Not to be a cynic, but financial emergencies are part of life. They are inevitable, and when left unaddressed can snowball into stress and feelings of helplessness. Don’t despair, however, as it is possible to get additional funds so you can deal with whatever curveball life has thrown at you. Here are four of your top options:
Consider Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending
Finfix’s Prableen Bajpai describes peer-to-peer (P2P) lending as “a viable alternative to standard bank loans,” one that does away with the rigidity of traditional banking procedures. This type of lending connects borrowers (you) to lenders via an online platform, where you and potential lenders can talk out a deal. Taking out a P2P loan is simpler, easier, and faster, and that is why it is fast emerging in the US. If this option piques your interest, the best platforms out there are arguably Upstart, Funding Circle, and Prosper (one of the first P2P platforms, actually).
Try Out a Credit Union Personal Loan
If you happen to be a credit union member in your area, then securing a credit union personal loan (CUPL) will serve you well. NerdWallet touts CUPLs as accessible with low-rates, making it the most ideal option when it comes to borrowing money. Aside from lower interest rates (as compared to payday and personal loans), CUPLs also permit flexible payment terms. Just as important, credit union loan officers often take into account other factors other than your credit score, which means you can still get approved even with a low score. (With that being said, might as well look into joining a credit union in case you aren’t a member of one yet. All you’ll need to do is pay a membership fee, plus a deposit of around $25.)
Get a Title Loan
If you need money quickly, then using your car as collateral for a title loan could be your best option. In cities like Cleveland, Ohio, LoanMart explains that title loans are secured with the borrower’s car title, with the amount lent based on the vehicle’s value and the borrower’s ability to repay the loan. In this case, equity is just the difference between the resale value of your vehicle and the amount you still owe on your auto loan. All told, though, getting a title loan is relatively easy, and will take you only a day on average. However, it does vary state by state, so it is important you do your due diligence with companies if you are researching a number of lenders across the U.S. Many companies also have long repayment options that will take the short-term stress of returning the money away. That’s why if you need of money ASAP, this is can be a practical option.
Take Out a Home Equity Loan
Speaking of equity, your home has one too, and you can leverage it to secure a loan as well. According to CNBC’s Beth Braverman, borrowing against home equity is now a convenient way to access cash. That’s primarily due to house prices continuously rising, driving the mortgage balance of 1 in 4 homeowners to less than 50% of their home value. That being said, this type of loan, being secured to equity, generally offers lower interest rates and longer payment terms (as opposed to personal or emergency loans).
Now, suppose you got your much-needed cash, and were able to wiggle out of your financial predicament. That’s no time to get complacent. We already pointed out in ‘Liquidity Lifeline – 5 Strategies to Deal with a Financial Crisis’ that you’ll need to prepare for future crisis, and we’ll reiterate it again here. Protect yourself from financial emergencies by setting up an emergency fund! In this way, you’ll have money to spare when you need it.