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Borrow Money Options

Updated December 05, 2019
Picture Showing Stacks of $100 bills
Smart Tips for Borrowing Money

Borrow Money Like the Rich

We all get in a bind sometimes and need extra money. Usually at this point our first step is to find a way to borrow money. The smart way to borrow money is to break the process down into two tasks instead of one. The first task is to determine if it's possible to reduce the need for additional money. If this is not possible, then the next step is to find the best source of additional money. Using this two step approach will keep borrowing costs down while still meeting the need for additional money when it's necessary.

Reduce the Need for Money

The first task when borrowing money is to consider if there are other options to actually borrowing. This section has ideas on reducing the need for the money.

  1. Contact Your Creditors

    Contact the companies to whom you owe money as soon as you believe you will have troubles with your payments. Explain to them your situation, when you believe you will be able to pay them, and ask them for more time. Many companies will work with consumers who are sincere in their desire to pay them but have run into troubles. Sometimes they may offer an extension or even reduce the debt. Make sure to confirm if there are any additional fees or penalties for delaying payment.

  2. Contact Local Consumer Credit Counseling Service

    If you need help figuring out how to create a debt repayment plan with your creditors there are many non-profit groups that provide assistance in every state. These groups offer assistance at low to no costs. There are also groups that charge fees and can try to take advantage of your situation so be cautious when evaluating one of these services. The FTC provides additional guidance on Choosing a Credit Counselor

  3. Make a Budget

    This is a more long term approach but will help at the next emergency. Making a budget can be tedious but spending one month analyzing your expenses can be very insightful. Eating lunch out or getting a coffee every day quickly adds up to $200-$300 a month. When you see it all added up it can help you visualize what a difference cooking at home and making coffee at home can make. The challenge is to stick to the plan. Once monthly expenses are under control, if possible, set up an emergency fund.

  4. Take a Part Time Job

    For many this is not an option as they are already working 2-3 jobs but if this is an option for you this is a great alternative to borrowing money.

The above options can help reduce the need to borrow money. If after evaluating the above options you still need to borrow money the next step is evaluating what sources of money are available to you.

Sources for Borrowing Money

If reducing the need for money is not an option, then the next step is to find sources to borrow money. The availability and costs associated with this step depends on credit history and ability to repay. Generally, the worse your credit history and the less reliable your ability to repay, the higher your costs. As your options decrease and your cost to borrow increases it becomes even more important to find ways to reduce your need to borrow as continued borrowing with high fees can make it even more difficult to cover your expenses bringing you even deeper into debt.

  1. Personal Loan from Banks or Credit Unions

    The safest option is a bank or credit union. This is also the rarest option as many banks no longer make personal loans. Banks and credit unions are highly regulated by numerous federal and state agencies. Personal loans are unsecured loans. They generally require strong credit history so will not be available to everyone. In general, these loans will have lower interest rates than other unsecured options. Make sure to shop around and compare rates.

  2. Credit Card Cash Advance

    This is also a relative safe option. It is faster than a personal loan as the bank or credit union that has issued you your card has already evaluated your credit history. These loans are often more expensive than a personal loan and they may also impact the rates you owe on purchases for your cards so make sure to evaluate the fees. Similar to bank loans, this not an option available to individuals with poor or bad credit

  3. Bank Overdraft Protection

    This is another option offered by banks. It is a small line of credit generally less than $1,000 attached to your checking account. It's designed to help avoid overdraft fees from over spending ones checking account but it can also be used as a loan. There are fees and interest attached to using your line so make sure you understand the costs. This option generally does not require as strong a credit history as a bank loan but does require good credit.

  4. Title Loans and Pawn Shops

    This option is where we start to move into less regulated areas so the consistency in lenders varies greatly. These companies offer loans to individuals with poor or no credit. They are able to do this because they take collateral. Title loan companies will seize your car if you fail to repay the loan and pawn shops will keep the item you pawned. These loans are more expensive than bank loans and carry the risk that you will lose the asset you used as collateral if you are unable to re-pay your loan.

