If you’re struggling to make ends meet and thinking of borrowing cash, you’re far from alone. According to recent research, the average American has over $90,000 in debt, from student loans to mortgages to credit card debt.

Of course, while debt is a normal fact of life in the U.S., it’s worth noting that some lending options are better than others. Avoiding the predatory terms of payday loans, for example, is always a safe bet! If you’re ready to get started, here are some payday loan alternatives to keep in mind.

Borrow From Family or Friends

Hoping to avoid hefty fees, high interest rates, and the application process? Some of the best alternatives to payday loans are friend and family loans. Note, of course, that this option isn’t without risk: if you can’t repay the loan, you may put your relationship under strain.

Ask Your Lender for a Payment Plan

If you’re already in a financial bind, ask your provider if they’d be willing to offer a payment plan. Under this plan, you’ll have smaller payments each month, though you may have to pay additional fees and interest.

Boost Your Income

Whether you create another income stream, find a higher-paying job, or ask for a promotion, boosting your income can be a more valuable long-term alternative to payday loans. There are plenty of options available to you, though many of them will involve time and effort up front.

Consider Other Loan Options

If you’re set on taking out a loan, don’t forget that there are many ways to avoid high payday loan fees. Here are a few options to consider:

“Bad Credit” Personal Loans

If bad credit is keeping you from applying for a loan, check into bad credit loans. People with scores as low as 580 can prequalify with multiple lenders to compare interest rates and terms before applying. If your credit score is under 580, getting a co-signer to take out the loan with you may make your lender more likely to grant you one of these loans as well.

Pawn Loans or Car Title Loans

Both of these loans can be easy to get, though for title loans you’ll need to own your car or have equity in it. You’ll also need to be sure about putting your item up for collateral: if you can’t repay the loan, you could lose it! Still, options like this service can be a great way to manage debt or cope with an emergency in a pinch.

Peer-to-Peer Loans

As the name suggests, peer-to-peer loans match individual borrowers with investors. There are many online platforms to choose from, each with their own rates and terms. Some platforms will even work with borrowers who have less-than-perfect credit.

Try These Payday Loan Alternatives

Whether you boost your income or seek out another lending option, it’s a good idea to consider these payday loan alternatives before you subject yourself to predatory interest rates and fees. Work with the lenders in your area or reach out to lenders on online platforms to find the best terms for your needs!

Want more of the financial tips and tricks you need to know? Be sure to take a look at our other content for additional guidance.