September 14, 2023How to Access Cash Quickly Without Payday Loans

Sometimes you need quick access to money. The car engine light came on. The refrigerator is on its last legs. You’re facing a reduction in hours at work. Unplanned expenses and financial hiccups pop up regularly. All these scenarios have one thing in common – they can throw off your budget instantly and put you in a financial pickle.  

While payday loans might seem like a quick fix in a pinch, other, more affordable alternatives are available. Knowing your options ahead of time can prevent costly headaches down the road. 

What Not to Do in a Financial Pinch: 

Facing large, unexpected expenses can quickly throw you into a panic. It can often feel like your options are limited, making a payday loan seem the ideal solution. Payday lenders cater to this exact scenario: waiting until you’re fiscally vulnerable. 

It’s not just payday lenders, either. Quick-cash apps, instant online loans, and pawnbrokers all work in unison to fill this void. These organizations claim to provide quick, low-cost access to cash, but in return, borrowers typically face: 

  • Costly Fees: Payday lenders generally charge fees versus interest rates. Mainly because when the costs are converted to interest rates, they are exorbitant, and few would ever agree to them.
  • Short-Term Cycles: Payday loans are designed to hold you over until your next paycheck. While this might seem beneficial, it’s often difficult for borrowers to repay the entire amount, plus fees, in such a short time. Consequently, the loan rolls over, more fees are added, and the borrower gets stuck in a vicious debt cycle that’s hard to escape.  

Before you let panic dictate your finances, let’s explore various options to help solve your fiscal challenge without breaking the bank. 

Payday Lender Alternatives: 

The two areas that payday lenders cater toward are speed and convenience. When facing an unexpected financial setback, you need access to cash now. Luckily, there are many affordable alternatives available that won’t strain your budget for weeks or months to come. 

  • Personal Loans: 

A personal loan is a short-term loan that provides you with a specific amount of cash to repay over a certain period of time (dependent on creditworthiness). You do have to apply with your financial institution for this loan, but approvals are quick and are often funded on the same day. 

Personal loans offer a slew of perks when compared to payday loans: 

  • Dollar Amount: You can typically borrow more money through a personal loan – giving you greater flexibility in budgeting for and covering unplanned expenses. 
  • Interest Rates: The interest rates on personal loans are generally lower than even most traditional credit cards – making them one of the most affordable options. 
  • Flexible Terms: While payday loans are typically for only a few weeks, personal loans can extend from several months to a few years. Repaying the balance over time alleviates pressure on your current budget. 

Personal loans are also a great option for financing a wedding, higher education, a dream vacation, home improvements, medical costs, moving expenses, and more. PEFCU offers competitive rates on personal loans. Learn more here. 

  • Credit Cards: 

Credit cards are one of the most popular forms of payment today because of their convenience. When using a credit card to cover larger expenses that you cannot repay immediately, always opt for the card with the lowest interest rate possible. 

With rates lower than the national average, PEFCU’s credit cards are a great option. Learn more about our credit card options. 

  • Investments:  

Pulling from your investment accounts is a quick solution if you’re facing a more significant financial setback. It’s recommended you speak to your financial advisor first to review potential downsides. Also, you’ll want to refrain from pulling from tax-advantaged retirement accounts unless necessary. 

  • Family & Friends: 

Borrowing money from family members or friends can be a slippery slope. You never want to put someone close to you in a situation where your relationship could become jeopardized over money. If you do borrow funds in this manner, it’s advised that you write out an agreement and repayment plan and have both parties sign it. It’ll show you’re serious about repaying the debt and provides a legal guarantee for your family or friends. 

  • Ask for Help: 

If you’re facing financial hardship, most lenders will work with you on a temporary plan. For example, lenders might allow you to skip a monthly loan payment, which could free up instant money to cover your unplanned expense.  

However, you must contact your lender BEFORE your loan’s due date. This provides your lender with more flexibility in finding solutions and could prevent any negative marks on your credit report. 

We’re Here to Help! 

Unexpected expenses pop up all the time. It’s part of life. How you choose to deal with these setbacks can also have a significant impact on your finances. Our team is here to work with you one-on-one to find the right solution for you. 

If you’re interested in speaking with a PEFCU representative, we’re ready to help. Please stop by any of our convenient branch locations or call 800-226-6673 today. 


Each individual’s financial situation is unique and readers are encouraged to contact PEFCU when seeking financial advice on the products and services discussed. This article is for educational purposes only; the authors assume no legal responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the contents.  

Federally Insured by NCUA. 

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