If you’re in need of extra funds, a small personal loan isn’t the only option on the table. Here are a few other alternatives to explore:
0% intro APR credit card
To avoid paying interest, you can apply for a 0% introductory APR credit card. During the introductory period, your balance does not accrue interest, and every payment you make goes directly to the principal.
Once that promotional period ends, however, you’ll have to pay interest on the remaining balance. These promotions can last anywhere from 12 to 21 months. If you’re certain you can pay off your balance before the end of the introductory period, these cards can be a great option.
Buy now, pay later apps
Since many retailers offer buy now, pay later (BNPL) services, you may be able to get a mini loan through a service such as Affirm or Klarna.
The most common form of buy now, pay later financing is a Pay in 4 plan. Your balance is split into four payments repaid over six weeks, with a payment due every two weeks. In many cases, these BNPL plans do not charge interest. Other common BNPL financing includes monthly installments or Pay in 30 days, though these plans sometimes come with interest charges.
Credit card cash advance
If you need emergency cash, you can use a cash advance credit card to access funds quickly.
You can withdraw funds by going to your bank’s branch, visiting an ATM or getting a convenience check in the mail. Keep in mind, however, that cash advances typically have fees attached, as well as interest rates that can be much higher than your typical credit card APR.
Borrow from a friend or family member
If you have a loved one with the financial flexibility to offer you a loan, receiving a family loan and signing a loan agreement may be a good way to avoid fees and high interest rates.
However, when borrowing from a friend or family member, be aware that the loan could impact your relationship. According to a 2021 LendingTree study, nearly half of the people who are owed money from a loved one reported that they regretted lending it in the first place. About 1 in 6 claimed that money had ruined a relationship.