It never fails, when you least expect it, up pops an unexpected bill. Whether you’ve got to fix your car or have a medical emergency, coming up with money fast is beyond stressful.
When you’re facing little time and a lot of money, how do you know you’re picking the right loan for you?
For many people, payday loans are as easy as it gets. But there are alternatives you may not have thought of.
To make sure you pick the best option, let’s look at 8 of the best payday loans and their alternatives.
Best Payday Loans
If you have bad credit, don’t have access to other funds, and need money like yesterday, a payday loan is one of the easy loans to get.
But you don’t want to jump in without knowing what you’re signing up for. Payday loan terms vary by state, so make sure to read the fine print. Know how much interest you’re paying (which can reach 400% APR!), when payments are due, and apply only for the amount you can afford.
To make sure you work with a licensed, reputable lender, check out these best payday loan options.
Check into Cash
At Check into Cash, borrow $50 to $1,000 then you pay it back on your next payday. Plus, they let bill paying be as simple as ever, even by paying on your cell phone.
You can apply online or find a location near you and do it in person.
They’ve been serving customers since 1993 and are the founding members of the industry’s national trade association.
With CashNetUSA, you can get a payday loan for up to $1,800, depending on what state you live in. Decisions are instantaneous and done online.
They’ve been lending since 2004 and part of Enova International, a publicly traded company. And with over 3 million customers, you know you’re dealing with an established lender.
Speedy Cash likes to give you flexible options. As one of the best payday loans out there, you can choose loans from $50 to $26,000 with terms that fit your situation.
Plus, they’re members of the Community Financial Services Association, which is the national payday loan trade association. They ensure all municipal, state, and federal laws and regulations are followed.
Best Alternatives to Payday Loans
If you can get away from taking out a payday loan, you’re going to save yourself a lot of money when it comes to interest rates. Since there are no credit checks required for payday loans, the lender is taking a huge risk, which accounts for the enormously high interest.
There’re easy, cheaper options for fast money. In fact, the solution to your problem may be right in your own pocket or a phone call away.
Look into these great options before taking out a payday loan.
Chances are, you can get monthly bills or the amount you owe negotiated down to manageable payments. All without taking out any type of loan.
Call your creditor, medical billing office, or whomever you owe money to. Ask if you can set up a payment plan you both agree on. You’ll be surprised how many companies are willing to work something out that fits into your budget.
They may even have financial assistance programs you’re not aware of, which can save you more money.
Personal Loan or Borrow Against Retirement Funds
Sure, taking out a regular loan involves interest rates as well. But it’s not going to be anywhere near 400% APR, even if you have bad credit.
Talk to your bank or local credit union to see what loan options you have. Some financial institutions will be able to fund a loan that same day.
Or did you know you can borrow from yourself? If you have a 401(k) or individual retirement account, you can take out a loan against it. Be sure to check the conditions on your plan. As long as you pay it back within a certain time frame, it’s not considered taxable income.
Credit Card Advance
Credit cards are great to have when you need money in a pinch, but sometimes you need cash. That’s when a credit card cash advance can save the day.
Typically you’ll pay a fee to get an advance, about 5% of what you borrow. Plus, you’ll have a little bit more interest, which can range around 30% APR. But it’s so much cheaper than paying nearly 400% of a payday loan.
And credit card cash advances will give you your advance fast. Many times you can take your credit card to an ATM and withdrawal the amount you need.
Ask Family for Help
Sometimes the only bank you need is the bank of Mom and Dad. Asking family for a loan can save you from paying too much in interest and fees. Plus, it doesn’t require a credit check.
Though some people feel uncomfortable asking family for money. To help make you feel better, detail the terms you want on the loan. Note exactly when you’ll be paying them back with an end date determined.
And if funds are still tight, offer to do work around the house in return for a payment. Other ideas are to cook a special meal or clean.
The good thing about taking a loan from a family member is you can make the terms anything you agree on. Just be sure to pay it back on time!
Pawn or Sell Something
One of the best payday loans alternatives may be sitting in your house right now. Start digging through closets and the attic. See what you have that you can sell to earn money.
You can list items to sell online, in a garage sale, or even sell to friends and family.
If you don’t want to mess with selling items yourself, take it to a pawn shop and get the money that same day. You won’t get as much money for it as you may on your own, but if you don’t mind that, it’s can be an easier process.
Get the Money You Need Fast
Unexpected bills are stressful enough, don’t let loans add to it. Now that you know the best payday loans and their alternatives, you can pick the financial option that works best for your family.
Looking for more financial advice? Check out posts on our Money Earned blog!