Personal Finance

How To Get Your Hands On Emergency Cash

Worried family at vets with dog

Even the best-prepared budgeters sometimes need to lay their hands on quick cash. Unexpected expenses such as vet bills or home repairs can creep up on you, and may mean that you need to come up with a sizeable sum of money in a short space of time.

This doesn’t need to be a panic situation, as there are several possibilities for coming up with money with in the space of a couple of days – or even a couple of hours. The options below cover a range of different needs depending on how much money you’re after and when you’ll be able to repay it

Instant access savings

Instant access savings don’t give you the best interest rates, but we still recommend that everybody keeps a small portion of their savings in an account that allows for same-day withdrawals. In ideal circumstances, you should build up an emergency fund that covers three – six months’ worth of bills and leave it sitting in an emergency account. If you can’t afford that, or you’re reluctant to lose out on higher interest, make sure that you have at least a couple of hundred that can be withdrawn as soon as you need it.

Woman using ATM holding wallet an pressing the PIN security number on the keyboard automatic teller machine

Most banks will offer simple savings accounts with same-day access to anyone who opens a current account. Opening one is a simple process that should only take a few minutes, and you can manage the account through your bank’s app.

Same day loans

Not all loans require a lengthy application and approval process. With modern same day loans, you can submit your application in a few minutes and get the money paid into your bank account within a couple of hours. Thanks to market regulation, many of these loans have very reasonable interest rates and repayment terms, so if you’re clear on how you’re going to repay the money then it’s a good way to get a slightly larger sum of money.

To get a great deal, make sure you use a same day loan broker. They will take a few details and provide you with quotes from a range of providers. Nobody will perform a hard credit check unless you decide to go ahead with an application.

Trade-in old tech

Games console gathering dust? Old mobile phone tucked away in a drawer? You’ll be surprised how much you can get for your old tech products (assuming they’re still in reasonable condition). We’ve always found CEX to offer a fair price, and if you go in store they will check the products and give you cold hard cash in the space of an hour or so.

Sony PS4

While you can also sell things on eBay or Facebook Marketplace, trading in tech at an established store can be a quicker and more reliable option.

Short-term benefit advance

People who are entitled to benefits such as universal credit can actually apply for an advance on their first benefit payment, which is usually paid within a day of making the application. The amount that you borrow is then repaid from your future benefits, with a small amount being taken off each month until you’ve repaid the debt. The government describe this as a short-term loan, but there’s no interest to repay. The catch is that it’s only available for new claimants. Find out more here.

Credit card cash advance

You need to be a little more cautious before deciding to use a credit card advance, but if you have a credit card available to you and you are confident in your ability to make future repayments, then it’s something to be aware of. A cash advance credit card allows you to withdraw money at a cash machine, buy travellers cheques, or make certain types of transaction: payment on a bill or mortgage, for instance.

Pile of Credit cards

It typically comes with a hefty fee to repay at well as a high rate of interest, so we’d consider it to be the option of last resort. Using a credit card for a cash advance while abroad will also incur an additional foreign usage fee and potentially a currency conversion fee. These cards can certainly get you out of a sticky situation, but the high cost means that you should only go ahead if you know you can afford it and you don’t have any other options.

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