Seven places to find emergency cash
In a financial fix? Here's a host of ways to find cash fast.
However, what about when you need a few extra pounds immediately, to meet an urgent expense or get you through to the next pay day?
Here, we’ll show you seven places to find emergency cash.
What NOT to do
One of the most publicised ‘solutions’ to this dilemma is to take out a payday loan. Payday loan companies seem to be advertising everywhere at the moment - especially on trains, tubes and buses - and they make the whole process sound so easy.
In a nutshell, payday loans are cash advances on the salary you’re expecting at the end of the month. Many promise to have the cash with you within 24 hours.
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While this sounds great in theory, the pitfalls can be disastrous - the interest rates attached to payday loans tend to be ridiculously high, typically up to 2000% APR!
This means it’s very easy to get sucked into a debt spiral that makes your financial situation even worse. Read Why pay day loans suck to find out more.
So, steer clear of this sort of borrowing trap, and try one of the following quick-fixes instead:
1. Find forgotten rewards
Used carefully, those points might be able to buy you the household staples you need to get you through the next few days.
2. Root out old accounts
I hunted around recently and found a good few pounds in a childhood building society account I’d completely forgotten about. It all helps!
3. Grab a free overdraft - and a free £100
Certain current accounts offer substantial, interest-free overdrafts, which can be used - on a short-term basis - as ‘free’ loans.
For example, the Preferred Current Account from Santander currently offers an interest-free overdraft for 12 months, with a typical limit of £1,200.
It also gives you a 5% rate of interest on positive balances of up to £2,500 (for the first year) when you pay in at least £1,000 each month.
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Finally, you’ll be given a £100 cash bonus when you switch using Santander’s dedicated Account Transfer Service, pay in the minimum £1,000 a month, and have at least two active direct debits or standing orders set up on the account within 11 weeks.
4. Claim what you’re entitled to
According to research by unbiased.co.uk, UK taxpayers lose some £322 million in overpayments each year.
This page of the HMRC website will tell you how to get tax refunds, and reclaim any tax you’ve overpaid.
If your back is to the wall financially, it’s also important you claim all the benefits you’re entitled to. Turn2us is a free, confidential service that can help you track down all the benefits and grants available to you.
5. The Bank of Mum and Dad
Once they’re adults, many people feel unable to ask for financial help from their parents. However, if it’s on a short-term basis and with clear terms, a family loan could make good financial sense.
If you’re worried about ‘taking advantage’, suggest you pay a sensible rate of interest on the loan - perhaps equivalent to the rate offered by one of the personal loans currently on the market.
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Just make sure you agree on a realistic, regular repayment plan, to avoid any tension or misunderstandings.
6. Bite back at your energy supplier
Gas and electricity price rises have been much in the news recently, with British Gas the latest company to announce big price hikes.
If you pay your bills by monthly direct debit and haven’t submitted meter readings recently, you may be due a refund of surplus credit.
So, send your supplier or suppliers up-to-date readings for your gas and electricity and see if you can get a surplus credit refund.
7. Sell stuff!
Finally, don’t forget the most obvious way to make quick cash - sell stuff!
Stick a couple of tables in your driveway, display all the items you want to sell, and have a jug of lemonade on standby to encourage thirsty punters.