How to get fast cash during the coronavirus pandemic

  • The coronavirus pandemic is damaging the U.S. economy, causing businesses to close, lay off workers and reduce their hours. 
  • There are several potential avenues for Americans to access emergency money in a pinch. 

The coronavirus pandemic is continuing its assault on the U.S. economy, forcing businesses to close, lay off workers or reduce their hours.

Many Americans may need fast cash, beyond what can be generated by strict budgeting.

But where to turn?

Here are some of the possibilities, according to financial advisors.

“File for unemployment benefits immediately,” said David Haas, certified financial planner and owner of Cereus Financial Advisors in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. “There is no stigma here.”

Not everyone, however, is eligible to collect unemployment insurance. Those who get benefits only replace about a third of their prior weekly wages, on average, and for a limited period of time. This varies broadly by state.

Some high-demand businesses like supermarkets and pharmacies are hiring workers. Quickly see if you can find another job, even if you hope or plan to return to your original job when the economy eventually rebounds, Haas said.

Some states, like New Jersey, have created job websites to help.

Taxable accounts — checking, savings, investment accounts and certificates of deposit — are likely the next-best place from which to draw cash.

When it comes to taxable investments, consider selling fixed income (like bonds) and cash-equivalents (such as money market funds) before stocks, which are likely trading at a steep discount given the recent market selloff.


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