10 Ways to Borrow Money Fast (with Pros & Cons)

We’ve all been there. Inconveniences can come in many forms. We don’t all have a savings account we can fall back on when life comes knocking. Whether it’s for a car repair or some other inconvenience, sometimes borrowing money is our only choice.

Fortunately, there are many different ways you can borrow money. However, some may take longer than others. Below are 10 different ways you can borrow money fast. Each way has its advantages and disadvantages. 

With so many loan options out there as to how to borrow money, it can be difficult to decide which is best for you. There is no “one size fits all” in terms of loans, but hopefully, with a little knowledge, you can make the right choice.

Let’s go over 10 different ways you can borrow money fast, along with the pros and cons of each:

  1. Family/Friends
  2. Title Loan
  3. Pawnshop Loan
  4. Peer-to-peer Lender
  5. Personal Loan
  6. Credit Cards
  7. Personal Line of Credit
  8. HELOC
  9. 401 (k)
  10. Payday Loan

1. Borrowing from Family & Friends


The first item on the list is borrowing from your family or friends. This may seem like a no-brainer but many people are actually reluctant to do this.


There are many advantages to borrowing money from your friends or family. It is also one of the safest ways to do so. Here are just a few advantages of borrowing money from those close to you:

  • Borrowing this way can oftentimes give you more flexible options. Friends and relatives are more likely to want to help you, so you may be able to get a loan you may otherwise not be able to attain at a bank or their lender.
  • Your credit score probably won’t matter.While borrowing money from other lenders is contingent on your credit score, a friend or relative will be more eager to help you out regardless. You also won’t have to worry about your relative reporting to Transunion or Equifax. 
  • You may also come away with a lower interest rate. Banks and other lenders will typically have higher interest rates– especially if your credit score is subpar. 


While borrowing from friends and family has its advantages, this type of borrowing also comes with its disadvantages. 

  • One downside to borrowing money from friends and family is that it may lead to a strained relationship. If you’re in an inconvenient situation, a family member may feel obligated to help you even if they are not comfortable with it. This could lead to resentment in the long run.
  • Another drawback is there may be confusion during the term of the loan. A dispute may occur over how much was borrowed, the repayment terms, and the interest rate. That’s why it’s important to have an agreement on paper. 

The point is, there are many advantages and disadvantages to borrowing money from friends and family. If you want to make sure you do it right, a good place to start is Dani Pascarella’s article on Forbes.com.

2.Taking Out a Title Loan for Quick Cash

Another option you have when you’re in a pinch is to take out a title loan. Borrowers receive a title loan when they give the title of their vehicle to the lender as collateral. You typically have 30 days to repay the loan. 

Title loans also come with their pros and cons. Here are a few examples of each:


  • This is another example of how you can secure a loan even if you have bad credit. If you’re in an unfortunate financial state and securing a loan at a financial institution may be out a reach, a title loan may be a solid option.
  • Another advantage of a title loan is it’s an excellent way to get fast cash. While other lenders can take days–or weeks– to approve your loan, a title loan can be obtained much quicker. You may receive your loan on the next business day or even the same day.

Although the pros can sound great for someone in an emergency situation, there are also cons that come when getting a title loan. 


  • The first disadvantage of a title loan is that they often come with high annual percentage rates. This is because title loans are designed to be short-term loans. According to the Federal Trade Commission, lenders often charge 25 percent per month.
  • Another downside to a title loan is the possibility of your car being repossessed if you fail to pay the loan back on time. Naturally, this won’t be a problem if you’re confident you can pay it back in time. Generally speaking, it’s probably a good idea to pay it back on your next payday if you can.

For a more in-depth look at title loans, check out Ben Luthi’s article on Supermoney.com.

A pawn shop sign.
Pawnshops will usually hold your valuables and loan you money but they definitely aren’t the best resort since they will keep your valuables if you don’t pay them back, usually with interest.

