Life happens. You’ll inevitably find yourself in desperate need of emergency cash at least once in your lifetime. When that happens, it’s helpful to know the options available to you.

How can you come up with the money for that late rent payment or overdue utility notice? Continue reading to learn your various emergency cash options.

Use Your Emergency Savings

If you’re already late on rent, now is the perfect tap to tap into your emergency savings. If you’re among the one in four Americans who don’t have emergency savings, one of the options below could help you find emergency cash.

Start or Ramp up Your Side Hustle

One in three Americans already has a side hustle. Working a few extra hours could provide the emergency funds you need if you’re among those already lucky enough to have one.

But what if you don’t already have a side hustle? Now would be an excellent time to pick one up. A few examples of side hustles you could pursue include:

  • Freelancing (as a writer, editor, graphic designer, customer service rep, etc.)
  • Selling products (but beware of MLM or pyramid schemes)
  • Babysitting
  • Mowing lawns
  • Delivering groceries or take out
  • Providing rides on apps like Lyft or Uber

A side hustle will generally require between 24 hours and two weeks for you to start generating an income. So if you need quick money, it may not be the best option.

Ask Friends or Family

If you need emergency cash within the next 24 hours, you may consider asking close friends or family members. Sometimes, you can receive these as gifts (like an early birthday or holiday present). Other times, someone close may loan you the money to pay back at a later date (which should be agreed upon in advance).

Check Nonprofit Programs

Depending on what you need the money for, a local nonprofit program may help. For example, if you need emergency cash for groceries, you may qualify for SNAP benefits (also known as food stamps) or help from a local food pantry. There are also programs to help with rent, utilities, and medical bills.

Apply for an Emergency Loan

Emergency loans come in different forms, and all of them should be used only as a last resort. However, these can be great in a pinch if you meet the qualifications.

A few of the most common emergency loan options include:

  • Personal loans
  • Payday loans
  • Credit card cash advances

Borrow From Your Retirement Funds

If you’re lucky enough to have an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan, you may be able to borrow some of these funds in an emergency. However, there is a catch. You must repay all borrowed funds within five years, or you’ll have heavy penalties levied against you.

One other downside about borrowing from your retirement funds is you’ll have to pay the total amount back if you lose your job. If you don’t feel secure in your position, you may want to choose an alternative option.

More Questions About Finding Emergency Cash?

Life happens, and sometimes you don’t have the money you need. Thankfully, there are several ways to come up with cash in an emergency.

Do you have more questions about finding emergency cash?

Check out our other blogs. You’ll find articles on related topics to help you learn more on the matter.