Where to borrow money in a pinch

I'm not a big fan of debt, especially if you're already swimming in it. Debt is something that should be used very carefully and strategically. A home mortgage is fine if you're in a house you can afford and you're able to make payments on time. Credit cards can provide you a short-term line of credit, but are only advisable if you use them sparingly and pay them off quickly.

But what if you're in dire straits and need cash fast? Cash advance stores or payday loans are one of the absolute worst options you can turn to. An auto title loan is almost as bad. So where do you turn for a loan that might help you through the hard times?

There are a few options
, some better than the others. Balance transfers from a credit card can work out okay, but you need to be careful. First, read the fine print about the rate and the fee to do the transfer. Then don't use that credit card for new purchases -- wait until you've paid off the balance transfer first. Any payments you make go to the charges at the lower rate, so if you make purchases with the card, your payment goes toward the low interest balance transfer first and your purchases rack up interest at a higher rate.