I Need Money Desperately: 40 Ways to Get Cash Immediately

I Need Money Desperately


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Do you need money desperately? A financial emergency like your car breaking down, a major home repair, unexpected medical bills, or even loss of your job can be devastating, especially if you don’t have an emergency fund.

Unfortunately, according to Bankrate, more than half of Americans don’t have an emergency fund of at least three months’ worth of expenses and 25% have no emergency fund at all.

However, if you’re in this situation, desperate times don’t always call for desperate measures. There are many ways to get quick-cash when you need it most, which is exactly what we’ll cover in this post – 40 ways to get money immediately.

Whether it’s an option like taking out a loan, pawning an item, or even borrowing money from family or friends, you’re sure to find the prefect option on our list for you situation.

Ways to Get Cash Immediately

Here is a list of 40 great ways to get cash immediately when you need it desperately.

Some of the strategies will help you get extra money within a 24-hour period, while others may take a few days to see some extra money in your account.

We have also included a few ways to make money and even a few ways to cut costs. This extra money can be used for whatever you need it for in this time of need.

Furthermore, we have also included a few fast-cash options that you should stay far away from.

1. Sell Something You Don’t Use

Do you have something of value that you no longer use and is just collecting dust? This can be anything like gym equipment, furniture, game consoles, old phones, clothing, books, and so on.

One of the best ways to get some cash immediately is to simply sell it. If you have a heavy item you would like to sell such as gym equipment, you should use Facebook Marketplace.

If you have anything else you would like to sell such as clothes, consider a different platform like Thredup.

On the other hand, If you have a lot of things you would like to sell, consider having a garage sale. This is a great way to sell many items at once.

2. Borrow Money From Family or Friends

One way to get cash immediately when you need it desperately is to borrow money from a family member or friend.

Depending on who you borrow the money from, they may not charge you interest, making this a great option.

If you do borrow money from a family member or friend, make sure you pay them back. The last thing you want to do is burn bridges over a few hundred dollars. Also be sure to ask politely and always accept rejection.

3. Pawn an Item

Although pawning something isn’t the best way to borrow money, it is a quick and easy option.

However, keep in mind, if you can’t repay the loan, the pawnshop will keep your item as collateral. However, this may be much better than destroying your credit score.

If you’re not interested in a pawnshop loan, you can sell your item outright to the pawnshop instead. Items that typically do the best are musical instruments, firearms, jewelry, new electronics, and so on.

4. Get a New Credit Card (0% Intro APR)

Although credit cards have high-interest rates, there are some that offer a 0% intro APR, which lasts several months. This means that if you pay off the credit card before the 0% APR expires, you won’t pay any interest.

However, if you fail to pay it off in time, your interest rate will skyrocket, and you may end up paying around 30% in interest. Considering this, only use this option for quick money if you’re absolutely sure you can pay off the credit card in time.

5. Take Out a Community Loan

Organizations in your local community may offer small loans, also known as short-term assistance, to help community members with financial emergencies.

For example, your local church may offer small loans at low rates to people going through tough financial times. Nonprofit organizations and community centers where you live may also offer small loans at low rates.

6. Ask for a Payroll Advance

Depending on your employer, you may be able to request a fee-free cash advance on your paycheck. However, this payroll advance will be repaid through payroll deduction. Considering this, if you take a payroll advance, expect you next paycheck to be less than what it usually is.

With that said, some employers may also offer low-interest loans to employees who are dealing with a financial emergency.

7. Use an Advanced Paycheck App

If your employer doesn’t allow you to request a payroll advance, you can use an advanced paycheck app like Earnin instead.

Earnin is an app that allows people to access their paycheck early at no interest. However, it will ask you to make a donation but it’s optional and won’t affect your ability to borrow in the future if you don’t make one.

8. Borrow From Your Retirement Account

If you have a 401(k) or an IRA, you can take a loan from it. However, keep in mind that there are rules. For example, if you have an IRA, you can borrow from it once per year as long as you repay it in 60 days or less.

If you can borrow from your 401(k) – not all employers allow this – you can usually borrow up to 50% of your savings, at a maximum of $50,000. Keep in mind that if you don’t make a payment for 90 days, the money you borrowed will become taxable income.

While withdrawing from your retirement account early isn’t a good idea, it’s much better than taking out a payday or title loan if they’re your only options.

9. Get a Credit Card Cash Advance

If you have a credit card account in good standing, you can take out a cash loan at an ATM.

