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  • Writer's pictureSubhan Tariq, Esq

Alternatives to Credit-card Cash Advances

A cash advance is a feature offered by most credit card companies that allow cardholders to withdraw cash against their credit limit. To get a cash advance, you typically need to go to an ATM, use your credit card to withdraw cash, or visit a bank and ask for a cash advance against your credit card.

If you need cash and don't want to use a credit card cash advance, other options are available. Here are some alternatives to consider:

  1. Personal loan: A personal loan is a loan you can use for almost any purpose, including covering short-term cash needs. Personal loans usually come with lower interest rates and more flexible repayment terms compared to credit card cash advances.

  2. Cash-back rewards: cash-back rewards on credit cards can be used to get money. Cash-back rewards are typically credited to the cardholder's account as a statement credit, a check, or a direct deposit into a bank account. The exact method for redeeming cash-back rewards will depend on the terms and conditions of the specific credit card. Some credit cards may have a minimum threshold for redeeming rewards, while others may have restrictions on how rewards can be used. It's important to note that cash-back rewards are typically only available to cardholders who use their credit card responsibly by making purchases within their credit limit and paying their balance in full and on time each month.

  3. Payday loan: A payday loan is a short-term loan meant to be repaid on your next payday. Payday loans can be expensive, but they're a good option if you need cash quickly and can't access other forms of credit.

  4. Borrow from family or friends: Borrowing money from family or friends can be a good option if you're in a tight spot and don't want to incur interest charges. Make sure to repay the loan as soon as possible and be mindful of the impact it might have on your relationships.

  5. Collateral loan: A collateral loan is a loan secured by collateral, an asset pledged as security for the loan. If the borrower is unable to repay the loan, the lender can seize the collateral and use it to recover the loaned amount. The most common forms of collateral include real estate, vehicles, savings accounts, stocks, and bonds. Collateral loans can be obtained from banks, credit unions, and other lending institutions. The terms and interest rates for these loans can vary based on the type of collateral, the value of the collateral, and the creditworthiness of the borrower. Having collateral can make it easier for individuals to get approved for a loan, as the lender has a source of repayment in the event that the borrower defaults on the loan. However, it is crucial to consider the risks of using collateral, as you may lose the asset if you are unable to repay the loan.

  6. A 401(k) loan: This is a loan that allows an individual to borrow money from their 401(k) retirement savings plan. The borrower typically repays the loan with interest, with the interest payments going back into their own account. The loan must be paid back within a certain period of time, usually within five years. Borrowing from a 401(k) can have consequences, such as reducing the amount of savings available for retirement. In some cases, if the loan is not repaid, it may be considered a taxable distribution.

  7. Roth IRA: Technically, you can use funds from a Roth IRA in an emergency, but doing so may have tax and penalty consequences. Distributions from a Roth IRA that you've held for less than five years and that you take before age 59 1/2 are subject to income tax and a 10% early withdrawal penalty. However, there are certain exceptions to the penalty, such as qualified higher education expenses, certain medical expenses, and first-time home purchases, among others.

  8. Sell assets: If you have assets you can sell, such as jewelry or electronics, you can use the proceeds to cover your short-term cash needs.

  9. Seek assistance from a nonprofit organization: If you're struggling to make ends meet, you may be able to get help from a nonprofit organization. For example, some organizations offer short-term loans or other forms of assistance to help people in financial distress.

Every loan option has its pros and cons. A cash-flow crunch is a high-stress situation, but panic is not necessary. Take time to consider all your options. It's essential to consider your options carefully and choose the one that's right for you. Credit card cash advances should be used as a last resort, as they come with high-interest rates and fees that can quickly add up. However, depending on your needs and timetable, another type of financing may be preferable to borrowing from your credit card. Credit card cash advances are costly enough only to be considered in a genuine emergency.

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