The coronavirus outbreak has created many financial hardships, especially for those struggling with student loans and/or job loss. Visit our Coronavirus Information Center for more information about how the response to the outbreak affects your student debt, as well as other ways to earn money from home during the pandemic.
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Student loan debt can stretch an entry-level salary thin. If you are struggling to make ends meet, you may be wondering how to make money without getting a second job. Earning more could help you get out of student debt faster while providing extra cash for your savings.
While side hustles can be a great income booster, the internet is swamped with shady companies. To help you identify real side-gig opportunities, we’ve vetted 15 legitimate ones.
How to make money without a second job
These unique ideas may help you learn how to make passive income without having to make a big investment of time.
If you already work a full-time job, you may want to try to make extra money without getting a second one:
1. Rent out a room
2. Sell gift cards
3. Give out microloans
4. Create blog content
5. Open a new bank account
6. Become a mystery shopper
7. Post affiliate links
8. Sell old clothes and accessories
9. Test out listing features
10. Invest your change
11. Shop at real stores
12. Crafty? Open an Online Store
13. Refer products
14. Rent out your car
15. Sell your smartphone pictures
Plus: How you can use that extra money
If you have a spare bedroom or even just a couch, you could make extra money by renting it out to short-term vacationers. Budget-conscious travelers book accommodations on sites like Airbnb or VRBO.
Depending on your location and the space you have, you could make more than $500 a month or more.
Gift cards are a simple gift idea — you’ve likely received a few for the holidays, your birthday or graduation. Instead of letting those cards gather dust in a drawer, you can turn them into cash by asking family and friends if they would like to buy them directly from you.
Next, try selling your gift cards on a gift card exchange website like GiftCash.com or CardKangaroo.com. Depending on the card’s brand, you might be able to get as much as 92% of the card’s value.
If you have some money in savings, you might make it work harder for you by investing with peer-to-peer lending. With services such as Lending Club or Kiva.org, you can help individual borrowers by partially funding their personal loans. Lending Club is a more traditional venue for investors and startups, while Kiva’s focus is working with underserved organizations around the world.
Some people need a loan for a dream wedding or to launch a business. You can lend them some money, and the returns you get on your investment are based on their risk profile and credit worthiness.
To diversify your investment, you can give out several small loans rather than one big one.
Freelance writers can make a lot of money, but it takes a lot of time, commitment and experience to command higher prices. For those who need extra cash fast, content mills can connect you with clients and pay you quickly.
The rates you’ll earn will be much less than what you’d get on your own, but you don’t have to do any of the administrative work or find clients yourself — you can get to work right away and start earning cash.
One resource is Verblio (previously known as BlogMutt). Once you become a Verblio writer, you can complete as many assignments as you want each week. While pay starts at $10.50 for a 300- to 400-word post, it can add up, and according to Verblio’s website, it goes up from there.
Verblio pays you for your work via PayPal every Monday, so you’d need to have a PayPal account to receive compensation. Still, it may be a quick source of money when you need it.
You could earn money just by opening a new checking or savings account. For example, TD Bank is offering as much as $300 to new customers who open a TD checking account as of May 20, 2020. However, the downside is that there are often caveats attached, like having to have a specific amount in direct deposits before you get the extra money.
But it may be worth contacting banks directly to find out if they offer any cash-based promotions. A few hundred dollars could be a way to jumpstart your emergency fund.
Be warned, though: There are risks to opening new bank accounts for the bonuses. Learn about possible drawbacks, and three times this option makes sense.
If you enjoy shopping, you might want to consider being a mystery shopper. These side gigs are usually run by third-party vendors who pay workers to go incognito into stores, then report on their experiences. Mystery shoppers may purchase items and then get reimbursed for their purchases.
A good place to start learning about mystery shoppers is MSPA Americas, formerly named the Mystery Shopping Providers Association of North America).
This trade association represents the customer experience industry in the U.S., and its website provides a wealth of information about mystery shopping in the retail industry.
Looking to sign up with a company right away? One option is BestMark.com, a company that hires mystery shoppers and has received an A+rating from the Better Business Bureau.
If you have a website, blog or social media account, posting affiliate links could be an effective way to make money on the side.
