Need money fast? You don't have to wait for another stimulus check

Personal loans can help fill the gap as you await coronavirus relief. (iStock)

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the financial well-being of millions of Americans, Congress reached an agreement on a new coronavirus stimulus package. On December 27th, President Trump signed a $900 billion federal relief package that included a second round of stimulus checks.

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The package delivers up to $600 for eligible single taxpayers and up to $1,200 for married couples who file a joint return. An additional $500 is paid for each dependent child. The federal relief bill extends the moratorium on rental evictions through January 31, though it does not extend forbearance for federal student loan debt which also expires at the end of January.

Now, under the Biden administration, Congress may consider a plan to send another stimulus check for $1,400 — but that amount is not guaranteed. If you're in need of more money and you want it now, there is one easy option: personal loans.

How to get money fast

If you're struggling financially because of the coronavirus pandemic, taking out personal loans could be a better alternative to using credit cards to cover day to day expenses. Here's a closer look at how a personal loan could help you to stay afloat during COVID-19.

Personal loans offer flexibility, in that you can use them for a variety of expenses. During the coronavirus pandemic, that might mean everyday expenses, such as utility bills, rent, or groceries.

You can visit Credible today to quickly compare rates and terms on personal loans ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 and find a lender that suits your needs in mere minutes.

You could also use a personal loan to fund emergency expenses, such as medical bills or a major car repair, when your emergency fund has been depleted. Technically, you could even use personal loan proceeds to keep up with payments on mortgage debt or student loan debt, if needed.

With student debt, you may be better off exploring forbearance, deferment, or student loan refinancing options first if you're having difficulty managing payments. If you need relief for student loans, in particular, and don't qualify for federal benefits, then you can refinance your student loans via Credible. Credible can help you compare rates and find a lender that best fits your needs.

WHAT SHOULD YOU USE A PERSONAL LOAN FOR?

Why is a personal loan a better option than a credit card?

A credit card can be a convenient way to pay for things, while potentially earning rewards on purchases. But there are some downsides:

  • Paying off credit card debt can be challenging if you have a high variable interest rate
  • Carrying a significant amount of outstanding debt relative to your credit limits could negatively impact your credit score
  • Paying a bill late could trigger late fees and lead to negative items on your credit history, which again could damage your FICO score

Having to pay down debt on a credit card can also make reaching your personal finance goals challenging. If a sizable amount of your income goes to pay off debt each month, that's less money you have to save or simply get ahead of your bills.

Personal loans can offer a lower fixed interest rate if you have a good credit history and credit score. And the monthly payments are predictable, making it easier to budget to pay down the debt. Learn more about personal benefits via Credible.

Can I use a personal loan to consolidate debt?

If one of your financial goals is becoming debt-free, personal loans can help. A debt consolidation loan allows you to combine multiple debts into one, with a single monthly payment. You can use a personal loan to pay off debt, including credit cards, loans, and other lines of credit.

Debt consolidation could also help you pay down debt faster if you're able to secure a low fixed-interest rate. And when you move from having multiple monthly debt payments to keep up with to just one, budgeting can become less stressful.

If you decide debt consolidation is the right step, it’s important to shop around for the best type of personal loan, rates, and terms. Fortunately, Credible makes it easy to compare loan rates and companies.

SHOULD YOU GET A PERSONAL LOAN TO PAY OFF CREDIT CARD DEBT? 

How much personal loan should you take out?

If you're considering personal loans to manage debt during the coronavirus pandemic or just cover your everyday bills, it's important to consider how much money you can realistically afford to borrow.

Taking out too large of a personal loan means more debt to pay back. But taking out too small of a loan could leave you with a funding gap to close. Using a personal loan calculator can give you an idea of what type of monthly payments you can expect. Visit Credible to find the best personal loan rates.

HOW TO BOOST YOUR CHANCE OF GETTING PERSONAL LOAN APPROVAL

What are some other ways to stretch my budget? 

Another coronavirus stimulus package may be in the works under the incoming Biden administration. In the meantime, you can stretch your budget by:

  • Cutting out all nonessential expenses
  • Taking advantage of student loan relief options, including forbearance, deferment, or student loan refinancing
  • Seeking help through government-sponsored programs, such as SNAP or LIHEAP
  • Exploring side hustle ideas and other options for increasing income

If you've tried those things and still need some financial relief, consider shopping around for a personal loan. You can visit Credible to compare interest rates and loan options from multiple lenders. Credible's experienced loan officers are available to help answer all of your personal loan questions.

7 SMALL PERSONAL LOANS TO CONSIDER IF YOU NEED SOME EXTRA CASH

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