Cheap loans not an option? There are quick alternatives.

If you need quick cash then there are a limited range of places to go. By the time they get to this event most people will already have exhausted the other options. Banks will eventually stop you borrowing, when you get to the bottom of your overdraft and if they don’t think you’re a great prospect for a loan. You’ll no doubt have gone to friends and family. You can take money out on a credit card – not the best option, since it’s subject to higher rates of interest than purchases, but if needs must then you’ve certainly hit your limit there too. If the most cheap loans (and that’s a relative term) aren’t an option, you’re down to less traditional prospects for fast cash.

This is where you need to be a bit savvy. If you need funds and you’ve run out of other options, then you’re down to more expensive loans. And these come in a range of forms. Some are a necessary evil, others to be avoided completely. Whatever the penalties for non-payment of your existing debts are, they need to be seriously weighed against the impact of a loan – which may only push the problem a few weeks or months down the line, making it far worse in the process.

So it’s important to know quite what you’re getting into. Log-book loans, for example, put your car up as collateral and can incur enormously high rates of interest – often leading to you losing the car. Doorstep lenders and other loan sharks can be a nightmare. This branch of the industry often operates outside of the law, meaning you lose its protections as well as its restrictions. It also means that, because it’s unregulated, there’s no ‘best practice’. It’s in the interests of these organisations to keep you in debt, never quite paying off your loan. Often their records are sketchy, or non-existent.

The alternative is quick cash from a specialist short-term loans business. These will typically offer fast cash when other cheap loans aren’t possible. The term of the loan is usually about a month: the idea is that you use the money to get out of trouble, not keep rolling the debt over month after month. You can expect to pay around 30 percent a month – not cheap, by any reckoning, but better than a doorstep lender, and within the law too. Many will offer help and guidelines for staying out of debt in the future, meaning you shouldn’t have to keep returning again and again.

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