You can join affiliate networks like Amazon, ShareASale or ShopStyle Collective. Post links on your sites to your favorite products and earn commission when someone purchases the item.
If you don’t have a huge following, platforms like ShopStyle Collective can be helpful, as they pay you per click on the authorized links, not per purchase.
If you have clothes you no longer wear or accessories you never use, make some extra money by selling them online.
Poshmark and eBay are two sites where you can sell your items for the price you set. While you can make more money with these sites than with other platforms, you may have to wait a while for a buyer.
ThredUP is great for when you don’t want to do all of the selling yourself. You simply send in a bag of items and they pay you a percentage of ThredUP’s selling price.
If you have a little spare time, you can make money testing out listing features with Amazon Mechanical Turk. When you sign up, you can take on tasks like checking spelling, looking for item numbers or comparing products.
Each task pays just a few cents, maybe up to a dollar an hour, but you can easily complete many in a few minutes.
When you’re learning how to make passive income, investing is a good place to start. But it can be overwhelming getting set up. Acorns takes the pain out of investing and helps you start by using your spare change.
Whenever you make a purchase, the Acorns app rounds up your purchase and invests the difference for you. Over time, these micro-investments can add up to big returns. A basic account with Acorns costs $1 a month.
If you shop at brick-and-mortar stores, you can earn gift cards by using the Shopkick app. When you sign up, the app will list stores near you that offer “kicks,” or rewards points, for visiting — you can earn points just for walking in.
Plus, you can earn more by scanning item bar codes with the app or making your normal purchases, and redeem your points for gift cards to your favorite stores or for cash credit via PayPal.
If you have crafting or artistic abilities, you might want to sell your goods via an online platform, like Etsy, which sells vintage and handmade items, along with art and crafting supplies, or Amazon Handmade, a marketplace for handmade goods. Depending on your marketing skills and products, you could earn money on the side with an online shop while enjoying your hobbies and exploring your talents.
People often consult their friends and family for recommendations, so if you have a favorite product, you can help your loved ones and earn money at the same time.
Many companies, including banks or credit card firms, have referral programs. You sign up for an account and get a unique referral link you can share via email or on social media. If someone purchases a product or signs up for the service you recommended, you get a potentially lucrative referral bonus.
If you don’t use your car every day, you can turn it into a money-making machine by renting it out through Turo, which connects car owners with renters in your area. On average, owners who list their car on Turo make upwards of $500 a month.
You can rent out your car whenever it’s convenient for you, such as only on weekends or during certain times of the year.
If you love taking pictures with your phone while you’re on the go, you can sell those photos for cash.
Small businesses constantly need stock photos for their blogs and social media channels, and your smartphone pictures may be exactly what they’re looking for.
Services like EyeEm, Foap and Adobe Stock (formerly Fotolia) allow you to list and sell your photos through their apps. Pictures can sell for $5 to $250 or more, depending on the photo.
These are 15 ways of how to earn more money without getting a second job. You can use these alternative sources of income to help pay off your student loans, pay down other debts or simply boost your savings. Some side jobs take hours, while others may only take a few minutes a day.
Looking to make even more money without a second job? Check out these simple side hustles you can start tomorrow.
Maya Dollarhide contributed to this report.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2021!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.89% – 6.15%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.85%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.90% – 5.25%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.64%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|2.15% – 4.42%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.00% – 5.63%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews! |
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of May 1, 2021.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application..
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.49% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.34% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of October 26, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 10/26/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2020 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 04/07/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% APR – 7.63% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
6 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
7 Important Disclosures for PenFed.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.89%-4.78% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.15%-4.42% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
8 Important Disclosures for Nelnet.
Checking your rate results in a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. If you continue with your application, Nelnet Bank will request your permission to obtain your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies. This is a hard credit pull and may affect your credit score.
Interest rate reduction of .25% for automatically withdrawn payments from any designated bank account (“auto debit discount”). Auto debit discount applies when full payments (including both principal and interest) are automatically drafted from a bank account. The auto debit discount will continue to apply during periods of approved forbearance or deferment if the auto debit discount was in effect at the time of receiving the forbearance or deferment. Auto debit discount will remain on the account unless (1) the automatic deduction of payments is canceled or (2) there are three consecutive automatic deductions returned for insufficient funds at any time during the term of the loan.
