It’s happened to everyone at some point or another. You’re enjoying life, working towards your goals, and managing your money well. Suddenly, a fee, fine, or bill shows up that you weren’t expecting — and now your account is in the red.
You might think that visiting a payday loan center is the only way to get yourself back on track. Unfortunately, these high-interest short-term loans can actually get you into more trouble. There are much better ways to get money quickly, safely, and affordably.
No one likes to feel like they need to scramble for cash or take out a predatory loan just to pay their bills or enjoy life. Today, we’re taking a look at some safe ways that you can get money quickly. Before you take out an expensive payday loan or visit a shady lender, make sure you try out these strategies.
Quick Ways to Get or Make Money
Let’s look at a few safe and affordable ways to get or make money.
1. Take Out a Personal Loan
A personal loan is a small, unsecured loan that you can use to cover an emergency expense, a home repair, a credit card payment, or almost anything else. Unlike some other types of loans (like a mortgage or a student loan), you can use a personal loan for nearly anything. Personal loans come from banks, credit unions, and online lenders. If you need cash fast, taking out a personal loan from a bank is better than taking out a payday loan because personal loans typically have lower interest rates.
Before you take out a loan, make sure you understand the loan’s terms. Ask about the loan’s “annual percentage rate” or “APR.” The loan’s APR is the percentage you’ll pay in interest for every year you have the loan out.
For example, if you borrow $1,000 at a 10% APR, you’ll pay $100 for every year that you have the loan out, or about $8.33 a month. After you know that the APR is reasonable and affordable for you, ask the lender about credit score requirements. Some lenders make loan applicants undergo a credit check before they can take out a loan. If you have bad credit or no credit, you may not be able to get a loan from a bank or lender depending on their standards or they may offer you only high interest rates.
2. Sell Your Old Clothing
If you’re a fashionista, you can make some serious cash quickly by selling your clothing online. Websites like eBay, Poshmark, and ThredUp allow you to make money by selling clothes that you don’t wear any longer. Use these tips to make more money selling your old clothes, shoes, and accessories.
Take careful note of the condition. There’s nothing worse than buying the perfect summer dress on eBay for an upcoming picnic … only to find that it has a massive stain on the back when it arrives. Be sure to list your item’s condition accurately, and take photos of any stains, marks, tears, or scuffs when you list the item online. This will reduce your return rate and keep your buyers happy.
Photograph your items well. The number one thing that you can do to increase your online sales is to ensure that all of your listings have great photos. Use natural lighting when you take pictures of your items and make sure that your camera is in focus before you take the shot. Include multiple photos from more than one angle to maximize your chance of a sale.
Offer free shipping. Buyers love free shipping! If you’re selling an item on eBay, a good way to ensure a sale is by listing your item with free shipping. If you need cash fast, consider covering shipping expenses yourself.
Make sure to include all relevant information. You don’t want to lose a sale because you didn’t list the item’s brand when you uploaded it! Before you finalize your listing, make sure your post has the item’s size, brand, condition, and if possible, retail value. If the item has tags on it still or comes with additional accessories, be sure that you include this information as well.
When you sell an item, make sure you ship it out quickly. Shipping the next day will keep your reviews high and get you your money faster.
3. Drive for a Ridesharing Service
Ridesharing services like Uber, Lyft, and Via can help you make money fast in addition to your full-time job. Many people choose to drive for a ridesharing service because there are no time commitments. You can drive as often as you want or as little as you want, and you can drive at 5 p.m. or 5 a.m.
When you sign up for a ridesharing app and get an acceptance to be a driver, you can log in whenever you want to work. The app will connect you with riders who are looking for transportation, and you can accept or decline the rides. If you accept the ride, you’ll pick up the rider and take them where they want to go in your car.
After the rider arrives at his or her destination, you get a percentage of what he or she paid. You can also collect tips through the app. Ridesharing is a particularly lucrative “side hustle” if you have a standard 9-to-5 job.
Getting started with a ridesharing service is easy if you have a valid driver’s license and a vehicle. However, each ridesharing service has its own standards when it comes to which vehicles and drivers may use their platform. Make sure your driving record and your vehicle meet the ridesharing service’s minimum standards before you hit the road.