Although a credit card cash advance is much less expensive than than a payday loan, you will have to pay a fee of around 5%, plus interest, which can be more than 30%.

10. Borrow Against Your Life Insurance

If you have a cash value life insurance policy like whole or universal life insurance, you can borrow against it at any time and repay it whenever you want.

However, if you don’t repay it by the time you die, it will be subtracted from the policy payout by the insurance company.

With that said, keep in mind that if you have a term life insurance policy, which is the most common type, you won’t be able to borrow against it.

11. Take Out a Payday Alternative Loan

A payday alternative loan is a short-term loan, also known as a short-term cash advance, that is offered by some federal credit unions as an alternative to payday loans for people who are in a tight financial situation.

Because guidelines for these loans are set by the NCUA, credit unions legally can’t charge more than a 28% APR. While this isn’t cheap, it’s far better than some other loans, such as a payday or title loan.

12. Take Out a Personal Loan

If you have a high credit score, you should have many good options for a personal loan from your bank or credit union, which is usually funded within a day.

However, if you have a bad credit score, not only will you need to find a lender that accepts bad credit, you will also need to find one that is willing to analyze your loan request fast.

With that said, keep in mind that APR on a personal loan can be more than 35% for borrowers with a bad credit score.

If a lender is willing to give a personal loan without a credit check, they will charge you an interest rate in the triple-digits. Stay away from this at all costs.

13. Donate Your Plasma

Donating your plasma is a great way to make some quick money and help save lives at the same time.

Depending on the quality of your plasma, the clinic you go to, and a few other factors, you can make anywhere from $25 to $55 per session. Each session should take no longer than 90 minutes to complete, but your first session may take longer.

With that said, keep in mind that you can usually only sell your plasma twice a week.

14. Take Part in a Medical Study

While it can be risky, there are safety rules set in place and most people take part in medical studies without any problems.

If you take part in a medical study, you will work with some of the best doctors to help develop new medicine. The drugs will have gone through multiple trials before they reach human trial to make sure they’re safe.

However, there are medical studies that involve changes in behavior after a change in diet over the long-term, so you may never even have to be involved in drug trials.

15. Drive for Uber

If you have a car in decent condition, you can make some quick money by driving people around for Uber.

As a driver for Uber, you will use their mobile app to find people in your local area that are in need of a ride. Once you accept a request, you will pick the person up wherever they are and then drive them to their destination.

One awesome aspect of being a driver for Uber is that you can choose your own hours, meaning you can work whenever you want. You can also choose how much you work as well.

16. Deliver Food for DoorDash

If you’re not interested in driving people around but don’t mind delivering food, there are companies like DoorDash that will pay you to do just that.

As a dasher for DoorDash, you will pick up food from a restaurant and deliver it to the customer who ordered the food wherever they are.

Because of the pandemic, the demand for home deliveries has seen a sharp increase. Because of this, there should be little to no downtime while your dashing, allowing you to maximize your earnings.

17. Deliver Groceries

If you’re not interested in delivering fast food, but wouldn’t mind delivering groceries from a store, you can do just that with an app like Instacart to make some quick money.

Simply put, Instacart is like the Doordash of groceries. As a shopper for Instacart, you will accept orders on the Instacart mobile app, shop for the groceries, and then deliver them to the customer’s home.

Just like Doordash, as a shopper for Instacart, you can work whenever and as much as you want, making it a great side hustle for the weekends.

18. Do Odd Jobs With TaskRabbit

If you’re quite the handyperson and have tools, you can make some quick money by doing odd jobs on TaskRabbit.

TaskRabbit is an online handyman platform that connects people with skilled taskers in their local area to help them with odd-jobs and even running errands.

These odd-jobs may include things like furniture assembly, ceiling fan installation, yardwork, and much more. There are even online-based tasks you can do.

19. Walk Dogs With Rover

Are you an animal lover? If so, you can make some quick money by walking dogs with Rover. Rover is an online platform that connects dog and cat owners with animal lovers and dog walkers.

However, with Rover you can also get paid to dogsit, board animals in your home, and much more.

To get started, all you have to do is download the Rover app, create an account, and then pass a background check. Once you pass the background check, you can start getting paid for your services.

20. Do Freelance Work

If you have a marketable skill like graphic design you can offer it as a Freelance service as a way to make some quick money when you need it desperately.

Simply put, a freelancer is someone who is self-employed, works remote, and offers one or more service on a per-project or per-task basis.

To get started, simply offer your service on a platform like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer. All of these are online platforms for freelancers to find work.

