A common problem for many people needs a small amount of cash quickly for a short period of time. The loan may be needed for many reasons such as home or vehicle repairs, a medical expense or perhaps you have an opportunity that you can not pass up. If you find yourself needing some money for a short period of time what are your options?
The most common solution is a cash advance loan or a pay day loan. With a cash advance loan you visit a company that gives you the money that you need and you promise to repay them that amount plus fees and interest on your next pay day. While this is becoming a popular option due to its connivance it really should be your option of last resort. Payday loan companies are out there to make money and they do so by charging extremely high interest rates.
If you find yourself in a cash emergency and have a little time available there are several other options that are available to you. If you have reasonable credit than your first option should be your bank. In days gone by you used to be able to get a god faith loan from your bank. Your name and reputation was all that was needed for a small loan and with a handshake you could get a few hundred dollars. This option is no longer there but there are other services that you may be able to use.
The fastest solutions from a bank include applying for a credit card or a higher overdraft on your accounts. Most credit card applications and overdraft applications can be processed while you wait. If you do not need cash that day then you may wish to pursue a line of credit or a small personal loan while you are at your bank. To save yourself time and trouble make sure you have a recent pay stub, a utility bill with your current address on it, proof of income and employment, car insurance papers, a check and your spouse with you. Having all of this together may allow the bank to process and approve you loan on the first visit.
If you have a little more time then another option available to you is your 401K plan. If you are to directly withdraw money from your 401K plan then you will be taxed heavily on it and may be disadvantaging yourself later in life. However if you make arrangements with your employer to repay the amount withdrawn then this is not true. When you arrange to repay the deduction you are not taxed nearly as heavily on your withdrawal and although you will loose some interest in the long run it is much better than retiring without repaying the debt.
If you do not wish to utilize you 401K plan then your next best option is a third party lender. A third party lender can process your loan application and give you a check the same day. Third party lenders will charge more interest than a bank but it is a fraction of what a pay day loan company will charge. Most third party unsecured loans with average FICO scores are less than 20% while a pay day loan company charges and average of 600% for their loans. The amount available will vary with lenders but most companies will not lend less than $750. If you find that you only need $300 and the lowest amount you can borrow is $1,000 then makes sure that you apply all or at least 80% of the unused amount on the loan. The faster you repay the loan the better it is for you.
If you have a cash emergency there are various options available to you depending upon how much time you have. Be sure to carefully consider your options before deciding to use a pay day loan company. With a little work you may be able to secure a loan for the amount that you need within 2 days at a reasonable interest rate.
About the Author
Jakob Jelling is the founder of http://www.cashbazar.com. Visit his website for the latest on personal finance, debt elimination, budgeting, credit cards and real estate.
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