5 Alternatives to Payday Loans

While we all wish we could access cash whenever necessary, it can prove exceedingly tricky at times. That pressure seems to mount very quickly when one is struggling financially. 

During difficult financial times, many people consider taking out a payday loan for various reasons. While it may prove helpful for some, it can also be a risky proposition. If you are looking for alternative ways to access money, consider some of the options below.  

Check Local Charities and Nonprofits

Local charities and nonprofits can present opportunities for people struggling to pay for everyday expenses such as groceries and gas in the face of an emergency. Additionally, specific organizations can help provide food, clothing, or travel tickets for medical appointments and job interviews. 

While these organizations may provide assistance, keep in mind that some may ask for proof of need, such as payslips, bills, or other personal information. 

Get Help with Medical Expenses

Some people turn to payday loans if they accrue significant medical debt. If you are struggling with medical bills, there are several strategies you might consider before taking out a payday loan.  

One option to consider is setting up a payment plan to split the entire cost of your medical bill into more manageable monthly payments. You may also research and contact a medical bill advocate who can aid in negotiating bills after a lengthy hospital stay or procedure. Alternatively, there are several medical credit cards available that offer interest-free repayment periods. Be sure to read the fine print carefully as some of these options may charge additional fees. 

Consider Borrowing From a Credit Union

Borrowing from a credit union is an excellent idea if you have good standing with the organization and can wait a few days for the loan to be approved. If you are already a member of a credit union or are eligible to become a member, the lender may consider several factors above and beyond your credit score when considering whether to approve your loan. They may look at your credit history as well as current income and the standing of any existing accounts you have with the credit union. 

Some credit unions offer an alternative to payday loans where you are able to borrow a small sum (with a maximum interest rate of less than 30%) and are given a few months to pay it back.

Apply for a Bad-Credit Loan

If your credit score prohibits you from getting a traditional loan, you might consider some alternative loans that cater to those with poor credit. You can pre-qualify with these lenders to see if you are eligible for one of their loans. The good thing about prequalifying is that it will not hurt your credit score in any way. If you pre-qualify with several lenders, you have an opportunity to compare loans and choose the best option for your situation. 

Consider Other Options for Making Money

In addition to borrowing money, another option is to find novel ways to make a little extra cash. Consider selling some of your gently-used clothing, picking up a side job (such as a delivery driver), or turning your hobbies into an online business venture. While some of these options may be more involved than others, there are many ways to earn cash through side jobs today.

No matter your financial situation, there are always options. Whether you’re considering a payday loan now or thinking about methods you may use to access cash in the future, think about all the available options before arriving at a decision. 

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