With that said, here are several skills you can offer as a freelance service:

  • Copywriting
  • Web design and development
  • Virtual assistance
  • Digital marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Graphic design
  • Video and photo editing

21. Rent Out a Room

Do you have a spare bedroom in your house? You can make some quick money by renting it out on a platform like Airbnb.

Airbnb is a sharing economy platform that allows hosts to rent out any space in their home whenever they want and for as long as they want, such as only weekends or when they’re not home.

After you create an account as a host, simply the room look nice, take pictures, and then list it for rent on their platform.

22. Rent Out Your Car

If you don’t drive very often, renting out your car on a platform like Turo or Carnextdoor is a great way to make some fast-cash. Simply put, Turo is like the Airbnb of cars.

You simply create an account, enter your vehicle’s information and then list it for rent on their platform.

Like the idea of making money with your car? You can even get paid to put advertisements on your car!

23. Babysit Neighborhood Kids

Anyone who works full-time is always looking for a babysitter, especially during the summer.

If you’re very responsible and good with children, you can make a lot of money with this job in a super short period of time.

For example, if you charge $25 per hour, you would only need to babysit for 12 hours to make $300 fast, which is manageable in a single weekend.

To find a babysitting gig, you can simply ask people you know that have children or use a platform like Sittercity.

24. Sell Your Photos

Do you have photography skills? Whether you’re a professional or just enjoy taking high-quality photos on a digital camera or even your phone, you can sell them online to make some quick money.

For example, you can sell them on a stock photography platform like Shutterstock, Gettyimages, or iStock.

Some of the most in-demand photos are pictures of people, food, cities, and even things like books, laptops, and tools.

Not only is selling your photos online a great way to make some quick money, it’s also a great way to make passive income.

25. Get a Side Job

If you’re struggling to make ends meet and need money desperately, you should consider getting a side job to supplement your income. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean washing dishes at a restaurant.

Thanks to the internet, there are countless side jobs to make money from home. A side job from home can be anything from data entry to virtual assistance.

Not only will a side job help you supplement your income, they usually offer a flexible work schedule, allowing you to work whenever you want. The best of both worlds.

26. Lower Your Insurance Premiums

If you’re not a big fan of your current carrier, consider taking time to compare car insurance quotes. Premiums for the same exact coverage can vary by $100 or even more from company to company for the same driver.

With that said, even if you’re a fan of your current carrier, you should still review whatever discounts it has available. For example, if you have gone three or more years without an accident, have taken defensive driving training, or simply make good grades, you may be able to get anywhere around 10% off.

This is the same case with homeowners insurance. There may be several discounts currently available that can help you save around 10%, such as staying claim-free.

27. Consolidate Debt

Carrying a large amount of debt can be very crippling. If you’re struggling to make multiple debt payments each month, you should consider consolidating your balances.

Not only can it lower your interest rate which will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per year, it will also leave you with only one payment to make each month, which is much more manageable.

Furthermore, if you have a high credit score, you may even want to transfer any high-interest credit card debt onto a new card that offers a 0% intro APR. If you do this, make sure to pay off the entire balance before the 0% intro APR expires.

28. Ask Your Creditors for Forbearance

Do any of your creditors accept late payments? Some creditors like cable and utilities companies won’t charge you interest on a late payment.

If this is the case with one of your creditors, you can use the money you save from not making the payment to pay for whatever you need the money for in this time of need.

Be wary of asking for forbearance from mortgage or auto lenders, as they will charge you high interest on a late payment, which would make this method not worth it. As a rule of thumb, always stay away from ridiculously high interest rates.

29. Refinance Student Loans

If you have a lot of student debt, you may also want to refinance these loans as well. If you have a decent credit score, you maybe able to benefit from the competitive private student loan market that is currently offering refinancing options at low interest rates.

Simply put, it may be worth your time to research whether or not refinancing your student loans could save you some money.

30. Collect Cash Owed to You by the IRS

If you have yet to file your taxes, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service may owe you several hundred dollars or even more.

However, you will have to look at the numbers first to know for sure. Depending on your situation, you may even want to hire a registered Certified Public Accountant to help you thoroughly analyze your tax refund potential.

If the IRS doesn’t owe you anything, simply wait until your ready to file.

Note: This is NOT tax advice.

31. Switch Your Phone Plan

If you’re struggling to make ends meet, consider swapping your current cellphone plan for a cheaper one that offers super low rates.

If you do decide to switch your phone plan, call around to see who will offer you the best deal. Some companies might even give you a wonderful deal just for leaving your current carrier.

