I hear from women all the time who are in really rotten marriages. Maybe you are one of them. Maybe you are being physically or emotionally abused and need to get out for your own safety. Sometimes the guy is just a giant dick and it’s taking its toll on your mental health. Perhaps you are just unhappy, unloved and for reasons that you don’t need to explain to anyone, you need to get out.
But you tell me, “I can’t leave because I don’t have any money.” Maybe you don’t have your own checking account to get an apartment, or a lawyer, or support your kids. Maybe you are a stay-at-home mom and don’t have a source of your income — or you lost your job and depend on your crappy husband.
But you need to get out.
You don’t have that $5,000 emergency fund every woman should have. And you don’t have a credit card or savings account in your name — or maybe you do and it is tied up in courts — frozen until the divorce is settled.
But you need to get out.
Some of you could stay with family or friends. Or maybe you can take a personal loan from someone you know. But that is not the best option for everyone — or even an option at all.
Or maybe you have left that bad marriage, but he isn’t paying child support, or the court date to settle your assets is months away and you need to pay the mortgage and child care. Or maybe you need some cash now so you can get a certificate degree or buy a few decent interview outfits so you can get a job and get on your feet already.
Bottom line: You need cash really badly, now.
Getting into debt is not always a great idea. But it is not a horrible idea, either. After all, most people finance their homes, cars and educations. Personally, I have not carried a personal credit card balance since I was in my early 20s. But for the past year I have had a 0% business credit card to grow my business — most businesses have debt, often taken as a small business loan or line of credit.
Here are four solid options for personal loans. Personal loans can be a better option than credit cards because rates tend to be lower. Approval can also be a little tougher, which might be a good thing if you have a history of taking on too much debt. Remember: This is not money for a new TV, or sexy shoes, a boob job or cute clothes for your kids because you need a pick-me-up.
This is an emergency fund to help you get out of a really bad, bad situation.
I personally researched the sources listed here as some of the most reputable in the market. Full disclosure, I do get paid if you chose to take some of these loans. But I would not suggest this as an option if I did not think it was a sound choice for some people. Choose carefully, use it wisely and share in the comments how this cash infusion changed your life.
LendingClub is a site that connects people who need loans with people and institutions with money. Plug in your information, including what you need the money for and your credit score, and LendingClub will determine what interest rate and credit limit you qualify for, and present it to investors. The process takes about 20 minutes and approval as little as 5 days.
Loan size: Up to $35,000
Terms: Fixed 6.78% to 29.99% for either 3 or 5 years
Approval: The application takes 5 minutes, loan posting an additional 15 minutes, and approval can be as quick as 5 days.
Catch: One-time origination fee of up to 5%.
Prosper Very similar to LendingClub, Prosper is a peer-to-peer loan program. Both programs are unsecured, fixed loans.
Loan size: $2,000 to $35,000
Terms: Fixed 6.73% to 35.36% for either 3 or 5 years
Approval: The application takes 5 minutes, loan posting an additional 15 minutes, and approval can be as quick as 4 days.
Catch: Again, a 5% origination fee. Generally requires a credit score of 640 or higher. Consider running applications at both LendingClub and Prosper to compare terms. Also, neither program is available in all states.
LightStream offers no-fee, unsecured “AnythingLoans.” The program, a subset of SunTrust Bank, can be used for nearly any personal use. Unsecured means these loans are not backed by your personal collateral (say, your house or car) — but they do require a credit score of at least 750. But this can be a great option if you have solid credit.
Loan size: Up to $100,000
Terms: Rates start at 1.99%, and go up to 9.99% with autopay based on terms and use of the loan, which can be for 24 to 84 months.
Approval: Approved borrowers can fund loans on the same business day as they complete the application.
Catch: While this may sound too good to be true, you do need to have very good credit — usually in the high 700s — and some personal assets. Also, LightStream loans cannot be used for business purposes.
AvantCredit is an option if your credit score is low, though they offer unsecured loans for all credit scores.
Loan size: $1,000 to $20,000
Terms: Rates can be high, averaging around 40%, for 12 to 48 months.
Approval: The application takes minutes and funds can be deposited as soon as the next day.
Bonus: No fees and the site lets you check your credit score as part of the free application. Better than a payday loan.
Catch: Pay attention to those rates.