No one anticipates the air conditioning to abruptly stop working or a visit to the emergency room, but life throws unexpected, often expensive curveballs into the mix from time to time. In an ideal world, people who have enough savings set aside in a liquid account to cover whatever bill came their way. Realistically, timing is rarely on our side when it comes to money. When a financial emergency strikes, and there isn’t enough cash on hand to pay for it immediately, here are a few ways to reduce the financial stress of the situation through local resources.
Use Your Car as Cash
One of the most overlooked resources in a financial emergency is a vehicle, especially one that is owned free and clear. A local title loan lender could be your saving grace when a large unexpected bill rears its ugly head and the balance in a savings account simply isn’t enough to cover it. With a title loan, individuals may borrow against the equity, or value, of the vehicle without the need for a credit check or other stringent credit requirements. A title loan must be repaid over time, but the right local lender will provide guidance on an affordable loan amount to borrow so the repayment does not put too much of a dent in the monthly budget.
Connect with a Local Credit Union
Credit unions are another great source of affordable funding when an unanticipated bill pops up. Because credit unions are owned by their members, not a large corporate banking company, these financial institutions are often able to provide personal loans and lines of credit with lower interest rates than a large, national bank. Getting quick funding from a credit union will require borrowers to be members, first, and a review of credit and income may be necessary to secure a loan or line of credit.
Search Online for Solutions
Doing a quick search online for emergency cash can result in a number of resources from both local and national businesses, non-profits, and government agencies. For most of these funding sources, individuals must be able to show an immediate need due to financial hardship or other unavoidable circumstances. A variety of funding solutions, from grant-funded food assistance to help with childcare and heating or cooling your home, may be available through multiple programs. Eligibility and the need to repay funds vary greatly, so it is important to understand each of these options in full before applying or reaching out.
Crowdfund the Cash
A new addition to the financial emergency resource list is crowdfunding. With the help of online platforms like GoFundMe.com and GiveForward.com, individuals can quickly create a crowdfunding campaign that can reach not only local friends, family, and colleagues, but willing donors around the world as well. Each crowdfunding campaign is established through an online platform, but the reasons behind the individual need for funding vary greatly. Be sure to review the fees associated with accepting funds through a crowdfunding site, and any other relevant terms and conditions which may apply.
Financial emergencies can and will happen to anyone, but an unexpected expense does not have to cause turmoil or hardship. Local resources can be a lifesaver when savings isn’t enough to cover significant financial needs. Knowing where to look and understanding the specific eligibility factors for each option is the best place to start when life tries to throw a money curveball your way.