Need Cash Before Your Next Paycheck? Options for Getting Money Before Payday

Read Time: 4 Min

When you’re in need of immediate cash, whether it’s for an unexpected expense or a business that doesn’t accept credit cards, you can be left wondering what to do and who to turn to for help. At Huntington, we can help you understand how you can access cash when you need it most.

a woman at her computer sets up direct deposit with Huntington to access early pay

Sooner or later, everyone encounters a sudden need for cash that shakes their confidence. One minute you’re getting along just fine, and the next you’re trying to come up with ways to get instant cash because your paycheck isn’t expected to hit your account for a few days. You may not be comfortable asking to borrow money from family or friends; so, what are your options?

First, you should determine if your situation is an emergency or if it can wait. Second, allow yourself to take a deep breath, and know your situation is temporary, and that you have multiple options to help you achieve financial relief.

If it’s for an emergency, here’s what you can do right now.

If it can wait, consider these options to prepare for the future.

Ask for an extension on your bills

If you have reoccurring bills that come out of your budget every month, contact the service providers that manage your cable, electricity, or insurance, to see if they will give you an extension on your payment due date until your next paycheck.

If you’ve been a loyal customer and have made on-time payments for a while, they may show some leniency. It can even be helpful if you provide them your employment status by sharing your two most recent paystubs. This can help build trust with that provider and ensure them that you plan on making payment as soon as you’re able.

If you’re not employed, it may be a bit more difficult, but not impossible. Ask your service provider if they offer any forbearance or relief programs. This can help you get by in the short-term while you come up with a new game plan to get back on track.

If you find yourself in this situation more often – with all your bills hitting your account at once – ask if you can change your payment due date with one or two service providers to help spread out your billing cycles. Ultimately, this can help prevent you from living paycheck to paycheck.

Use your emergency fund

If an unexpected expense happens and you don’t have the funds to cover it within your current budget, consider using your emergency fund. Although you may be hesitant with dipping into your rainy-day fund, that’s what it’s there for–to help you when life throws you a curveball.

If you decide to use all or a partial amount of your emergency fund, remember to re-evaluate your budget to see how you can start to replenish it or increase your savings contributions for the next few months to build it back up again.

If you don’t have an emergency fund, no worries – plan to start building one as soon as you can. If you’re a Huntington customer, we have digital tools that can help you save, such as Savings Goal Getter, which allows you to create up to 10 savings goals, plus an emergency fund, or you can use our emergency fund calculator.

Remember, emergency funds should be used for “emergencies.” We understand it’s easier said than done, but an emergency should address a time sensitive situation. With that, ask yourself the hard questions and define what an emergency means for yourself or within your household, and set-up guidelines for when to use it.

Borrow wisely

It may not be ideal, but you may have to incur debt to make it to your next paycheck. At Huntington, we offer personal loans and credit cards that can help you get quick access to cash. If you decide to borrow money, consider using financial options with low interest rates and fees.

Utilize a credit card

While you can use a credit card to cover expenses when you’re short on cash before your next paycheck, you should exercise this option with caution. Relying too heavily on a credit card can put you in a situation far worse than where you started.

It’s called the snowball effect. Adding a few hundred-dollar expenses here and there can seem small, but collectively it can easily total to thousands of dollars in the long-run. If you’re unable to control your spending habits, utilizing a line of credit may not be the best option for you.

By using a credit card, you can run the risk of maxing out your credit limit or incurring more debt than what you’re able to pay back. This could negatively impact your credit score and increase your debt overall. If you’re going to use a credit card, try to use it on expenses that you can payoff within a month, so that you can avoid interest fees.

Apply for a personal loan

Another borrowing option would be to consider a personal loan. Depending on how you plan to use the money, personal loans can vary widely in amounts. Generally, personal loans are not a quick solution for access to cash since the process can require an application and loan approval before the funds are deposited into your account.

If you qualify for a loan, you will have to take responsibility for covering any associated fees and interest that may apply. Like using a credit card, you will need to use caution, and not borrow above your means, and stick to a repayment plan. In most cases, if you take out a personal loan from a bank or another financial institution, it won't be treated as taxable income, so tax implications are rare but should be considered.

Standby Cash

As a Huntington customer, you may be able to take advantage of Standby Cash when you need extra funds.

