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Determine What You Can Use for Emergency Funds

Ideally, the money you might need for an emergency should be in places that are easy to get to, e.g., bank and credit union savings accounts, and bank and credit union money market accounts. These are liquid. You can turn them into cash easily without the risk of losing principal.

If you don't have any cash reserves, here are some other sources of emergency funds:

  • a home equity loan or line of credit (you should establish this now if you think you will need it in the future)
  • cashing in investments, although you risk losing principal if the investments have decreased in value
  • a loan on a margin account (if you own securities)
  • a loan from a permanent insurance policy
  • a personal loan from your bank or credit union
  • a loan from your savings plan
  • credit cards (least favorable)
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