Where to Find Emergency Cash

Even if you're debt-averse, having a credit card to pay for emergencies could be an important lifeline.

Three, hundred bills buried in the sand
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you have an emergency fund, congratulations. But when emergencies pile up, should you drain the fund to cover every one of them? It’s a question I asked myself recently after I inherited a car from my mom. While having my own wheels has improved my life, the car has needed repairs that I didn’t plan on.

My emergency fund could have covered the work, but I would have been left without a backup fund to pay my rent if I lost my job. Fortunately, I had a credit card with a very low balance. Plus, it had a sufficiently high credit limit to cover the repairs without hurting my credit score.

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Rivan V. Stinson
Ex-staff writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Rivan joined Kiplinger on Leap Day 2016 as a reporter for Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. A Michigan native, she graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014 and from there freelanced as a local copy editor and proofreader, and served as a research assistant to a local Detroit journalist. Her work has been featured in the Ann Arbor Observer and Sage Business Researcher. She is currently assistant editor, personal finance at The Washington Post.