iQuanti: With inflation at record highs and the Federal Reserve raising interest rates at an unprecedented pace, many economists are expecting the U.S. to be in a recession throughout most of 2023. If you're concerned about your finances getting tight, then it will be important to know your options. From low-interest credit cards to title loans, there are several ways to get the cash you need. Here are five solutions for the next time you're low on funds.
1. Squeeze your budget
Everybody has fat in their spending that could stand to be trimmed. And when finances are running dry, this is the first place you should look. You can start by pulling up your bank and credit card statements. Make a note of any expenses that are unnecessary and commit to cutting some or all of them out of your budget.
2. Use 0% APR credit cards
If you absolutely have to make purchases but can't afford to pay them off right away, then something that might help is 0% APR credit cards. These are cards that offer an introductory period of 12 to 24 months where borrowers don't have to pay any interest on their purchases.
If you've already made some purchases on your current credit card, then you can also use these 0% APR cards to perform a balance transfer. This is effectively using one credit card to pay off another with the benefit that the 0% APR card will not accumulate any interest.
3. Apply for a short-term personal loan
Short-term personal loans are another relatively easy place for consumers to get the money they need without a lot of hassle. Many have a fixed rate of interest and last anywhere from two to five years.
Personal loans can be either secured or unsecured. Secured loans require you to offer collateral - something of value like a house or vehicle that the lender can take if you default on your payments. Unsecured loans don't require collateral, but applicants generally need to have a higher credit score.
4. Consider a title loan
If your credit score is not great, then another loan option you can consider is a title loan. With these secured loans, the borrower offers their vehicle as collateral. Title loans can often be approved in minutes. You can typically receive 25 to 50 percent of your car's value and can continue driving your car while you repay the loan.
5. Borrow against your retirement plan
If you've exhausted all other options, one last place you could go to find the money you need is an employer-sponsored retirement plan like a 401(k). Many plans offer participants the ability to borrow as much as $50,000 from themselves. You'd then have to pay the loan back within five years, making payments at least once each quarter, and with interest. Of course, taking money out of your 401(k) will inhibit its growth. So, this could be considered an option of last resort.
The bottom line
With inflation up and the stock market down, money may get tight in 2023. If that happens, start by taking a hard look at your budget before going external to credit cards, personal loans, and title loans. And if all else fails, remember that you do have the option to borrow from your 401(k) retirement plan.
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Original Source: What to Do if You're Low on Funds in 2023