America may be the land of opportunity, but it’s also an expensive country to live in, and there could be times when you need money now and simply don’t have it. A 2017 survey by CareerBuilder found that an estimated 78% of American workers live paycheck-to-paycheck. Despite the fact that our economy is doing well and unemployment rates are low, many people still don’t have extra cash to splash around.

This might not be a problem if you’re typically careful with your budget, but what if emergencies happen and unanticipated expenses arise? What if you can’t pay for unexpected costs and still pay your bills on time? This type of situation is an unfortunate reality for many Americans, but you can find ways to get money fast when you need it.

When an accident occurs and you find yourself facing medical bills, your car needs unexpected repairs to get you to work and back, a termite infestation requires spot treatment to protect your home, or you need money desperately to address another pressing concern, you have to act fast. You don’t have time to wait for your family to decide if they want to help you out, or for busy bank managers to run credit checks and process your application.

When you need money now, short-term payday loans are the speedy alternative that help you cut through red tape and get the funding that will put you back in the black. How can you get money fast with a loan that meets all of your needs and works with your budget? Here are a few tips to ensure you qualify and get the best possible terms.

What to Do When You Need Money Now

When you find yourself in an emergency situation and facing expenses you didn’t expect, it’s easy to panic and freeze. However, when you need money fast, just knowing that assistance is available should help to reduce your stress and give you the confidence to move forward with a plan of action.

What should you do when the worst happens and you have to cover costs immediately? The place to start is by finding a trusted lender that offers fast approval. This probably won’t be your typical bank, which makes you jump through hoops like credit checks.

If you don’t have the best credit to begin with, this can not only mean wasting time on a lengthy approval process, but also getting denied and having to start the process all over again, potentially incurring additional expense should you miss payments and be subject to late fees. Don’t forget, credit checks and late payments can also impact your credit score, which you definitely don’t want.

You’ll need a lender specializing in fast loan approval with no credit checks, and with options for online application, you can expedite the process even more and enjoy the convenience of applying in the comfort of your own home. If you need money fast, for whatever reason, you’ll find that there are options to explore that meet your needs.

Meeting Qualifications to Get Money Fast

When you need money desperately, getting fast approval with no credit check sounds great, but keep in mind that there is still a simple application process to go through, and it will go much more smoothly if you’re prepared to meet the minimal qualifications. Start by making sure the lender you choose operates in your state of residence.

Qualifications for lending can vary by state and by lender, but there are a few eligibility requirements you can generally expect. First, you have to be 18 to apply for a loan as you must be an adult to legally sign a contract. You may also have to provide proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, such as a driver’s license or other form of ID. You should also expect to offer proof of steady employment (showing your ability to repay a loan) and an active bank account (typically to receive your cash once you’re approved).

Online Application

When unexpected costs arise and you need money fast, you’ll be pleased to learn that the online application process is quick, easy, and convenient. It involves just a few simple steps, starting with filling out the application online in a safe and secure format and providing any needed documentation.

Once you’ve completed this portion, you’ll be approved for your loan in short order, thanks to the fact that there is no lengthy credit check or other holdups. After you receive approval, you just have to sign the loan agreement and cash will be deposited into the account you’ve provided, usually within a single business day, although often faster.

From there, you just have to repay your loan according to the terms of your contract. Choosing online loans provides you with the speed and convenience you need to get money fast, as well as repay it expediently so you can move past an emergency situation and resume your normal life.

How Much Can You Borrow?

When you take out a car loan, you could get approved for several thousand dollars, but you’d also expect to pay it back over the course of five or six years. A home loan could entail hundreds of thousands of dollars, but again, you’ll likely plan to pay it off over 30 years.

Short-term loans are a different beast altogether. Because you generally expect to pay them back with your next paycheck, or within a few short months at the most, these loans do not have the same heft as other, larger loan types.

So, how much money can you reasonably borrow with payday loans? Different states and lenders have their own rules, but there are several factors that may affect the amount you can borrow, including whether or not you’re a first-time borrower (or you have a relationships with the lender), your income, and whether or not you offer collateral, just for example. Short-term loans can range from $100-1,000 or more, but again, it will depend on your particular circumstances.

Reasons to Get Money Fast

Nobody wants to find themselves in a situation where they need money desperately, but when you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, it could happen any time. You could trip going down the stairs with a load of laundry and break your foot, or bump your head on a low overhang. You could eat some bad sushi and wind up in the emergency room. Even with health insurance, you likely still have a deductible and/or coinsurance payment, which you simply might not have the money for.

If you rely on your car to get to work and your commute is long, the wear and tear could leave you with unexpected repairs to brakes or engine components. Some might be covered by warranty, but others could require out-of-pocket payment, and if you’re out of warranty, you’ll just have to pay.

Because of the way student aid works, many college students find themselves starting the semester without needed funds to pay for tuition and books. Even though they’ve been approved and the money is on the way, they still need to buy textbooks before classes start.

The truth is, there are endless reasons why you might need money now. You might have to make last-minute travel arrangements to visit your sick grandmother or attend a funeral. You may decide to elope in a fit of romantic impulsiveness. Perhaps you need a vacation, or you want to launch a small, home-based business and you just need a few hundred dollars to get started. Regardless, you can get the funds you need fast with the right payday loans.

Finding a Trustworthy Lender When You Need Money Now

Before you accept money from just anyone, it behooves you to comparison shop and seek a trustworthy lender. What does this mean, exactly? What traits are typical of trusted lenders?

First, you want a company that is honest about terms and conditions. You need to be aware of associated costs like interest rates and fees (such as wire transfer fees), as well as the repayment schedule, so you don’t find yourself responsible for hidden expenses down the line.

You also want to make sure your private information is protected. This means looking for a secure website that encrypts your data so it can’t be hijacked while you’re submitting it, as well as ensuring that you’ve chosen a company that won’t sell your confidential information to third parties.

A trustworthy lender will also provide you with assistance to ensure that you understand what you’re agreeing to. You want to work with a company that will answer questions and provide instructions so you can make an informed decision.

Protecting Your Best Interests

When you get money fast, you need to make sure you get the best deal possible. This could mean seeking no credit check loans and applying online for speed and convenience, as well as looking for safe and secure online portals.

However, you also need to make sure you understand the terms and conditions so that you can get the loan that best meets your needs and repay it in a way that works for your budget. With the right preparations and a bit of due diligence, you can face emergency expenses with less stress and come out ahead.