The main reason that people use cash advances is that they’re convenient and they appear to solve an immediate financial problem. 

For instance, you could be somewhere that only accepts cash, but you don’t have any on you. Using a credit card to get a cash advance gives you the type of currency you need at that moment. You could also just really need the money right then when you won’t be paid until the end of the week. The convenience of a cash advance is that you get the money you need when you need it, and then you can pay it back later. 

Now, there is a big risk, however. First of all, many people don’t budget properly and find they can’t afford to pay the cash advance back right away. A cash advance shouldn’t be looked at as additional money, but as a way to access money before you normally get it. If you think of it as extra money and neglect to pay it back, that’s when it gets incredibly expensive

The problem is that people often feel trapped. They need the money right away. They feel like they have no choice; maybe the rent is due, for instance, or they have to buy groceries. A cash advance loan feels like the only way. But they don’t have a plan to ever pay that back. It gets them out of a temporary jam, but it really just creates more financial problems — and more debt — in the future. 

If you’re considering a cash advance, or if you’ve already used one and now you’re running into some financial problems, make sure you know what options you really have. You may find that bankruptcy gives you the tools you need moving forward.