You may even want to consider switching to a prepaid cellphone plan to save the most money.

32. Use Sign Up Bonuses

As an incentive to attract new customers, many companies will pay you just for signing up.

While there are many different types of companies that offer a sign up bonus, many of them are get paid to (GPT) platforms, such as online survey sites.

However, even some financial institutions offer a sign up bonus for things like opening a new credit card or checking account.

With that said, here are a few companies that offer a sign up bonus:

33. Earn Cashback

Although it’s not super profitable, you can make some decent money with a cash back app like Rakuten. Simply download their app and start scanning your receipts to make money.

Depending on your credit card, you may also be able to earn some decent cash back with it, in addition to a cash back app.

However, if you do use a credit card to increase your earnings, make sure you pay of your balance in full each month to avoid paying interest. Paying any interest would defeat the purpose of earning cash back.

34. Refer Your Friends

Similar to sign up bonuses, many companies will pay you to get your friends to sign up as well, which is known as a refer-a-friend bonus.

For example, whenever I get someone to sign up for the Freedom Unlimited Credit Card through my refer-a-friend link, Chase Bank pays me $100 in cash back.

With that said, if you have an account with any companies that offer a refer-a-friend bonus, simply get your friends to sign up to earn some quick money.

35. Join Loyalty Programs

If you frequently shop at the same store, consider joining their loyalty program. While you won’t make much money immediately, if you combine this option with a cash back credit card and a cash back app like Ibotta, it will start adding up fast.

Keep in mind that you won’t be able to convert the loyalty points into cash, but you will be able to spend them on essential items you wouldn’t buy elsewhere, which will help you save money.

36. Sell Your Crafts Online

If you make wonderful, high-quality homemade goods like candles, bath bombs, DIY coasters, jewelry, soap, or anything else, you can some some quick money selling them on a platform like Etsy.

Etsy is an online marketplace where people can sell arts, crafts, homemade goods, vintage items, and more. Depending on how successful you are on the platform, it may even become a wonderful second income.

37. Take Online Surveys

Marketers and scientists are always looking for new data. For example, a marketer might want to know what products you use and why. Because of this, there are many platforms like Survey Junkie that will pay you to take online surveys.

A few other well-trusted survey sites include Swagbucks, Inbox Dollars, Prize Rebel, and Branded Surveys.

If you’re not interested in taking online surveys, you can also get paid to watch video ads.

3 Options You Should Stay Away From

Here are a few “fast-cash” options you should stay far away from. While they may help your financial situation in the short-term, it’s likely they will make it far worse in the long-run.

The last thing you want to do is make your financial situation worse than it has to be.

We have included this section in our post because we have seen these options, which are never good pieces of financial advice, recommended on other websites in articles about ways to get fast-cash when you need it desperately.

38. Payday loans

A payday loan is an unsecured short-term loan that is repaid in a lump sum. The primary reason a payday loan is a bad idea is because of the high-interest rate, which is usually expressed as a “fee.”

However, borrowers have an option to pay another fee instead of repaying the loan, which is why payday lenders prey on the desperate, as these fees add up over time.

For example, payday lenders usually charge a $15 fee on a two-week payday loan, which amounts to almost 400% on an annual percentage rate basis (APR). Because of these exorbitant fees, you should never take out a payday loan.

39. Payday Installment Loans

A payday installment loan is very similar to a payday loan. However, a payday installment loan is long-term and the borrower has the option to repay the loan in multiple, equal sums over a period of time, as long as three years.

Similar to a payday loan, interest fees build quickly. For example, a $2,000, three-year payday installment loan with a 400 annual percentage rate will cost more than $16,000 over the life of the loan.

40. Title Loans

A title loan is a secured short-term loan in which the borrower puts up their vehicle title as collateral for the debt. The amount of money the borrower will receive depends on the value of their vehicle.

While a title loan is similar to a payday loan and has similar interest rates, it’s much worse. In the event that you don’t repay the loan, the lender will seize your vehicle.

Final Words on Needing Money Desperately

There you have it, 40 ways to get cash immediately when you need money desperately. While they are all great options, take time to figure out which one is best for your situation.

With that said, I highly recommend you begin building an emergency fund so you don’t find yourself in this predicament again. You should also create a budget if you’re frequently having trouble covering basic expenses.

Also make sure to stay away from fast-cash options like payday and title loans. While these options may help your situation in the short-term, it’s likely they will make it much worse in the long-run. The last thing you want to do is make your financial situation worse than it has to be.

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