You need $500. How should you get it?

From Vox.

The (bad) options for Americans facing an emergency expense.

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A 2023 Federal Reserve survey found that a third of Americans say that they don’t have the cash to cover a $500 emergency expense. So what happens if they need it?

In this video, we compare six of the ways Americans say they get money when they don’t have it: credit cards, bank loans, borrowing from a friend or family member, payday loans, selling something, and going into overdraft. How difficult is each one to access? How does paying off each kind of debt work? And how much does each one cost down the line?

None of these options are great for someone who can’t pay an emergency expense. But some of them are a lot worse than others.

This video is presented by DCU. DCU doesn’t have a say in our editorial decisions, but they make videos like this possible.

Sources and further reading:
The Federal Reserve report: https://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/2023-economic-well-being-of-us-households-in-2022-expenses.htm

A range of interest calculators, if you’re currently weighing your options: https://www.calculator.net/financial-calculator.html

More on the predatory nature of payday loans from the Pew Charitable Trusts: https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/articles/2023/06/07/what-does-the-research-say-about-payday-loans

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