Credit cards are one way forwardSome people have set aside money for emergencies in -- in this case aptly named -- rainy day funds. But few are likely to contain $30,000, so it's almost inevitable that many on the east coast are going to be borrowing to bridge some wide gaps. If you're lucky, you may be covered by federal disaster assistance, but be warned: that only applies if the President declares an emergency for your area, and even then the money you receive is a loan that has to be repaid -- with interest. FEMA gives an example: "For a $50,000 loan at 4 percent interest, your monthly payment would be around $240 a month ($2,880 a year) for 30 years." That's a pretty good rate, and you might struggle to beat the deal even with a mortgage refinancing once you've taken closing costs into account. Other low-rate options, perhaps for smaller amounts, might include:
- A home equity line of credit or personal loan from your bank.
- Borrowing from relatives and friends who have the means to help.
- Applying to a peer-to-peer lender such as Prosper or Lending Club.
- Using your credit cards.