Need Money Today? Learn How To Get Cash Now in 12 Different Ways

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need money today

Running short on funds can be an incredibly stressful situation. Whether you’re facing an unexpected expense, medical bill, or car repair, or just having trouble making ends meet until your next paycheck, the need for cash today is, unfortunately, all too common. 

Estimates suggest that between 55% to 63% of Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck. If you’re like a lot of other people, then you’ve likely found yourself in a bind and need money today.

The good news is there are plenty of legitimate ways to get the money you need quickly. In this article, we’ll explore 11 different strategies for raising cash on short notice.

How can I get money now? 12 top options 

If you find yourself in a cash crunch and need funds quickly, there are many legitimate ways to get money today. From exploring financing opportunities to earning extra income, here are the top 11 options for getting cash now:

1. Cash advances

Some apps offer cash advances that allow you to access part of your upcoming paycheck at an earlier date without having to take out a loan. 

If you need your money sooner, MoneyLion’s InstacashSM cash advance product provides you access seamlessly and fast. . You can receive up to $500 with InstacashSM with no interest, no credit check, and no mandatory fees. If you need the funds within minutes, there is an optional Turbo delivery for a small fee depending on the amount. MoneyLion is here to help you get in control of your finances. 

Simply sign up for MoneyLion or download the app and link your bank account where you receive your paycheck to see if you qualify!

2. Credit builder loan

A credit builder loan can be a good option if you need money today and you’re looking for an accessible way to build or rebuild your credit history.

With a credit builder loan, you’ll apply for a small loan amount, typically up to $1,000. However, instead of receiving the entire loan amount upfront, funds will be placed into a secure account. You’ll then make regular payments over a set term, depending on the repayment period. In the meantime, your lender will report these payments to the major credit bureaus.

After successfully making all the payments on time and in full, you should receive the original loan amount back, minus interest and fees. 

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3. Consider exploring personal loans

Personal loans aren’t the most common solution for fast cash. However, many still favor them as borrowers may qualify for several thousands of dollars with repayment periods of up to several months. 

That said, lenders may take some time to review your application. It can range from a couple of business days to over a week, depending on who you work with. For the most part, online lenders tend to work fast.

If you’re curious about what types of personal loans you could qualify for, look no further than MoneyLion. MoneyLion makes it easy to compile various personalized partner offers and find the best fit for your qualifications. 

4. Borrow money from family and friends

If you’re in a bind, try talking to your family and your friends to see whether anyone is willing or able to help you out. There are certain ways you can go about borrowing money from family and friends without jeopardizing your relationship with those people.

Start by setting up a payment plan so that your family or your friends will feel confident in your promise to pay back the money you borrow from them. Having a plan in place is key. You can also offer to trade services for cash like mowing the lawn, taking care of the house, and babysitting.

5. Get a second job

Getting a second job is a great way to make money fast. The best part about this plan of action is that you won’t owe anyone money. There are many ways to get a job making money from home, so make sure to explore online opportunities. 

The great thing about side hustles is that you can usually find a job you are passionate about and turn it into your primary income stream over time. It can also be a great way to try out a new career before taking the plunge in that direction.

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6. List stuff you don’t need for sale online

You’re bound to have something valuable hanging around the house that you no longer want, so why not try selling it? Ask yourself, “Do I need this item?” If the answer is no, it can be a good idea to sell the item for money.

Websites like eBay or Poshmark are great places to sell your valuables quickly and safely. For instance, maybe you have some valuable comic books or vintage clothes lying around that you can put up for sale online. Just keep in mind that if you’re looking for a faster sale, marking an item at a considerable discount can work in your favor. 

7. Request a payroll advance from your employer

Some companies will provide an advance on your upcoming paycheck in cases of financial hardship or unexpected expenses. If available, it can be a great option if you need money today since most employers won’t charge interest or fees.

The downside, however, is that your next paycheck will be smaller. Make sure to talk to your boss or employer to understand if it’s a possibility for your situation. 

8. Pawn or sell valuables

Take jewelry, electronics, collectibles, etc. to a pawnshop for a short-term loan using them as collateral. Or simply sell items outright. Pawnshops will typically lend you a portion of an item’s resale value which you can then pay back with interest to retrieve your item. This allows you to get cash quickly while still maintaining ownership if you repay the loan. The downside is losing the item if you default on payments.

9. Look for community and assistance programs

Local churches, nonprofits, and charitable organizations sometimes have emergency cash assistance funds available. These programs may provide small grants or interest-free loans to community members experiencing temporary financial hardship due to job loss, medical bills, or other unexpected circumstances. 

