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6. Borrow from family or friends
Borrow from family or friends
Gurmeet Kaur and Ashish Rajadhyaksha
Pros: There's no limit on how much you can borrow - beyond what your loved ones are willing to lend, of course. And the interest rate can be lower than a bank would charge.

When Ashish Rajadhyaksha (pictured), 34, couldn't get a $60,000 loan from his bank to cover operating expenses for MoonSoup, the New York City child-development center he opened in 2005, his wife Gurmeet's sister, Manjeet Kaur, agreed to lend him the money. Rajadhyaksha insisted on signing a formal agreement and paying 10% interest: "I made the investment worth her while."

Cons: You'll need to pay "reasonable" interest on loans above $10,000, per IRS rules. Check what local banks are charging for personal loans (about 10% to 15%) and don't pay more than one percentage point below that, advises Michael Eisenberg, a C.P.A. in Los Angeles. Another drawback: If you're not crystal clear about the terms of the loan, you can ruin your relationship. So get it in writing, including the amount borrowed, interest rate and repayment terms.

NEXT: Take out a home-equity line of credit
Last updated August 22 2008: 12:36 PM ET
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