If you’ve wondered what to do when you need money fast, you may feel like you’re backed up against the wall.  The good news is, as stressful as your financial situation may feel today, no storm lasts forever.  Here’s six easy ways to get money fast, even if you think you’ve run out of options…

Tip #1 –  Ask Your Employer for a Payday Advance

Did you know some companies offer up to two free paycheck advances a year?

Even if they don’t have a paycheck advance program, you have nothing to lose by asking!  If they say “no,” politely tell them you need money now to get to/from work… or… that advancing you the money will help you stop stressing, so you can better focus on your work.

Just be polite and respectful!  If you’re embarrassed, don’t be.   Unless you get paid every day, your employer always owes you some money for work you’ve already done.

Tip #2 – Borrow from Your 401k or Retirement Fund

One pro to getting a loan from your 401k, is even though you pay interest on it, you pay it back to yourself.   You only pay a penalty and taxes if you take an early withdrawal (or default on your 401k loan).

If you get a 401k loan, you can take one month or a few years to pay it back.  Each payment is taken out of your paycheck automatically until it’s repaid.

For example, if you borrow $500 and you get paid every two weeks, you can get a loan with a 6-month term.  Your employer will deduct about $40 from every paycheck, which is repaid into your 401k fund.

Instead of paying interest to someone else, you pay yourself!  Depending on your employer, it could take 1-2 weeks to get a 401k advance.  If you need money fast, check out our Payday Loan Reviews page to find out which lenders offer the fast, overnight loans and the best rates…

Tip #3 – Borrow Money from Relatives or Friends

Most people will be happy to help you out as long as you keep your word and repay them on-time.

In fact, to make others confident you’ll hold up your end of the deal, write-up a simple IOU.  Just say, “For value received, I agree to repay so-and-so $100 by September 15th,” then sign and date it.  If you don’t pay-up, they can enforce it.

If you want people to help you, show them you’re responsible and assume the risk in the transaction.

Tip #4 – Sell Your Unused or Unwanted Stuff on Craigslist

eBay is great, but Craigslist is better if you need money fast and you don’t want to hassle with shipping stuff.  And it beats getting a short term loan!

Do you have jewelry, furniture, collectibles, books or electronics you don’t need?  If you haven’t used them in the past 6-12 moths, chances are you never will!

Just go to Craigslist and post free classifieds in your area.  Because you can post local ads (like a newspaper), you could get the cash you need the same day you post an ad!

Tip #5 – Need Money Fast?  Take a Credit Card Cash Advance

If you’ve exhausted all options and you need money now, you could save more money by taking a cash advance on your credit card versus getting a PayDay loan.

Just be aware of two caveats…

  • First, read the fine print of your card agreement (you still have it, right?) and see what fees apply for cash advances.  This is important because if you have $500 in available credit and you take out $480, the cash-advance fee could put you over your credit limit, resulting in another hefty fee: the dreaded over-limit fee!
  • Second, treat a cash-advance as you would another loan – pay it off as soon as you can!  When your credit cards are close to maxed out, bad things happen.  Your credit score can tank because of high utilization (how much credit you use compared to how much you have available).

Tip #6 – When All Else Fails Ask, “Which Bills Can Wait?”

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and sometimes you can’t pay everything at once. Ask yourself, “Which bills can wait and what are the consequences of not paying them now?”

Here are some bills you might be able to get extensions and/or the late fees are minimal:

  • Car payment: Ask for a 30 or 60-day deferral without negative reporting to your credit.  Most will do it if you have a good payment history.
  • Cell phone: Late fees are usually small, and sometimes you can go a couple weeks before your phone is shut off.  Ask your carrier what their grace period is.
  • Electric/gas bill: My utility company charges a 1% late fee.  For a $200 bill, that’s $2 bucks!  If you owe money for previous months’ utilities, ask about setting up a payment plan.  Just stick to it, because if you miss one payment, they won’t work with you in the future.

Here are bills you should always pay on-time:

  • Credit card payments: One 30-day-late payment could tank your credit score 100 points.  A 90-day-late payment is as bad as having a car repossessed.  Do whatever it takes to protect you credit.  It’s more valuable to you than you realize.  And, if you credit is bad, that’s all the more reason to make sure nothing else bad winds up on it, because with time, it gets better.
  • Rent: While most landlords are not on-the-ball, and it can take over a month to get evicted, some landlords will start the eviction process immediately, and you could be out of your home in a couple weeks. The cost of being evicted far outweighs doing whatever it takes (within legality) to pay your rent on-time.
  • Auto insurance: Most insurance companies will cancel your policy if it’s even a minute late.  Get caught driving without auto insurance and you could be hit with hefty fines of $500 or more!

Just remember… If you put-off paying a bill, come up with a plan for paying it as soon as you can.

If that means you have to give up a few luxuries like eating out or shopping for a few weeks, DO IT!  And always make sure the benefits outweigh the consequences of paying it late.

Next Step > Check out our Payday Loan Reviews page to find out which lenders offer the fastest approvals, biggest loans and lowest rates (bad credit ok)…