Editor's choice: OppLoans Installment Loans
- Easy online application
- Quick approval
- Long repayment terms
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Have an emergency and not sure how you’ll cover the cost? You have a few options when you need to borrow money fast — from credit card cash advances to loans from an online lender or local financial institution.
A credit card cash advance is a cash loan you take out through your credit card. You can get an advance the same day by visiting a bank, withdrawing from an ATM or having it deposited in your checking account. The amount you can borrow is usually a percentage of your credit limit. You pay it back plus interest and a cash advance fee, which is either a fixed fee or percentage of the amount you borrow.
This could be a good option if you need help covering expenses during the coronavirus outbreak. The minimum monthly payments give you more flexibility on when you pay it back. And it typically has lower rates than short-term loans. But you need to already have a credit card with a high enough credit limit.
An online short-term loan, also known as a payday loan, is a lending option that gives you access to money quickly and typically comes with a brief repayment period. Online short-term loans have more lenient requirements than a traditional loan, but they tend to come with much higher interest rates.
One way to minimize how much a short-term loan will cost is to only borrow the amount of money you need to cover your expenses and to choose the shortest repayment period you can afford. Borrowing a smaller amount of money and paying it back quickly can help you avoid overspending and needing to take out another loan after paying off the first.
A personal loan is a form of credit offered by many lenders and financial institutions. They generally come with lower interest rates and higher maximum amounts than a credit card cash advance or short-term loan.
Many online lenders can get you money as soon as the next business day after approval.
The eligibility criteria for personal loans is usually a bit more strict, requiring good to excellent credit and a regular income. However, there are options available for borrowers with bad credit as well.
You can turn to an online lender for a variety of different loan products, including:
When trying to find the right loan, the following features can help narrow down your search:
When you find a lender to apply with, click “Go to Site” to submit your online application. You’ll need some of the following details on hand:
If you’re worried you won’t qualify for a loan or just want to find a way to get cash without it affecting your credit, there are alternatives.
Look into picking up side work, borrowing money from a friend or simply requesting more time to repay your debts. These will help you avoid costly interest rates and the potential spiral of debt some people get into with short-term loans.
|Alternative||What you can do|
|Ask for more time||If you have a bill and you know you’re not going to be able to pay on time, give the company a call and ask for an extension. You’ll be surprised that many companies will work with you to come up with a repayment time frame that works for both parties.|
If you can’t pay the bill at all, you may have less negotiating power. You can try asking to speak with a repayment representative and see if they can waive the late fees, give you more time or even work out a more flexible repayment schedule.
|Ask your family or a friend||Ask your family or a good friend to lend you some money. They may be willing to offer you a cash loan with no interest. But make sure you agree to repayment terms. Nothing can kill a great relationship like never repaying borrowed money.|
|Ask your employer||Some employers may give you an advance on your wages, and some big companies have employee loan assistance programs. If you open up a discussion with your manager around this, you might even be able to discuss ways in which you can earn some more money with the company.|
Have you been doing such a good job you could get a bonus? Take a moment and think about any ways you could quickly earn some more money with your employer because they already trust you and they can pay you quickly.
|Sell something||What could you sell today that will give you some money? Some examples are: baseball cards, stamps, rare coins, an old cell phone or an old stereo.|
Look around your house and try to find something you don’t use but has value. You could quickly put it on Craigslist or a local reselling app and get some quick cash.
|Do some side gigs||Check the “gigs” category on Craigslist for some quick cash jobs. This could include: writing, manual labor, event coordination, creative or design work, database work, pet sitting or even housesitting.|
Tips: If you want quick cash, avoid listings that say “great experience” or “ideal for exposure”, these jobs are typically unpaid and just for people trying to get their foot in the door in a specific industry. Also try find a few similar gigs and compare compensation so that you can get the most money for your time.
Your interest rate and loan term determines how much you pay for your loan in the short and long run. Lenders typically determine your interest rate based on your credit score and income compared to your debt — the better your credit score, the lower your interest rate, though it varies by the type of loan you take out. A longer loan term makes for smaller monthly repayments, though you’ll end up paying more in the long run.
Payday loans are regulated at a state level, so the cost will also depend on where you’re borrowing from. States that regulate short-term loans have restrictions on interest, fees, terms and the amount you can borrow.
While every state regulates payday loans to a different degree, some states have banned lenders issuing them altogether. If the state you reside has banned payday loans, then you can’t apply for them online.
You can, however, apply for a loan if it falls outside of the definition of a payday loan, such as an installment loan or auto title loan. Installment loans are similar to payday loans except you pay the loan off over a longer period, while auto title loans are secured against your car.
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