Request for the cosigner to be released can be made by the borrower after 24 consecutive, on-time payments (not later than 15 days after the due date) of principal and interest have been made. Borrowers in deferment or forbearance must make 24 consecutive, on-time payments after re-entering repayment to qualify for the release. The borrower must be current on their payments at the time of the cosigner release request and show the ability to assume full responsibility of the loan(s) by meeting certain credit criteria on their own at the time of the request, including, but not limited to, being a U.S. citizen or having permanent residency in the United States, being the age of majority in their permanent state of residency, providing sufficient proof of income, and having no student loans in default.
Hardship forbearance allows you to temporarily suspend payments on your loan(s) while you are experiencing financial hardship. It is offered in increments of two or three months, with a maximum of 12 months available, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. If your loan(s) are in good standing at the time of your request, you will be eligible for forbearance in increments of two monthly payments. If, at the time of your initial request, your loan(s) are considered past-due, you will be eligible for forbearance in increments of three monthly payments. Future increments of forbearance, up to a life-time maximum of 12 months, may be requested upon the completion of making a certain number of principal and interest payments. During the two- or three-month forbearance period, you will not be required to make payments; however, any unpaid interest will continue to accrue and will be capitalized (added) onto your principal balance at the end of the forbearance period. You may continue making payments in any amount without penalty during the forbearance period. Your loan repayment term will be extended by the number of months in the forbearance period.
Refinance Loan Eligibility: You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security number, and be the legal age to enter into binding contracts in your permanent state/territory of residency, or be at least 17 years of age and apply with a cosigner who is at least the age of majority in their state/territory. Non-residents can apply with an eligible cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security number. The student loans you refinance must be in their grace or repayment period, and you can no longer be enrolled in school on a half-time or more basis. You must have at least $5,000 in student loans to refinance. You, or your eligible cosigner, must have an annual income of at least $36,000. Approval subject to credit review. Other credit criteria may apply.
Refinance Loan Limits:
Loan Refinancing Risks: Federal student loans include benefits that may not be offered with private student loans. Carefully review any potential benefits that may be lost by refinancing federal and private education loans, such as the loss of any remaining grace periods. To learn more about what to take into consideration when refinancing federal student loans with private education loans, click here
Selecting ‘Get Started’ results in a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. If you continue with your application, Nelnet Bank will request your permission to obtain your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies. This is a hard credit pull and may affect your credit score.
Fixed interest rates range from 2.99% APR (with auto debit discount) to 6.25% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner’s) credit qualifications. The fixed interest rate will remain the same for the life of the loan.
Variable interest rates range from 2.00% APR (with auto debit discount) to 5.63% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner’s) credit qualifications. Variable rates may increase after consummation. The variable interest rate is equal to the One-Month London Interbank Offered Rate (“One-Month LIBOR”) plus a margin. The One-Month LIBOR in effect for each monthly period (from the first day of the month through and including the last day of the same month) will be the highest One-Month LIBOR published in The Wall Street Journal “Money Rates” table on the twenty-fifth (25th) day (or if such day is not a business day, the next business day thereafter) of the month immediately preceding such calendar month. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for a variable interest rate loan will change monthly on the first day of each month if the One-Month LIBOR index changes. This may result in higher monthly payments. The current One-Month LIBOR index is 0.15% as of 5/4/2021.
The lowest interest rate for each loan type requires automatically withdrawn (“auto debit”) payments, a five-year repayment term, and the borrower making immediate principal and interest payments. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rate. The interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) may be higher depending upon (1) the credit history of the borrower and, if applicable, the cosigner, (2) the repayment option and loan term selected, (3) the loan type selected, and (4) the highest level of education attained. If approved, applicants will be notified of the rate qualified for within the stated range.
*Checking your rate results in a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. If you continue with your application, Nelnet Bank will request your permission to obtain your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies. This is a hard credit pull and may affect your credit score. **Your actual savings may vary based on interest rates, outstanding balances, remaining repayment terms, and other factors.