  5. Borrow from Friends and Family

    This option is not available to everyone but many times is safer and cheaper than other choices. Everyone's situation is different but friends and family may be more willing to help you and even let you pay back the loan by doing chores or small projects for them.

  6. Payday and Installment Loans

    The final option is a payday or installment loan. These loans can be very expensive and should generally be used only as a last resort if the expense cannot be avoided. The advantage of payday loans or installment loans is they do not require good credit and can be very fast. They are based on your pay date and often are deposited into your checking account within 24 hours. Regulation and enforcement in this space is highly varied so borrowing from these lenders can be risky. We prefer state-licensed lenders.

The bottom line is try and reduce the need for borrowing money by either reducing expenses or increasing earnings. If money is still needed, try options that rely on credit history like bank loans or credit cards. Second, evaluate options that require collateral. And finally, if no other options are available, including friends and family, consider a payday loan or an installment loan. Payday loans are due the next pay period while installment loans are paid off over time. If you do consider one of these short-term loans make sure to evaluate your lenders and fees before signing any agreements.

Installment Loan Lenders

The Payday Hound reviews installment lenders and ranks them according to our Sniff Test (reputation), costs, and features. To filter lenders by your state select it below.

Filter by state:
Company Name Description Rating
Check Into Cash

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Check Into Cash to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 - $25,000
  • APR: 195% - 521%
  • State Licensed Lender
Loan By Phone

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Loan By Phone to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $500 - $1000
  • APR: 195% - 521%
  • State Licensed Lender
OppLoans

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit OppLoans to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $500 - $4,000
  • APR: 99% - 199%
  • State Licensed Lender
Ace Cash Express

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Ace Cash Express to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 - $2,000
  • APR: 175% - 1,029%
  • State Licensed Lender
CashNetUSA

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit CashNetUSA to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 - $2,000
  • APR: 299% - 456%
  • State Licensed Lender
LendUp

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit LendUp to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 - $500
  • APR: 155% - 164%
  • State Licensed Lender
Cash 1

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Cash 1 to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 - $50,000
  • APR: 168% - 390%
  • State Licensed Lender
Cash Central

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Cash Central to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 - $5,000
  • APR: 180% - 740%
  • State Licensed Lender
RISE

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit RISE to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $300 - $5,000
  • APR: 60% - 299%
  • State Licensed Lender
Jora

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Jora to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $500 to $2,600
  • APR: 170% to 349%
  • State Licensed Lender
Quik Check

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Quik Check to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 - $500
  • APR: 146% - 548%
  • State Licensed Lender
Check 'n Go

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Check 'n Go to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $250 to $5,000
  • APR: 314% to 662%
  • State Licensed Lender
Cash Store

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Cash Store to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 - $1000
  • APR: 313% to 780%
  • State Licensed Lender
Speedy Cash

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Speedy Cash to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 to $2,000
  • APR: 178% to 680%
  • State Licensed Lender
Blue Trust Loans

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Blue Trust Loans to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 to $2,500
  • APR: 782%
  • Tribe Based Lender
Plain Green Loans

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Plain Green Loans to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $1,000
  • APR: 300%
  • Tribe Based Lender
Cash Advance Now

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Cash Advance Now to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $300 to $1,500
  • APR: 725%
  • Tribe Based Lender
Mobiloans

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Mobiloans to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $10 to $2,500
  • APR: 206.14% to 442.31%
  • Tribe Based Lender
MaxLend

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit MaxLend to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 to $2,500
  • APR: 782%
  • Tribe Based Lender
American Web Loan

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit American Web Loan to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $300 to $2,500
  • APR: None Listed
  • Tribe Based Lender

* Rates and fees vary by state. Not all lenders operate in all states. Check each lender's website for up-to-date information.