We live in an era of tremendous growth in new businesses. Everywhere you turn, someone has an idea for a new company and are looking to find the finances for their brilliant new startup. Unicorns abound in our brave new world.

While an idea may be golden, if you don’t have a few bars of gold stashed in a safety deposit box to back up that new idea, getting off the ground can be tricky. It is rare if not generally impossible for any reputable bank to back up a new business, fresh out of the starting gate.

Heck, even if you have been going for several years, banks will turn you down as a bad risk. But there are ways, outside of robbing a bank, for you to get funding if you have a killer app or brilliant plan for a new business. Here are just a few of the options you can pursue.

Steal from your retirement plan

If you have enough set aside in your retirement plan, you can do a rollover to fund your brilliant new startup. While you cannot use a Roth IRA for something like this, you can empty out your pensions contribution or take some cash out of that regular IRA you have been contributing to the last few decades.

The good thing about this is you won’t have to pay it back the way you would with a bank loan. Plus, for this type of venture you will not be paying any penalties for emptying the piggy bank.

Of course, the bad side of it is that if you are wrong about how this new venture is a “sure thing” and it fails, you have just wiped out any kind of retirement plan you may have had. So you better be sure this idea is a solid one.

Stockpile those credit cards

Everyone has heard some story of a now successful business that began by maxing out their credit cards. While it is true that there are a few examples of risk takers throwing the dice with the credit cards and winning it all, not everyone can borrow against their cards.

You will need to have a credit score above 600 and be prepared to pay up to 20% APR on what you borrow. You can only borrow up to your credit limit, so check that paperwork before you decide on this plan of attack.

While the plus side is that this is a really easy way to get the cash you need for your startup, this is in essence a personal loan to yourself. In the end you will need to find a way to pay it back, with interest. Plus, it is all too easy to end up with humungous credit card bills that just pile up to the sky.

VC Camp Anyone?

If your idea is truly a killer one, and you have good reason to believe it has legs, sell it to someone who knows a good bet when they see one. Venture Capitalists have heard it all, but they also are in a place to support someone who has the best thing since sliced bread.

It needs to show it can deliver high growth quickly, and from the starting gate. You may have to relinquish a bit of control to them if you succeed, but the payoff is that you don’t have to pay them back.

Crowdfunding

The net has brought us many new ways to do business, and this is one that is changing the funding game. The idea is pretty simple, you just need to sell a whole bunch of folks on your idea, so they will invest a bit of their own cash into it. While this is in essence like peer to peer lending, for this type of personal loan there is no need to pay them back if you succeed.

So pick your poison, as they say, and find the funding you need for that brilliant idea. The clock is ticking and there is no better way to find out how just how viable your idea is then trying to get someone else to fund it.