Sometimes you need a little extra money and not everyone has emergency savings or a backup credit card at the ready. If you are one of these people and your credit is not as good as you would like, you might be looking for alternative funding options.
We can help. Take a look at some other, not-so-traditional ways that you can get a little extra cash when you are in a bind.
1. Online Lending Websites
These days, there are plenty of online lending websites that are ready to help you borrow money. Most of these websites are not lenders but instead match you to a lender that can give you a fast loan, even with bad credit. These loans could be installment loans, or they could be cash advances that need to be paid back in a matter of weeks or even days.
The reason that websites like this work are that they usually put you in touch with small-time lenders. Make no mistake about it, Bank of America or Chase will not be on their list. It is far more likely that an individual, a small-time lender will be making the offer.
If you decide to go the online lending route, be sure to read all the terms and conditions of the loan. You want to make sure that you understand what you are agreeing to. Online loans can be a bit harsh, especially with bad credit.
2. Get Money From An Online App
Yep, there is an app for that. Several online apps will let you borrow one or two hundred dollars when you find yourself a little short.
The first one that comes to mind is the Earning app. Earnin allows you to borrow up to $500 from your next paycheck. All that you must do is prove that you have already earned the money. To do this, the app uses GPS on your phone. Yes, they will be tracking you. You allow the app to track you, and then they can tell when you are at your job, presumably making money.
So, what is the catch? Well, there is almost always a catch with alternative funding and in this case, there are several, even if you can look past the obvious privacy problems.
For starters, the money app will generally not let you borrow the max amount until you have built up some history. In all likelihood, you will only be able to borrow $50 to $1000 on your first loan.
Another catch comes from where the app makes money. When you pay the loan back, they suggest you tip and if you do not, you may eventually lose access to some services. This may not sound like an issue until you calculate what these tips amount to.
Let us say that you borrow $100 for 10 days and then tip them $5. No big deal, right? Well, that is over 180% APR. They are “Earnin” quite a profit off you.
3. Get A Pawn Shop Loan
If you only need a few bucks, a pawn shop loan is an easy way to get it and get it fast. Just find a pawn shop, bring an item of value down, and get a small portion of the value as a loan. When the loan is due, you simply bring the money back plus fees and interest. Easy, right?
The good thing about a pawn shop loan is that you do not have to prove you are making money, and you do not have to pass a credit check. The item that you bring in serves as collateral, making this a secured loan for the lender
The problem comes with the charges and interest. Like most alternative lending, interest will be high. Add to that the fees, and you have some serious money. On top of the interest, most pawn shops will charge you a document fee and a storage fee. Expressed as an APR, the rates rival that of payday loans.
4. Get A Venmo Transfer
A person-to-person transfer from a service like Zelle or Venmo can put cash into your account instantly. All that you need to do is talk a friend or relative into feeling sorry for you.
If you can find someone who can spot you, a person-to-person transfer is a perfect way to get money without interest or fees. That, and the fact that you can get the money instantly, makes this a dream come true.
Another benefit is that using an electronic service gives you a permanent receipt that cannot be lost. Memories can get fuzzy over time, and you will always have proof of how much was borrowed. Send the money-back using the same service, and you will also have proof that you paid the money back.
Obviously, there is one potential problem with getting Venmo from a friend. You are getting it from a friend. More than one relationship has been ruined by money, so you need to be careful.
5. Beg For The Money
Perhaps TLC said it best when they said “I ain’t 2 proud 2 begs.”
If you can set aside your pride, begging for money could get the job done in a matter of hours, depending on how much you need of course. There are some highly successful panhandlers out there. People who can earn several hundred dollars a day.
The trick with begging or panhandling is to dress the part and give people something for their money. To be tremendously successful, you need to provide people with an experience. It might be the good feeling of helping a veteran, the appeal of lifting up a single mom, or it might just be a good laugh. Keep things light-hearted and even comical, and you could brighten someone’s day, and they will reward you for it. Just begging for money without delivering a product is lazy, and you will not earn as much.
Obviously, there are going to be some major downsides to begging for your money. The hit to your ego could very well be the least of your problems. You also must keep in mind that panhandling might not be legal in your area, so know the law so that you do not end up with a big fine. Also, realize that good corners are in demand and hardened panhandlers are territorial. You could easily find yourself in a fight or getting robbed for your earnings.