Standby Cash is a line of credit that could be available to you right now. Log into your Huntington account online or in the mobile app to see if you qualify. You could access between $100 and $1,000 in just a few clicks. And it’s free (meaning zero interest) when you set up automatic payments, otherwise a 1% monthly interest charge (12% APR) applies to your outstanding balance.

Eligibility for Standby Cash is based primarily on your checking deposit history with us, not your credit score. To qualify, you need $750 or more in monthly deposits to a Huntington personal checking account for three consecutive months. Other eligibility requirements apply. With Standby Cash, your credit score does not impact your access and once you are approved within a few clicks online it is available for immediate transfer into your checking account. Once you open Standby Cash, the account and your activity are reported to credit reporting agencies, so your use could positively or negatively affect your credit score.

While Standby Cash is not overdraft protection or a form of early paycheck access, Huntington personal checking customers can leverage it to help clear up an overdraft or to cover expenses before your next payday. Standby Cash may only be used to fix an overdraft while 24-Hour Grace® is in effect. If any of your checking or deposit accounts remain overdrawn for more than one day, your access to Standby Cash will be suspended. So, make sure to keep an eye on your finances to possibly avoid an overdraft before it happens and so you can take advantage of every opportunity to quickly remedy an overdraft when it occurs§.

Get access to your paycheck early

If you don’t have an emergency fund or don’t feel comfortable taking on debt, you might seek out options for obtaining early access to your paycheck. At Huntington, we found a way to make payday come early with Early Pay. If you are a Huntington checking customer with direct deposit, and we receive your direct deposit information from your employer prior to payday, we will make your money available to you, up to two days early. No cost, no need to sign up. If you qualify, you will automatically get paid early.

Direct deposit is your ticket to Early Pay

Set up direct deposit for your Huntington Checking account, and you could start receiving your pay early. When we receive your direct deposit information from your employer, we make your pay available to you, up to two days earlyΩΩ.

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Early Pay is not the same as a paycheck advance.

What is a paycheck advance?

A paycheck advance is getting paid your salary or wages, slightly before payday. It’s important not to confuse a paycheck advance with a payday loan. A payday loan is a specific amount of money you would need to pay back, based on loan approval, and will typically include high-interest fees.

How does a paycheck advance work?

Typically, a paycheck advance is connected to your checking account, and allows you, as the borrower, to get access to your paycheck a few days sooner. A benefit of a paycheck advance is that you can only borrow what you have available in your next paycheck, which can help prevent overborrowing. Also, be cautious if you see paycheck advance apps that require you to pay a fee or keep you in a cycle of borrowing from one paycheck to cover the next.

Sell used items or services

If you’re looking to become a minimalist, while earning some extra cash while doing it – consider cleaning out your closet and selling your used items to a local thrift store or posting them online for sale.

You might be surprised by what you can sell on the Internet. And don’t worry, you don’t need to be tech-savvy or know how to run an online business to sell your items or services. In many cases, you can take a few photos, provide a short description of the product, add a price to it, and publish the listing on your social media profile or within a local group, like Facebook marketplace, or an app, like Poshmark.

Even if it doesn’t sell right away, try adjusting the price or including the acronym, OBO, known as “or best offer.” There are tons of tricks you can try to help encourage interested buyers to purchase your used item, or take advantage of your services, such as offering a discounted rate or referral bonus. Again, consider your need for cash a chance to sell things you’ve been hanging onto, or a way to explore entrepreneurship.

Increase your pay or add another stream of income

If you’re looking for a steady stream of additional cash, speak with your manager about increasing your salary or wage. Although these conversations can be tough, they can have a huge impact on your finances. If you’re able to increase your salary, you can pay off debt faster, invest more money into retirement, and set aside more money for an emergency fund.

Also, if you live above your means, which means your lifestyle expenses exceed your income, remember that making more money doesn’t necessarily translate into financial freedom. Oftentimes, there are situations where people incur more debt believing they have enough funds to cover future bills or expenses, without ever paying off their debts in full. Be careful of falling into this trap.

If you have the conversation, and find out that budgets are tight, ask your boss how you can be prepared when funds do become available. If you’re serious, be prepared to take on more job responsibilities and projects, which can help prove your case on why you need an increase in pay.