The amounts tend to be limited, usually no more than a few hundred dollars, but can help cover basic needs like rent, utilities, or groceries during a crisis.

To find local assistance options, you can call 211 or visit which connects people with health, crisis, and disaster support resources in their area. Another option is contacting local churches or religious organizations or The Salvation Army to ask about cash assistance and other forms of help. 

10. Earn quick cash on a gig or freelance app

Consider signing up to do rideshare driving, food/package delivery, freelance tasks, moving help, repair work, and more to earn money instantly on apps like Uber, DoorDash, Fiverr, Taskrabbit, Instacart, etc. The gig economy has made it incredibly easy to start making money right away by putting your existing skills and assets to work. 

You can drive using your personal vehicle, do deliveries by bike or car, rent out a room through Airbnb, or take on micro-gigs and odd jobs through labor apps and websites.

The beauty of these platforms is you can typically sign up and start accepting paid work shortly after. There’s flexibility to work as little or as much as needed around your schedule. 

11. Become a dog or cat sitter

Love animals? You can make a decent side income by providing dog-walking or cat-sitting services. This is ideal if you live in a close-knit community because then you can go door-to-door offering your services to neighbors. Plus, if you’re good at what you do, you could get hired regularly, turning your dog walking and sitting skills into another ongoing income stream for you.

12. Change your cell phone plan

Sometimes, simple adjustments to your regular monthly expenses will save you the most money in the end. Call your phone service provider and ask about changing your cell phone plan.

Inquire about any discounts or deals, too. You’ll be surprised to learn about the massive savings you can achieve by simply changing your cell phone plan, which will free up money that you can put toward other expenses or purchases.

If you’re looking to switch, check out TruConnect — enjoy unlimited talk, text, and high-speed data, plus get anAndroidSM smartphone, all at no cost if you qualify!

Best practices to keep in mind if you need money today

If you’re in a bind and need money right now, and decide to take out a financial product, you’ll want to be mindful of the following best practices. 

1. Beware of predatory lenders 

While a financial crunch can feel desperate, it’s crucial to avoid the trap of predatory lenders. These lenders take advantage of people’s circumstances by charging outrageous interest rates and burying excessive fees in the fine print. 

Payday loans, car title loans, and similar offers can quickly lead to an endless cycle of debt that could wreak havoc on your finances over the long run. 

Several red flags could indicate whether a lender may be engaging in predatory lending practices. First, be wary of any lender that is not fully transparent about fees and interest rates upfront or that buries excessive fees in dense legalese. 

Another telltale sign is lenders that pressure unscrupulous sales tactics or that make the loan process seem unnaturally easy without proof of income or ability to repay. 

Overall, make sure to only work with reputable lenders backed by credible institutions. A little online research can go a long way in helping you safeguard your finances. 

2. Only borrow what you need

It can be tempting to take out a larger loan than strictly necessary, but avoiding that temptation may be able to save you money – or even headaches down the line. 

Practicing discipline to borrow only what you need can help prevent the situation from snowballing into unmanageable debt. A small loan today is far easier to pay back quickly compared to an oversized one you’ll be chipping away at for months.

3. Read the terms and conditions carefully

No matter what type of financing product you pursue, be sure to thoroughly read through all the terms and conditions before signing any agreement. The fine print can contain details about additional fees, penalties for late payments, requirements for collateral, rules around early payoff, and other crucial information. 

Taking the time to understand exactly what you’re committing to can help avoid unpleasant surprises and hidden costs down the road. Don’t just skim – carefully review all the disclosures so you know precisely what you’re getting into. And don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Get money for what matters most

There are many ways to get money if you need it today, but it’s important you pick the option that’s best for you. Let MoneyLion help you get money for what matters most. 


What is the fastest way to get cash today?

The fastest options are likely getting a payroll advance from your employer, borrowing from friends/family, or using a cash advance app tied to your paycheck. Doing gig work like rideshare driving or food delivery can also be a good option. 

Are payday loans or car title loans good options to get cash fast?

Many people may choose to leave payday and auto title loans as an absolute last resort. These predatory lending products charge exorbitant interest rates of 300% APR or higher, trapping many borrowers in unaffordable debt cycles. It’s advisable to explore all other alternatives first.

How can I borrow money from friends and family?

If borrowing from friends or relatives, be upfront about your situation and cash needs. Agree on an amount, repayment schedule, and whether you’ll pay interest. Put everything in writing to avoid misunderstandings. Treat it like a formal loan and prioritize repaying on time to preserve the relationship.

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