Need a fast loan!
March 20, 2009 8:43 AM   Subscribe

Is there a reputable place (online or otherwise) where I can get a quick emergency loan within the next 10 days for $600 - $900? I have somewhat poor credit.

I just spent all of my available cash and my emergency saving bailing a family member out of trouble. Saying no wasn't an option, as I was the only person close to her who had the funds available.

I am paid monthly at my job, so this has put me in a position where I'm strapped until the 15th of next month. I have one credit card with $300 of available credit that I'd rather not max (but I will if I need to), and I will be $900 short to pay my rent on the 31st, plus a utility bill and groceries.

The highest you can go on a payday loan in my state is $500, and you can't have more than one. My credit score is around 650 right now so that rules out a lot of the less costly options I'd have with a better score.

I checked with Modest Needs already but they don't have any available slots for applications. I think everyone is in pretty dire straights right now.

I know this isn't the best way to get money, but I'm desperate here. I already talked to my landlord and he said he really can't defer my rent because the economy is killing him. I probably won't get evicted but the late penalty will be just as significant as any fees I incur on a short term loan. And I'd rather keep my payment history with him current because the rental market here is very tight and I will probably need a reference if I ever move.

It's been a rough year for my family financially and basically I've sold everything I own of any value in order to help different people out. So that's pretty much out at the moment.

Also, if people have some suggestions about any odd jobs where I can raise cash quickly, that would be good too. I can't do manual labor like raking and mowing at the moment because I just had knee surgery and am on crutches, but anything else that you can think of that pays cash quickly would be appreciated. I have a young child at home, so that's also a consideration as far as time.

Anon because I don't want this to sound like a thinly-veiled attempt to beg for money off anyone. I'm really not. I just need some suggestions to scrape up this money for the short term. If I borrow it, I'll be more than able to pay it back around the middle of next month.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (10 answers total)
Your local credit union will probably give you a 90-120 day note for $900, easy. That's what they do and they're very good at it.
posted by unixrat at 9:07 AM on March 20, 2009

Ack, I hit post too early.

Go in, explain the situation, show your work/payment history, and offer to payback in $300 amounts every 30 days. I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that they'd do it.
posted by unixrat at 9:09 AM on March 20, 2009

Take a look at I have not used it myself, but if the application process is not too time-comsuming, it might be worth a shot.
posted by preparat at 9:23 AM on March 20, 2009

The worst case scenario (and I have been there) is you just pay the rent late, with the fees. Telling the landlord up front that you have exhausted other options will give you a little goodwill. (I have had to do this once or twice. It's no fun, but you gotta do what you gotta do.)

If your utility bill is just "due" and you are not in danger of getting services cut, just call and tell them you will pay it late. It's usually not a big deal at all, as long as you are not already behind. And even if you are, they will work with you. Again, I've had to do this and I have always been treated professionally and with as much cooperation as possible.

Use $100 from your credit card to get some groceries. Get staples that can be used in multiple ways. (Inexpensive meat cuts, pasta, veggies, rice, sauces, etc.)

Meanwhile, gather together anything you think might be valuable to put on eBay. Even 10 items that get $10 each is $100. You might be surprised what you can find to sell. Old cameras, computer peripherals, car parts, etc. all sell on eBay. Check "completed items" to see what they have gone for to make sure you are not wasting your time.

A payday loan should be absolute last resort. Yes, I have been there as well. Yes, these kinds of loans can be downright predatory, but when I've had to do it, and I knew (KNEW FOR SURE) that I could pay it off without carrying it over, I was happy to get it.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:27 AM on March 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh... also... look into a temp agency. Not the "day labor" kind, but the kind that works with offices. I have not worked with one, but I have had people in my office we have gotten from temp agencies. Don't worry if you don't have a long list of qualifications. As mentioned above, a lot of places just want a reliable person who will buckle down and do the work. For example, we used a temp whose entire job was to put a several thousand index cards in numerical order. A simple but boring job. The first 2 didn't stay more than a day or 2, and finally the third person stayed and completed the project. It paid something like $18 an hour, and required no real skill other than knowing how to count and keep things organized.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:33 AM on March 20, 2009

See if there are any paid clinical trials or research studies in your area. Seems like sleep deprivation studies are a dime a dosen.
posted by preparat at 9:40 AM on March 20, 2009

Temp agencies are awesome when you need a source of income quickly. I used to rely on them when I freelance designed. When business was slow, I could count on an office job for a month or so to cover the bills.

But that isn't always the quickest way, especially not if your rent is due on the 1st. Do you have anything you can sell? eBay and Amazon Marketplace are your friend. Sell off anything you don't absolutely need or cherish. Buy replacements when you can afford to.

Probably your quickest option is the local pawn shop. Depending on what you can pawn, you may not be able to get much, but it could help.

And all of this is assuming there's nothing your recently-troubled family member can do to help you.
posted by katillathehun at 9:44 AM on March 20, 2009

I'd contact you by MeFi mail but since it's anonymous... I have a couple of tasks that could be done from home for a few hundred bucks, depending on your skills. One is marketing related, refining website text for my start-up (I'm a coder, I suck at marketing). The other is more menial, updating info for a ski website I run but haven't had time to update (lift ticket and rental rates, double-checking other stats, making sure the maps are up to date).
posted by hungrysquirrels at 10:07 AM on March 20, 2009 [3 favorites]

Hrrm, e-mail now visible in profile.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 1:58 PM on March 20, 2009

Just a warning that there's a huge rise in loan scams right now as people are preying on folks in these desperate times. We're charting some of them in our forums at Do your research and never send anyone you don't know money to secure your loan. There are also legitimate loans available on our site, but I will caution you to be careful what you apply for - getting turned down can hurt your credit score further. Best of luck.
posted by judith at 3:46 PM on March 20, 2009

« Older In search of a good furniture store in Chicago's...   |   We'd prefer invites with tact Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.