If an increase in pay is not an option, ask yourself – do you have time for a second job or an additional stream of income? If so, you may want to consider joining the gig-economy and apply to work for any one of the several web-based companies that connect people to services, like Door Dash for food delivery or Uber for ride sharing.

If you’re skeptical about app-based jobs, you can always go the traditional route and assess your skills and start offering your services to people within your network and then expand outward through their referrals. The opportunities are endless, but each one requires work to see results.

Re-evaluate your budget

As you consider all the different ways to get immediate access to cash, this can be a great opportunity to perform a financial wellness check. This means reviewing your current finances, analyzing your budget, and adjusting your spending categories, as needed.

If you’re able to, try to anticipate your future needs such as car repairs or home upgrades, birthdays and special occasions, increased gas or electric bills depending on the season, and equipment or uniforms you need to buy for your child’s sports team.

Sometimes, it may feel like your list is never ending, and no matter how hard you chip away at it, it never seems to stop growing–which is why we’re here to help. If you need assistance with organizing your budget, you can use our tool Spend Analysis to track how much you’re spending and exactly where you’re spending it.

It’s always beneficial to prevent the need for cash before your next paycheck, but you have options if you find that you need funds before payday.

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ΩΩ You may receive a direct deposit up to two days early with Early Pay if 1) you have a checking account with us, 2) a recurring qualifying direct deposit, and 3) provide us a valid email address. It is at our discretion to identify which recurring direct deposits are eligible for Early Pay and it may take up to 90 days to identify those deposits that qualify. We cannot guarantee that you will receive the Early Pay service due to unanticipated circumstances. Early Pay is automatic and there is no fee. You can opt out of the Early Pay service at any time, by contacting a branch or calling our service center at (800) 480-2265 and asking to have Early Pay removed. For more information, please see a consumer deposit account agreement or contact a branch. Receive recurring qualifying direct deposits up to two days early at no charge. Some direct deposit types are not eligible.

Subject to terms and conditions and other account agreements. Available through online banking or the Huntington Mobile app to individuals with an active consumer checking account open at least three months with consistent monthly deposit activity of $750 or more. Other eligibility requirements apply. Amount available through Standby Cash is subject to change based on changes to customer eligibility, including checking and deposit activity, overdrafts, and daily balances. A 1% monthly interest charge (12% APR) will be added to outstanding balances if automatic payments are not scheduled. If 100% of the approved credit line is drawn three months in a row, Standby Cash will be suspended until it’s paid to a zero balance. When any of your Huntington deposit accounts are in an overdraft status for more than one day, your Standby Cash line will be suspended until they are no longer negative. Business checking accounts are not eligible for Standby Cash.

§ Standby Cash may only be used to fix an overdraft while 24-Hour Grace® is in effect. If any of your checking or deposit accounts remain overdrawn for more than one day, your access to Standby Cash will be suspended. Once your accounts are no longer overdrawn, your access to Standby Cash may be reinstated.

24-Hour Grace® does not apply to returned items and their associated fees.

24-Hour Grace® is a federally registered service mark of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated. The 24-Hour Grace® system and method is patented. U.S. Pat No. 8,364,581, 8,781,955, 10,475,118, and others pending. Standby Cash is a service mark of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated. Patent pending.

Third-party logos and product, service, business, and program names are trademarks and/or service marks of their respective owners.

The information provided in this document is intended solely for general informational purposes and is provided with the understanding that neither Huntington, its affiliates nor any other party is engaging in rendering financial, legal, technical or other professional advice or services, or endorsing any third-party product or service. Any use of this information should be done only in consultation with a qualified and licensed professional who can take into account all relevant factors and desired outcomes in the context of the facts surrounding your particular circumstances. The information in this document was developed with reasonable care and attention. However, it is possible that some of the information is incomplete, incorrect, or inapplicable to particular circumstances or conditions. NEITHER HUNTINGTON NOR ITS AFFILIATES SHALL HAVE LIABILITY FOR ANY DAMAGES, LOSSES, COSTS OR EXPENSES (DIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR OTHERWISE) RESULTING FROM USING, RELYING ON OR ACTING UPON INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT EVEN IF HUNTINGTON AND/OR ITS AFFILIATES HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF OR FORESEEN THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES, LOSSES, COSTS OR EXPENSES.