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Whether you’re starting a business, expanding a current one, have an unexpected emergency, or just need to pay your bills, being able to access capital is essential. However, not everyone has the money or savings on hand to pay for large purchases and expenses.
In fact, 42% of Americans have less than $1,000 in a savings account. Plenty of other people have absolutely nothing saved for emergencies. Fortunately, there are a few ways to access capital quickly if you need it. Here are five options that could help provide the money you need:
1. Access Capital by Borrowing from Family or Friends
Though this option is often seen as a last resort, it is usually the best place to start when you need to access capital. Family members who have close personal relationships with you are often likely to be willing to provide financial assistance if you need it. Moreover, they’re likely to give you favorable loan terms.
When asking family or friends, remember to be transparent about your situation. Importantly, inform them of your plan to repay the loan. Since borrowing from someone close to you is a personal matter, it’s critical that you only accept a loan this way if you are confident you can repay it. Otherwise, the financial and emotional fallout could be damaging to your relationship.
2. Take Out a Loan from a Traditional Bank or Credit Union
One of the most common ways to access capital is through a traditional bank or credit union. The process takes some time, however. This is because you must go through an application process, provide documentation, and wait for approval of your loan. Nonetheless, if you have good credit, this can be a beneficial option.
According to Equifax, “good credit” constitutes a credit score between 670 and 739. However, you will typically need a score of at least 690 to qualify for a favorable interest rate. Several factors go into whether or not someone qualifies for a loan:
- Existing Assets: Banks and credit unions will analyze your existing assets. This will usually include income, savings, and investments. Their analysis will help determine if you can afford the loan.
- Credit Score: Your credit score is one of the most important factors in determining whether or not you can get approved for a loan. A higher credit score means better interest rates and more favorable terms on loans.
- Down Payment: If you want to buy a car or other large assets, the bank or credit union will likely require a down payment before approving the loan. This is because it reduces their risk of lending money. It also shows that you are serious about repaying the loan.
However, you might not have time to wait for a lending bank to approve your loan or perhaps your credit score is too low. In these cases, applying for a loan from the bank may not be the most valuable use of your time.
3. Try Online Lending Services or Peer-to-Peer Lending
Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is an alternative method of borrowing money. This approach eliminates the need for a financial institution acting as a broker between borrower and lender. In other words, it is a process where individuals can lend and borrow money directly from each other without going through traditional banks or lenders.
If you don’t want to or can’t borrow from family members and you aren’t able to go through a traditional bank, there are online services that specialize in getting people access to capital quickly. Many of these services are secure and offer competitive interest rates on loans. The application process is usually straightforward. And you can receive funds in as little as 24 hours after approval.
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Online lending services and peer-to-peer lenders also offer other benefits. These benefits can include shorter loan lengths (often between one and three years) or the ability to customize your loan terms. This can be helpful if you are looking for a lower interest rate or more flexible repayment options. However, there are a few caveats for accessing capital with P2P lending services. For example, take note of these details:
- Private lenders may still require good credit history and proof of income before approving a loan.
- You may have to pay higher interest rates and/or fees than if you had gone through a traditional lender.
- Some P2P lending platforms such as lending circles require members to provide value to others in the group as a condition of getting approved for a loan.
It’s important to do your research and read the fine print before signing up for an online loan. This is because some private lenders will have hidden fees or excessively high interest rates.
4. Use Your Existing Assets as Collateral with a Secured Loan
A secured loan is a type of loan in which the borrower puts up a valuable asset, such as real estate, vehicles, stocks or bonds, jewelry, or other personal property as collateral. This means that if the borrower isn’t able to repay the loan for any reason, then the lender can take ownership of the collateral and sell it to recoup their losses. There are a few different types of secured loans:
- Car Loans: Banks or credit unions may be willing to accept a car as collateral against a loan. Depending on the value of your vehicle and your credit score, they may offer you better rates than an unsecured loan.
- Home Equity Loans: If you own a home, you can use it as collateral for a loan. This type of loan is known as a home equity loan. You can use it to finance major expenses such as home repairs, medical bills, education costs, and so on.
- Pawn Shop Loans: A pawn shop loan is another type of secured loan. With a pawn shop loan, you give the lender an item of value for a short-term loan with high interest rates. The pawn shop owner holds the collateral until you pay the loan back. However, if you don’t repay it in time then the lender can keep or sell the collateral to make up for lost money.
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Secured loans are a good option for people who don’t have the best credit or need to access more capital quickly. This is because these loans usually come with lower interest rates and longer repayment periods. They are also easier to qualify for than unsecured loans. This is because they take some of the risk associated with lending money away from the lender.
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If you need capital quickly, some secured loans, such as car loans, can be approved and funded in as little as 24 hours. However, it’s important to keep in mind that if you default on the loan, you could lose your collateral or end up paying even more in interest or penalties.
5. Use Payday Loans to Access Capital Fast
If you need a little bit of immediate cash, payday loans from a service like My Canada Pay may be the right option for you. These loans are typically small—a few thousand dollars or less—and are meant to be paid back with your next paycheck. They usually come with high interest rates (up to 400% APR). Therefore, it’s important to make sure you can repay the loan on time before taking one out. Additionally, some payday lenders may require a postdated check or an automatic withdrawal from your bank account as collateral.
Finding access to capital can be difficult when you are starting a new business or need quick cash. However, with the right research and understanding of the various loan options available, you can find the best funding solution for your specific needs. Whether it’s a traditional bank loan, a peer-to-peer loan, a secured loan, or a payday loan, understanding the pros and cons of each can help you make an informed decision.
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