4. Open a Credit Card
If you need money fast and you can’t get a personal loan, you might consider opening a credit card. A credit card doesn’t give you access to cash. Instead, it allows you to use a line of “credit” from a lender to make purchases in stores and online.
Though there are some things that you cannot use a credit card for (like a mortgage payment), you can cover most financial emergencies with credit. After you pay for something with a credit card, you’ll pay for it over time with minimum monthly payments.
Credit card companies also charge interest on what you put on your card, but the rates are typically much lower than payday loan companies. The average credit card charges 15.09% APR according to data from the Federal Reserve. But you could pay a higher rate if you have poor credit.
If you know that having a large line of unsecured credit will tempt you to overspend beyond the money you need, you shouldn’t open a credit card. It’s crucial that you make your minimum credit card payments on time every single month. If you don’t, your credit score (a numerical rating of how responsible you are with credit) will likely go down.
This can make it much more difficult to get a loan or a new card in the future. However, if you meet the lender’s income and credit requirements, opening a credit card to put a one-time expense on can help you cover what you owe quickly.
5. Visit a Pawn Shop
You should think of a pawn shop as one of your last resorts when you need money. If you cannot get a personal loan or a credit card, you can consider pawning a valuable that you own. You should only use a pawn shop if you need money very fast and you’ll be able to pay back the loan quickly (like if you’re waiting on a paycheck).
When you go to a pawn shop, you bring along something that you own that you leave with the shop as collateral. In exchange for your item, the pawn shop will give you a loan. Keep in mind that your pawnbroker won’t give you a loan for the full value of the item.
Most pawn shops offer between 25% and 60% of the item’s value. The pawnbroker then gives you cash, which you’re expected to pay back with interest in a few weeks or months. If you default on your loan and don’t pay the shop back, the pawnbroker keeps your item and resells it.
Some of the most common items people pawn include:
- New model tablets, cellphones, and laptops
- Musical instruments
- Power tools
Though pawnbrokers typically have lower interest rates and fees than payday lenders, their interest rates are still higher than credit card companies and personal loan providers. The average pawn shop may charge you between 12% and 240% APR.
Like when you take out a personal loan or credit card, make sure you know the terms of your pawn shop loan when you take it out. Also be sure to ask about any other expenses, like insurance, storage costs, or service fees.
6. Get Instacash Advances From MoneyLion
Instacash advances from MoneyLion are an easy and affordable way to get cash fast at 0% APR. With Instacash, you can essentially borrow from your upcoming paycheck anytime — no waiting for payday — and then pay it back interest free.
To get Instacash, sign up for a MoneyLion membership and link your primary checking account to qualify. Then, you can request a 0% APR Instacash cash advance through the app. It’s easy to do and you’ll see your money instantly in your account. On your next payday, you’ll pay back what you owe — with no interest.
Instacash is one of the most affordable ways to get money quickly when you need to cover an unexpected bill or fee — or just have a little fun! Sign up with MoneyLion today and download the app to learn more.
Getting Access To Your Money Faster
When you urgently need money, you might not think about the APR or fees associated with a payday loan. However, it’s important to remember that these expensive loans can end up getting you into more debt later on — and that it is possible to make money quickly without paying the price. If you need cash fast, use one of the strategies on this list or combine a few money-making strategies together to earn even more.
Are you ready to start on the road to a better credit score, less worry about money, and more opportunities? MoneyLion can help you take the first step down the path of healthier finances. Download the app from the Google Play or Apple App store today to get started!
MoneyLion Checking Account provided by, and MoneyLion Visa® Debit Card issued by, Lincoln Savings Bank, Member FDIC. Terms and conditions apply.
Cash advance requires current membership in Credit Builder Plus ($19.99 monthly fee) or Instacash with Banking ($9.99 monthly fee) membership programs. Instacash with Banking monthly fee is waived for members who connect and maintain recurring eligible direct deposits into their MoneyLion Checking Accounts. All Credit Builder Plus and Instacash with Banking members are automatically eligible to access either $25 or $50 of cash advance, depending on creditworthiness. Members can increase their cash advance limit to up to $250 by connecting and maintaining recurring eligible direct deposits into their MoneyLion Checking Accounts and after up to three consecutive direct deposits have cleared, or at MoneyLion’s discretion. See Membership Agreement and Cash Advance FAQs for more information.
MoneyLion rewards points are subject to terms and conditions, see here.