9 Ways to Make Money Fast

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Point of Interest

There are several smart ways to make money quickly — all by utilizing resources and opportunities that you have at your fingertips.

If you need to make extra money fast, you’ll need to know a clear direction on where to go, what to do and what your options are to make it happen. Google won’t be much help in this situation, though — a search for quick ways to make money or how to make money from home turns up articles with broad ideas that lack actionable steps you can take.

Luckily, you have options to gain access to much-needed cash quickly, even if Google can’t enlighten you on them. By exploring the options for making money below, you can determine exactly what steps you need to take to get money fast.

9 easy ways to get money fast

  • Personal loans — The highest potential dollar amount
  • Payday loans — Best for fast approval
  • Payday alternative loans (PALs) — Fast approval with bad credit
  • Sell unneeded items — Lowest risk option
  • Credit cards — Great for a revolving source of cash
  • Get a part-time job — Good for longer-term sustainability
  • Rent out a room — Good return for little work
  • Sell your plasma — Great return for helping out
  • Become a temporary day laborer — Hard work but fast cash

Personal loans — The highest potential dollar amount

One of the fastest ways to get access to a large amount of money quickly is through a personal loan. You will need to undergo a credit check and get approved, but many personal loan lenders can give you access to up to $100,000 without the need for collateral, provided you meet the lending requirements. Even if you don’t have great credit, you may be able to get approval through certain lenders.

Payday loans — Best for fast approval

If you have bad credit, you may be looking at getting a payday loan. These loans give you quick access to cash but come with a lot of stipulations you need to be aware of — and they can be quite expensive. Generally, it’s not advisable to use payday loans, as most are predatory in nature. 

These types of loans require fast payback and can put you into a debt cycle that may be near impossible to escape between the quick repayment requirements and high interest rate. Instead of giving you a long period of time to pay back the money (like a personal loan), these loans almost always require full payback with your next paycheck. However, if you’re in quick need of cash, this could be an option.

Payday alternative loans (PALs) — Fast approval with bad credit

In response to the predatory nature of payday loans, the government teamed up with select credit unions to provide an alternative option called payday alternative loans. Payday alternative loans allow you to borrow small amounts of money at a lower cost than traditional payday loans and the repayment terms are more flexible, too.

These types of loans can get you the fast cash you need, even if you have damaged credit, which makes it a good option for funding smaller, stop-gap expenses in between paychecks. The benefit to PALs isn’t just that they give you access to quick cash — they also give you the benefits of payday loans without the predatory characteristics.

Sell unneeded items — Lowest risk option

If you’re looking to make money fast but don’t want to take on additional debt, you can always sell unneeded items that you own. Set up an old-fashioned garage sale to get rid of items you don’t use or use one of the many digital sales apps that connect buyers with sellers. You will be limited by what items you have laying around to sell, but you won’t take on any additional debt while making some spare cash with this option.

Credit cards — Great for a revolving source of cash

Applying for a credit card can help you get access to purchasing power quickly — as long as you’re able to get approval from a provider. Keep in mind, though, that there could be limitations on what purchases and bills you can use a credit card for. If you need access to cash and want to use a credit card, you would need to get a cash advance through the card, which is generally very expensive.

However, you can check your card agreement for the terms of cash advances. Some credit union-issued credit cards have nominal fees for cash advances, but you’ll need to get a clear idea of what your terms are before pulling out cash from your credit card.

Get a part-time or gig job — Good for longer-term sustainability

A great option to get cash quickly is to get a part-time job outside of your full-time school or work gig. You can make money online doing things like writing, editing, designing, taking surveys or even doing data entry, but it takes some digging to find the right opportunities, so you’ll want to get going quickly.

You can also opt to get a more traditional part-time job at a local business. While this might take a week or two to get set up, it can become a sustainable source of cash and will put money in your pocket over the short term, too.

There are also opportunities for gigs on the side, which may put money in your pocket even more quickly. That’s especially true right now, as more and more people turn to third-party apps for things like grocery delivery. You can generally get started with those gigs pretty quickly, and as long as you have the equipment necessary to do it (a vehicle or another type of transportation), you can start raking in the cash in a day or two.

Rent out a room — Good return for little work

While it may not seem ideal to bring another person into your living space, you can earn a lot of quick cash by renting out a spare bedroom if you have one. You can rent your spare room out for longer periods of time with a new roommate, or use a website like Airbnb for short-term rentals instead. Either way, you’re making some extra money on your spare room and putting cash in your pocket quickly.

Sell your plasma — Great return for helping out

Selling your plasma is a great way to make some extra cash while potentially saving lives with your donation. As long as you meet the screening criteria, you can generally donate several times monthly, though it will vary by clinic. What’s great about this is that plasma is generally used to create medicines and to treat people with certain medical conditions. Not only will you be bringing in some fast cash, but you’ll be doing some good in the process.

Become a temporary day laborer — Hard work but fast cash

Most cities have places you can go sign up to do manual labor on a daily basis. You will need to get up early to secure a job, and you should plan to work hard on whatever project you’re hired to do. However, you can get paid extremely quickly and may be able to land a paid temporary job that lasts for weeks or even months. This option is not ideal for everyone because of the physical requirements it entails, but if you can do it, you can get paid cash quickly.

The final word

No matter how badly or how quickly you need money, it’s important to take time to analyze your different options before you make any moves. If you move too quickly and go forward with the wrong option, you could end up landing yourself in a worse spot with a greater need for money in the future.

Thankfully, there are plenty of viable ways to get access to fast cash while still practicing fiscal responsibility. Remember, solving a short-term problem with something that creates a longer-term problem is never a wise move.