take out a payday loan. If you'd rather avoid the high interest rates and fees associated with a payday loan, however, there are several alternatives. Here are seven sources of emergency cash other than payday loans:
Sell Unwanted Items at a Pawn Shop
Pawnshops are a quick and convenient way to make emergency money by selling old, unwanted belongings. Electronics, jewelry, video games, and musical instruments are often in demand at local pawn shops.
If you don't want to part with your item permanently, you may be able to use it as collateral for a pawn shop loan. The way this typically works is you leave your item at the pawn shop in exchange for a cash loan, and then get your item back when you repay the loan.
Cash Advance from Your Credit Card
As long as your credit card isn't maxed out, you should be able to take out a cash advance. While you may have to pay high interest on this money, it can be a great option in cases where you aren't being approved for a traditional loan or if you know you will pay the money back reasonably soon.
Car Title Loan
If you are looking for a short-term loan that is not related to your paycheck, and you own your vehicle outright, you might want to look into a car title loan. These loans are offered against the value of your vehicle. Like other types of short-term loans, the interest can rack up quickly so these are best utilized as short-term sources of emergency cash that are paid off as quickly as possible.
Advance on Your Paycheck
While they may say no, it's worth asking your boss or HR department if they would consider issuing an advance on your paycheck as a one-time courtesy. This provides you with the benefits of a payday loan, but without the financial drawbacks.
Babysit or Pet Sit
If you have references demonstrating that you are a responsible caregiver for children or pets, you can always make money babysitting or watching someone's pets. You can either go through websites that are specifically set up for babysitting and pet sitting profiles or you can advertise locally on Craigslist or by hanging flyers around your neighborhood. If you enjoy taking care of children or pets, this can be a really fun way to make significant side income.
Throw a Yard Sale
Yard sales are an excellent way to declutter your home, get rid of all those unwanted odds and ends taking up space in your basement or storage shed, and make some great emergency cash all at the same time. To make the most of your yard sale, be sure to clean and organize your items ahead of time, and then clearly label them with price tags. Advertise your yard sale online and by placing signs around your neighborhood. This guide to yard sale pricing will help you price your items to sell.
Sell Unwanted Name Brand Clothes
Unwanted name brand clothes in good condition can always be sold for extra money. Bring them by a local consignment shop or try selling them online, either as individual items or in bulk. Be sure to clean and neatly fold and package the clothing. If selling online, include clear, detailed photos, sizes, and accurate information about the condition of the clothing.
By taking advantage of one or more of these ideas, you should be able to pull together a decent amount of emergency cash quickly, and without resorting to payday loans.