All About Plus Financials

The Most Effective Ways To Borrow Money

Apr 6

Do you need a loan? We look at the cheapest and quickest methods to borrow money, as well as two alternatives to avoid.

It's typically preferable to use your emergency reserve to cover unforeseen bills rather than borrowing money. However, life might throw you a curveball at times, and you'll need to seek help from other sources.

If this occurs, keep in mind that not all types of borrowing are created equal, and some have greater financial consequences than others. Whether you want to receive the greatest rate or you really need money now, make sure you think about your alternatives and weigh the dangers.


The most cost-effective methods of borrowing money

Borrowing is always expensive, but certain forms of loans are more reasonable than others, particularly if you have strong or exceptional credit (a FICO of 690 or higher). The following are your top choices:

A bank or credit union personal loan

Personal loans are often offered at the lowest annual percentage rates, or total cost of borrowing, by banks or credit unions. The size of the loan might vary from a few hundred dollars to $50,000 or more.

If you're currently a client of the bank, you could be eligible for a lower APR. Some banks additionally provide benefits such as flexible payment alternatives to assist you manage your finances through difficult times.


It's difficult to secure a loan from a bank if you don't have excellent credit. Furthermore, just a few institutions allow you to pre-qualify in order to have an idea of the loan's interest rate and length. This is a more popular alternative among internet lenders.

Credit unions, particularly for people with negative credit, may provide cheaper rates than banks.

Instead of depending just on your creditworthiness, loan officers may analyze your whole financial situation. However, you must first join a credit union before applying.


Credit card with a 2.0% APR

A 0% APR credit card might be one of the cheapest methods to borrow money if you can pay off the debt within the card's introductory term. To qualify, you usually need strong or exceptional credit.

Some credit cards provide a 15- to 21-month introductory period during which no interest is paid on transactions.

Consider this scenario: you use a 0% APR credit card with a 15-month introductory term to cover an unforeseen emergency such as a medical bill or auto repair, and you pay off the amount nine months later. You'll have taken out a zero-interest loan.


Purchase now and pay later

"Buy now, pay later" arrangements allow you to buy something now and pay for it over time, generally without interest or fees. During the online checkout process, as well as in-store, many merchants offer various payment options.

Afterpay is a buy-now, pay-late firm that does not charge interest but may impose a fee if payments are late. Depending on the purchase amount and merchant, Affirm may impose interest.

Buy now, pay later might be an inexpensive method to borrow for critical costs if you can find a zero-interest payment option. However, since it is so simple to get, it might lead to excess.

A borrowing from a 401(k) plan

You may borrow money from yourself with a retirement loan. You also don't have to pay taxes or penalties on a loan, unlike a 401(k) withdrawal.

They also have some of the most affordable prices. A 401(k) loan's interest rate is normally equivalent to the prime rate plus one percentage point, making it a more affordable alternative than a standard credit card. In addition, any interest earned is credited to your retirement account.

Another benefit is that defaulted 401(k) loans are not reported to credit agencies, so if you skip a payment, your credit score will not suffer.

What are the drawbacks of a 401(k) loan? You're borrowing from yourself in the future, which reduces your retirement savings and growth in a tax-advantaged account.

Personal credit line

Some banks and credit unions provide personal lines of credit, which are a cross between a loan and a credit card. A lender will have to accept your application based on your credit record, income, and previous obligations, much like a loan. However, if accepted, you draw just what you need and pay interest solely on the amount you spend, similar to a credit card.

This is a good option for borrowers who aren't sure how much money they'll need. Borrowers with good or exceptional credit have the greatest chance of receiving the best prices.

The quickest method to get money is to take out a loan

Generally, the simpler it is to get money, the riskier or more expensive it is. As a result, these are your top choices:

Take out a personal loan from a web-based lender

Online lenders, as opposed to conventional lenders such as banks or credit unions, provide ease and speed due to their totally online application and financing procedure. Some banks, on the other hand, demand a visit to a branch to complete the procedure.

To obtain the best APR, you'll need to pre-qualify and compare lenders, which might be influenced by variables such as credit score and income. With pre-qualification, online lenders do a soft credit check, allowing you to shop around without affecting your score.

In comparison to banks, online lenders serve a wider range of customers, including people with both good and negative credit ratings.


Apps for loans

Cash advance applications allow minor advances on your salary, sometimes promptly, if your need isn't urgent - but you may have to pay a premium for speedier processing. The most common funding timeframes are one to three days.

The majority of cash advance applications charge a monthly fee or an optional tip. Earnin does not charge interest on loans of $100 to $500, but it does seek a gratuity of up to $14 for each advance.

A credit card cash advance

Cash advances may also be available via your credit card. Consider it as if you were using your credit card to "purchase" cash instead of goods or services.

Cash advances are often limited to a few hundred dollars, but they're simple to get. If your credit card has a PIN, you may withdraw money from an ATM. Take your card and ID to a bank that gives advances via your card's payment network, such as Mastercard or Visa, if you don't have a PIN.

It's a quick method to get money in your hands, but it's also expensive. You'll almost certainly be hit with a slew of fees, including cash advance fees, ATM or bank fees, and interest rates that are greater than those imposed on purchases, with the expenses piling up quickly.

Get a loan from a family member or a friend

If you're in a pinch, you may have someone in your group who can lend you money. You won't have to go through the often long official application and approval procedure that other kinds of lenders need. This circumstance is great for anybody who needs money quickly or is concerned that their present credit score would prevent them from qualifying for a loan.

However, a loan from a loved one should be approached with prudence. Friendship and family loans may be a source of contention. As a result, write out mutually agreed-upon conditions and get the document notarized.

Loan from a pawnshop

A pawnshop loan, like a secured loan from a bank, requires you to put up an item as collateral. Consider items such as jewelry, antiques, electronics, and even weaponry. The pawnshop evaluates the item's worth, condition, and resale prospects before making you an offer.

You walk away with the cash and a pawn ticket if you accept the amount. You may pick up your item after you've made a payment. If you don't pay back the money by the deadline, which is normally 30 days, the pawnshop will hold it.

A pawnshop loan does not need a credit check and may be a convenient method to obtain money. Pawnshops, however, levy costs for storage, assessment, and insurance in addition to the interest rate charged on the loan, resulting in an APR of up to 200 percent.