You’ve finally got a budget under control, only to be hit with an unforeseen expense. For those times when you need money now, here are four options to consider:
If your spending is already at a bare minimum, this might be a viable option for you. It has its pros and cons, though. The upside is that you’ll have the funds available without needing any form of credit or debit. But since this is usually a tiny sum of cash, it will not provide much help with significant expenses.
In short, don’t expect widespread banks or lending institutions to give you a personal loan quickly. The upside is that it can be easier to get than you might think, but there are some downsides. There’s often an interest rate attached to these loans. You’ll need to pay back not only the initial sum borrowed but any accumulated interest as well.
This may be a viable option if your emergency funds aren’t sufficient. You should keep in mind that this type of borrowing may lead you to a debt cycle.
Need money now? Well, This comes with pretty much the same downsides as a personal loan. But also gives you an interest-free loan, provided that your LOC is set up through your bank. This option allows you to transfer funds between it and your checking account whenever necessary.
A potential downside here is that the LOC line of credit might only cover certain types of unexpected expenses. Examples are major car repairs or replacing damaged appliances in your home.
If this isn’t enough after the initial fee has been paid, then you’re on the hook for whatever additional cost may come with completing whatever task needs to be done to resolve the problem at hand.
If you have the necessary equity in your home, this might be an excellent option to consider as well. A HELOC works just like a LOC except that it’s secured by the equity of your home rather than unsecured cash or credit and can provide more flexibility for what you use the funds on.
Jeff Gitlen is a graduate of the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware. Gitlen has spent the past five years writing and researching on personal finance issues which include credit cards, student loans insurance, and other. His writing has been featured in top news publications among them are Bloomberg, CNBC, Forbes along with Market Watch.