3. Pawnshop Loans for Emergencies

Pawnshop loans are very similar to title loans. The way these types of loans work are you take something of value, and the pawnbroker will give you a loan. The broker keeps your item until the loan is repaid. 


  • Perhaps the greatest advantage of a pawn shop loan is that there’s no credit check whatsoever, and it may also be the quickest source of cash. Anyone with an item of value can obtain a pawnshop loan.
  • Another pro of a pawn shop loan is that your credit score won’t be affected if you fail to pay the loan back.


  • One drawback of a pawnshop loan is its cost. Although it may be a cheaper route than a title loan, the average interest rate is still somewhere between 5% and 25% per month. 
  • Like title loans, another disadvantage of a pawnshop loan is the fact that you could lose your item if your loan isn’t paid on time. 

4. Peer-to-Peer Lending (P2P)

Peer-to-peer lending allows people to borrow money from other individuals. This process cuts out the bank as the middleman. P2P lending platforms have gained more popularity in recent years after the first was established in 2005. 


  • One of the attractive qualities of a P2P lender is it’s a fairly quick process when compared to larger institutions. Applicants generally are approved or denied instantly. If approved, the funds are normally fulfilled in less than two weeks.
  • Another advantage of P2P lending is the low annual percentage rates. These rates generally are lower than banks.


  • A drawback of a P2P lender is that it can be a high credit risk. This is because many individuals who obtain a P2P loan oftentimes have lower credit scores that hinder them from receiving a traditional loan.
  • Another disadvantage of P2P lending is the lack of regulation. Since P2P platforms are fairly new, the policies they control and the quality of each party are few and far between.

5. Personal Loans

A personal loan is a loan that is typically borrowed from a bank or credit union. It is generally paid back in fixed monthly payments over the course of one year or more.

Personal loans aren’t typically taken out to cover emergencies. Instead, people will take out personal loans to cover things from improvements on their home to financing a wedding.

Personal loans can come in many forms. You could drive to the bank, although there are websites for online personal loans.


  • One of the main advantages of a personal loan is they are widely used. Unlike a mortgage, personal loans can be used for many different purposes. These can range from consolidating debt to paying a medical bill.
  • Another reason many people are drawn to personal loans is that, unlike title and pawnshop loans, no collateral is required. This interests many people who have a few things of value.


  • One of the disadvantages of a personal loan is that they can still have higher interest rates. It’s possible to receive a low interest rate with good credit, however, the lowest rates are generally offered to individuals with an excellent credit score. 
  • Another drawback of a personal loan is the possibility you could be penalized for paying the loan off early. When looking at a variety of lenders, that may be something to watch for.
A couple of credit cards.
Credit cards can be a good way to “borrow” money but not paying off your debts can hurt your credit in the future and come with high interest rates.

6. Credit Cards Can Be Great When Used Properly

Credit cards can be a great source of loans if you use them responsibly. However, they can also cause you unnecessary problems if you’re not aware of the costs.

A credit card can be a great tool if you need to borrow a small amount of money for a short period of time. Assuming you already have a credit card, this is known as a cash advance. The good news is that if you are able to pay off the entire balance at the end of the month, a credit card can be a source of loans at a 0% interest rate.

Like all loans, there are a few things to consider when thinking about what works best for you. 


  • One of the most well-known advantages of a credit card is its ability to build your credit. Credit card companies report to the major credit bureaus every month. If you don’t have a credit history, this gives you the opportunity to build one quickly.
  • Credit cards are also very convenient. If you’re in a position where you are spending more money than usual, you may not want to carry cash around. If your card is lost or stolen, you aren’t responsible for unauthorized charges, unlike cash.


  • One drawback of a credit card is how easy it is to overspend. We’ve all heard how we don’t spend as much money when we don’t physically see cash leave our hand. With a credit card, spending more than you would actually have in cash isn’t rare.
  • Another disadvantage of a credit card is its high-interest rates. According to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report, the average interest rate for new offers is 17.98%. 

