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How to Handle an Emergency When You Have Bad Credit

5 min read
Bad Credit

Facing down a financial emergency is bad enough. But throw bad credit into the mix, and it’s a challenging moment for your budget.

Fewer financial institutions are willing to grant you funds when you have bad credit. And those that do tend to charge you higher rates and fees than people with good credit get.

That’s why the experts at CreditFresh recommend getting a line of credit in special circumstances. It’s meant to be a safety net that helps you when all other options fail.

So what are these other options? Explore the alternatives below before you lean on a line of credit for help.

Earning Extra Income

There’s that saying that money can’t buy you happiness. And while that may be true, it can certainly buy you the ability to take care of emergency bills, repairs, and other unexpected expenses.

Earning more money isn’t always easy, but it promises a long-term positive impact on finances if you can swing it.

Start looking internally first to see if you qualify for a raise or promotion.

If that’s not in the cards, look to a part-time job to supplement your income. It may end up being a traditional retail or service job on the weekends, but don’t rule out remote work you can do whenever you have a spare moment.

Cutting Costs

Putting big purchases and luxury spending on pause may help you weather a financial emergency better. These temporary sacrifices mean more of your paycheck will be available to put towards your unexpected bill or repair.

Sit down with your budget to see where your money goes in a typical month. Highlight any unnecessary spending that you could reasonably eliminate.

Here are some examples to help you spot your own:

  • Takeout, dining out, and food subscription boxes
  • Clothes, shoes, and makeup
  • Concerts, movies, and museums
  • Video games, books, and gadgets


Perhaps the biggest task on the list, downsizing is easier said than done. It requires a significant lifestyle change so that you may pay less on your budget’s biggest expenses. But if you manage it, you’ll free up a lot more cash this way.

Here are some ways you might downsize your life:

  • Try flipping items like these on a classified app.
  • If you own a vehicle that’s more expensive than you need, consider trading it in for a cheaper model and cashing the check.
  • If you rent your home or apartment, start looking for a smaller place in a less expensive neighborhood.

Still Not Enough?

Sometimes, the above tricks will put more cash into your hands in an emergency. But sometimes, they don’t. Either these options move too slowly for an urgent expense, or they pose something impossible for you to accomplish. Like, for example, trying to sell a vehicle if you don’t drive.

If all else fails, getting a line of credit for people with bad credit may be the right option. Shop around to see what kinds of rates, terms, and conditions you can get. You’ll increase your chances of finding the best rates possible for your credit score.

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