by Maurie Backman | Feb. 7, 2021
Short on cash? Try one of these options.
In late December, after months of intense negotiations, lawmakers finally came to an agreement on a coronavirus relief package that included a round of $600 stimulus checks. Those payments went out almost immediately after that relief bill was signed into law, which means many people got their cash by early January.
But what if you've already spent down your $600 stimulus and are still in need of money? Given the general economic crisis at hand, that's not an unlikely scenario. Here are a few income sources you can look at if your stimulus cash has run out.
If your $600 stimulus came nowhere close to providing the financial relief you need, then it could pay to apply for a personal loan, which will allow you to borrow a lot more than $600. You'll generally need good credit to get a personal loan, though there are lenders that work with applicants with poor credit as well. While you'll pay closing costs with a personal loan, the interest rate on that debt will generally be much lower than what you'll incur with a credit card. So it's worth seeing what options are available to you.
A coronavirus hardship loan is a specific type of personal loan designed to help people who need to borrow a modest amount of money to stay afloat. Regular personal loans generally have a minimum borrowing requirement of several thousand dollars. But with a coronavirus hardship loan, you can borrow as little as $500. As such, this is a good option if you only need a small sum to tide yourself over. Coronavirus hardship loans come with very competitive interest rates and flexible repayment terms. Like a regular personal loan, you're more likely to qualify if you have great credit, but even if you don't, it may still be worth looking into. You might pay a higher interest rate with a less-than-stellar credit score but one that's still lower than the interest rate of a credit card.
Maybe you can't qualify for a personal loan or are convinced you'll be in a better place financially in a few months' time. If so, then a 0% introductory rate credit card could be a good borrowing source to tap. With one of these cards, you won't rack up interest on your debt provided you pay off your credit card by the time your introductory period wraps up. But be careful because beyond that intro period, you're likely to face a steep interest rate on your debt that will cost you a lot. And too much credit card debt can damage your credit score, making it harder to borrow money the next time you need to.
Many people feel that the recent round of $600 stimulus checks wasn't enough. In fact, President Joe Biden is pushing for a new round of $1,400 payments to provide better aid to the public. Still, there's no guarantee that will come to pass. So if you need money today, these three options are worth exploring.
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