Family loans and crowdfunding
The Fed found that 28% of those who would be short $400 would borrow from a friend or family member. That’s certainly an option, though it obviously requires friends and family members with the means to help.
There is a clear benefit: Borrowing from a friend or family member can come with fewer financial strings attached. There are, however, still emotional ones: As readers of MarketWatch’s Moneyologist column know, lending – or even gifting – money to family members can lead to years of tension.
Offering to sign a loan contract could relieve some of the awkwardness and give the lender a sense of security, Podnos said, though the rate matters: The IRS may consider a below-market-rate loan with little or no interest payments to be a taxable gift.
Would-be borrowers might consider using an online platform to collect donations from friends, family and even strangers, though donors should consider crowdfunding site GoFundMe’s note that “there is no way to 100% guarantee that a user’s GoFundMe donation page contains accurate or truthful information.”