7. A Personal Line of Credit Isn’t a Personal Loan

Personal lines of credit and personal loans are easily confused. While they both can help you achieve your financial goals, the way they work is quite different. 

With a personal loan, everything is fixed. You borrow a fixed amount, you repay a fixed amount and you repay it over a fixed period of time. It is an unsecured loan and, as we previously covered, no collateral is needed to be approved.

A line of credit offers you much more flexibility when borrowing. With a personal line of credit, you are allowed to borrow up to your maximum limit. You can borrow again after repaying the funds.

In its simplest form, a line of credit works similarly to a credit card. You can borrow money up to the set limit and then pay it back with interest.

So what are the pros and cons of a personal line of credit?


  • An advantage of a personal line of credit is that you only borrow the money you actually need. If you take out a personal loan and don’t need the full amount you borrowed, you still have to pay the entirety of the loan back with interest.
  • Another advantage of a personal line of credit is you have constant access to funds. You can borrow at any time as long as you don’t exceed your credit limit.


  • Although being able to access your funds at any given time is one of the things that make a line of credit great, it can also cause you to overspend.
  • Another downfall to this method is that high credit usage could potentially hard your credit score. This could hurt you if you ever decide to apply for other loans.

8. HELOC for Homeowners

A HELOC– also referred to as a home equity line of credit– allows you to borrow money against the equity you have already built up in your home. It is a line of credit, so it would allow you the same flexibility when it comes to borrowing and repaying the loan.

HELOCs normally let you borrow up to 85% of your home’s value, meaning, if you don’t have considerable equity, a HELOC may not work.


  • Because HELOCs generally require you to have good credit to qualify, they often have lower interest rates. For those of you who have excellent credit, you may receive an interest rate of below 5%.
  • Another advantage of a HELOC is it may be tax-deductible. However, this is only applicable if you use the borrowed money to increase the value of your home.


  • The largest drawback of a HELOC may seem fairly obvious: you’re using your home as collateral.
  • Another disadvantage of a HELOC is they require discipline. Since they are easy to access, you may not feel the pain of your decision immediately.

9. 401(k) Loan

A 401(k) loan enables you to borrow money you’ve already saved up from your retirement account. 


  • An advantage of this type of loan is that there is no application process. You’re borrowing money out of your own account, so it’s not nearly as complex as driving to a bank or credit union.
  • Again, since you’re taking money out of your own account, your credit score doesn’t matter. Borrowing this way also won’t result in a hard inquiry, meaning your credit score won’t receive an unexpected drop.


  • When borrowing from you 401(k), you will be subjected to borrowing limits. Typically, the maximum amount you can borrow is $50,000 or 50% of the balance– whichever is smaller. 
  • Another disadvantage when borrowing from your 401(k) is you risk potential gains. This is because your 401(k) is invested. When you take that out, you risk missing the benefits of that investment.

10. Payday Loans

A payday loan is a short-term loan that is typically paid back when you receive your next paycheck. The amount of these types of loans are generally between $100 and $1,500. 

Payday loans are typically sought after in an emergency. You also don’t need an excellent credit score to obtain one, and you can usually find payday loans near you. You can even apply for payday loans online!


  • Perhaps the biggest advantage of payday loans is the fact that they’re easily accessible. Payday lenders are sometimes able to give you same day funding. In most cases, you can receive your money in less than 24 hours or even a same day loan.
  • Another plus is they have fewer requirements than other loan companies do. If you’re 18 years old, have a Social Security number, have a source of income, and a bank account, you’re all set.
  • Another advantage is that many payday loans can be obtained online. Online lender networks such as Payday Loans Pro have an apply online form. In these cases, money is received with direct deposit.


  • Depending on who you go to, the interest rates of payday loans can potentially be higher
  • Another disadvantage with payday loans is you can’t build your credit score.

Learn more about how online payday loans work here.

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Riley Draper