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Emergencies are unexpected, and sometimes you need emergency cash to take care of them. If you need more than what you have, this guide is for you.

Knowing where to find fast emergency cash can make all the difference when an urgent need comes up.

Maybe a major illness strikes. Or an accident or natural disaster. Whatever it may be, one thing is for sure: a big unexpected expense will arise at one point or another.

When it does, you’ll be far better off if you’re prepared to face it.

Of course, the best way to meet emergencies is with an emergency cash fund. But sometimes this isn’t possible given your life circumstances.

In the absence of an emergency fund, there are lots of ways to obtain emergency cash within a relatively short span of time. Use this list to pay off what you need to and get back on your feet financially!

Emergency Cash Through Loans

Maybe you don’t have all the money you need right now, but you know you’ll have more cash in the near future.

If this is the case, a loan can be the right solution for you.

There are many different types of loans that allow you to freely spend on your particular emergency need without conditions. The trick is finding the loan solution tailored to your situation.

Personal Loans

Most commercial banks and credit unions offer personal loans. These are short-term loans with a fixed interest rate and repayment period.

You need good credit to qualify for a personal loan, so expect a credit check. Taking out a personal loan, and even inquiring at too many lenders, will affect your credit score.

A personal loan will usually come with reasonable interests rates. However, it may not be for you if your credit is an issue.

Payday Loans

Payday loans, or cash advances, are a convenient way to get cash very quickly without going through a credit check.

With payday loans, you must present proof of income. The lender may ask to see bank statements, pay stubs, etc.

Generally, cash advances require you to pay back the loan plus interest by your next payday (hence the name “payday loan”). Often, they’ll set up an automatic withdrawal with your bank account to facilitate the transaction.

Nowadays, you don’t even need to step into the lender’s office. Online payday lenders approve you via email or phone, after which you receive the money in your bank account within 24 hours.

Title Loans

If you own a car with a clean title (no liens), you can take out a title loan for a fairly large sum of cash.

The amount of money you receive is directly tied to the value of your vehicle. Title loan lenders look at the year, make, model and general condition of your car to determine its current market value.

If you accept the offer, you leave your title with the lender during the duration of the loan (usually 30 days). After that, you pay back the loan and get your title back.

The good thing about title loans is that you keep your car throughout the life of the loan. You can continue using it like normal.

And since your car may be worth several thousand dollars, you may be able to acquire a good bit of emergency cash.

Be careful not to borrow too much. The relatively large sums offered with title loans may tempt you to request a lot. Only borrow what you can afford to pay back in order to avoid problems later on.

Credit Card Cash Advances

Not many people know that you can get cash from your credit card.

If you have a positive line of credit, you can contact your credit card company to request a PIN number.

You then use this PIN at any ATM to withdraw your emergency cash.

Credit card cash advances are very easy to get. However, be aware that the interest rates are very high.

Only use credit card cash advances if you know you’ll have the means to pay it back in the immediate future.

Emergency Cash Through Selling

Most of us own things of value. Maybe it’s jewelry, gold, silver, or high-end electronics.

Even if you don’t own extremely expensive items, you probably have smaller-scale valuable that collectively can help you cover your emergency cash needs.

Where do you go to trade in your items for bucks? Try these.

Pawn Shops

Pawn shops are a favorite emergency cash resource for many people.

The great thing about pawn shops is that they give you cash instantly. And for valuables like gold, jewelry, and smartphones, you can usually choose to either sell or pawn.

If you decide to pawn, keep in mind that your items become the pawn shop’s to sell if you don’t pay the loan back on time.

Therefore, it’s best to avoid pawning items whose loss would be painful (family heirlooms, etc.).

You may have to look around at different pawn shops to find one that accepts the type of item you want to sell. Some buy firearms, some don’t. Some only do gold and jewelry. Some don’t accept musical instruments. Some buy DVDs.

It’s always wise to compare offers. There’s nothing wrong with momentarily turning down an offer in order to see what the store next door will give you. If you don’t find a better offer, you can always come back.

Consignment Shops

Pawn shops don’t deal in everything. For items like clothes, accessories, or furniture, try consignment shops (also known as “thrift stores”).

The only drawback of consignment shops is they usually don’t pay you until after they’ve sold your item. So success hinges on finding a thrift shop that is highly visited and successful.

Selling Online

The internet has made selling your miscellaneous possessions a lot easier.

Some of the safest sites for selling your goods are Amazon, eBay, Bonanza, and

If you want to sell something locally, Craigslist is your best bet.

Just take precaution. Don’t post too much personal information on Craigslist. Avoid giving people your home address until you get a feel for how safe they are.

Selling Plasma

If you think you’re out of stuff to sell, there’s one thing you still have left: your biological fluids!

Plasma centers buy plasma to sell to people in need.

The experience is mellow. You watch TV the whole time and get a snack afterward.

To donate plasma, you have to be able to pass the requirements for blood donation. You must be a healthy non-drinker and non-smoker.

Keep in mind that you won’t be able to donate plasma immediately the first time you go. That’s because they do a test that takes about a week to process. Once approved, you can donate twice a week.


Whether it’s with a loan or by selling stuff, emergency cash is readily available.

Use this information, choose the methods that work best for you, and come up with an emergency plan so that you’re prepared in the face of crisis.