100,000+ views

7 min

Advertiser Disclosure

Advertiser Disclosuretap to close

BadCredit.org is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). BadCredit.org does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Guides

8 Best Short-Term Loans for Bad Credit (2018)

Brittney Mayer 5/11/18

I enjoy the outdoors. I like to hike up trails and kayak down rivers, camp under the stars and watch the sunrise. What I don’t enjoy, however, is when the outdoors try to follow me indoors — like the less-than-cuddly raccoon who ate a hole in the attic insulation.

And the only thing worse than coming face-to-face with a bit of misplaced nature in your living room? Paying for it. Especially when you call your insurance company and they tell you that, unfortunately, the family of armadillos digging up your plumbing aren’t covered under your policy — so you’ll have to pay for the damage yourself.

When life brings you unexpected expenses, a short-term personal loan can be a great solution, provided you borrow responsibly. Of course, “short-term” can be a relative phrase, referring to several different types of financing, and the right personal loan will depend on the length of loan you need.

Loans Up to 90 Days | Loans 90+ Days | Alternatives

Best Short-Term Cash Advance Loans

The epitome of short-term loans, cash advance loans are typically smaller-sized loans with terms that average a week or two, but extend up to three months in some cases. Since the loan amounts and lengths are small, with less built-in interest profit than longer-term loans, short-term cash advance loans tend to charge much higher interest rates, often in the form of a flat fee due at the time you repay your loan.

To qualify for a short-term cash advance loan, you’ll generally need to have a valid checking account and meet monthly income requirements, which will vary by lender. The amount you can borrow will also depend on the lender, with loan sizes starting between $100 and $300. Our top-rated providers include options for short-term cash advance loans up to $2,500.

4.8 /5.0 Stars
  • Short-term loans up to $2,500
  • Online marketplace of lenders
  • Funds available in as few as 24 hours
  • Simple online form takes less than 5 minutes
  • Trusted by more than 2,000,000 customers
  • Not available in NY
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Loan Amount Up to $2,500
Interest Rate Varies
Loan Term Varies
Loan Example
Representative example
Our Expert Review 4.8/5.0 (see review)
4.0 /5.0 Stars
  • Short-term loan of $100 to $1,000
  • Bad credit is no problem
  • Large network of lenders
  • Loan decision as fast as a few minutes; funding as soon as next business day
  • Required: Income of $1000+/month and at least 90 days on job
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Loan Amount $100 to $1,000
Interest Rate 200% - 2,290%
Loan Term Varies
Loan Example
Representative example
Our Expert Review 4.0/5.0 (see review)

+See More Short-Term Loans for Bad Credit

The main thing to remember about short-term cash advance loans is that they typically require a lump-sum repayment. This means you’ll need to repay your principal and associated fees in a single payment at the end of your term, which can be difficult for those who use short-term loans to cover regular expenses between paychecks.

While many short-term cash advance lenders will allow you to extend your loan, this extra service is hardly free. You’ll be required to pay an additional financing charge or service fee for each extension — and these fees can add up very quickly. To avoid accruing late fees or additional loan fees, be sure you can repay your loan as agreed before signing on the dotted line.

Best Short-Term Installment Loans

If you need a short-term loan that extends longer than three months, your best bet will likely be a short-term installment loan. In contrast to short-term cash advance loans, installment loans are repaid through a series of smaller monthly payments (called installments) over the course of the loan.

Additionally, installment loans generally charge much lower interest rates than cash advance loans, making them more affordable. And due to the repayment structure of installment loans, financing can be obtained for much larger amounts and repaid over longer time frames. For instance, our favorite providers include options for loans up to $35,000 and terms as long as 72 months.

4.9 /5.0 Stars
  • Loans from $500 to $10,000
  • All credit types accepted
  • Loan requests can be approved in minutes
  • Get funds directly to your bank account
  • Use the loan for any purpose
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Loan Amount $500 to $10,000
Interest Rate 5.99% - 35.99%
Loan Term 3 to 72 Months
Loan Example
Representative example
4.8 /5.0 Stars
  • Loans from $500 to $5,000
  • Helping those with bad credit since 1998
  • Get connected with a lender
  • Simple form & quick funding
  • Get your money as soon as next day
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Loan Amount $500 to $5,000
Interest Rate 5.99% - 35.99%
Loan Term 3 to 60 Months
Loan Example
Representative example
Our Expert Review 4.8/5.0 (see review)
4.7 /5.0 Stars
  • Loans from $500 to $35,000
  • Bad credit is no problem
  • Available in all 50 states
  • Use the loan for any purpose
  • Fastest approval and funding
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Loan Amount $500 to $35,000
Interest Rate 5.99% - 35.99%
Loan Term 3 to 72 Months
Loan Example
Representative example
Our Expert Review 4.7/5.0 (see review)

+See More Installment Loans for Bad Credit

One important thing to note, is that the longer your loan terms are, the more that loan will cost you overall. This is because every additional month you add to your loan will also mean more interest. While it’s tempting to select a loan with long terms to reduce the size of your monthly payment, the better option is to balance an affordable payment with a reasonable loan length that minimizes the total cost of your loan.

As an example, consider Petunia, a frazzled homeowner who needs to repair her screen patio after a friendly neighborhood bear decided to come in for a nap. If Petunia borrows $1,000 with a 15% APR and makes 12 monthly payments, she’ll pay $90 a month and a total of $83 in interest. On the other hand, if she repays it in six months, she’ll pay $174 each month and only $44 in interest.

Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Given the relatively high interest rates charged by short-term cash advance loans, a better alternative might be financing the purchase through your favorite credit card. This can be especially true for times when you simply need a few weeks to repay your debt, rather than months or years, because you may be able to avoid paying interest altogether — or at least reduce your interest fees to a minimal amount.

The key is your credit card’s grace period, which is the time you have to pay your balance before you’re charged interest. In most cases, if you pay your entire balance before your bill’s due date, you won’t actually be charged any interest on that balance at all. This is true for subprime cards, too, including our top picks.

4.8 /5.0 Stars
  • Checking account required
  • We may approve those currently building their credit history
  • No security deposit required
  • Application response in 30 seconds
  • Know the score! Quarterly FICO score on your monthly billing statement
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Your First PREMIER Bank credit card activity is reported to the Consumer Reporting Agencies each month. Making your payment on time and keeping your balances low relative to the credit limit will result in positive marks on your credit report
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate See issuer website
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 6 minutes
Reputation Score 9.5/10
4.8 /5.0 Stars
  • Easy application! Get a credit decision in seconds.
  • Build your credit history – Fingerhut reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Use your line of credit to shop thousands of items from great brands like Samsung, KitchenAid, and DeWalt
  • Not an access card
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate See issuer website
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 5 Minutes
Reputation Score 9.0/10
4.7 /5.0 Stars
  • All credit types welcome to apply!
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Initial Credit Limit of $500.00! (subject to available credit)
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Use your card at locations everywhere that Mastercard® is accepted
  • Free online account access 24/7
  • Checking Account Required
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate See terms
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 9 Minutes
Reputation Score 8.5/10

+See More Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Even if you need to carry your balance a little longer, you may still get a better deal from your credit card than a high-interest cash advance loan thanks to the way credit card interest works. The difference in the two systems can mean a difference of hundreds of dollars in fees, especially if you need to extend your loan.

For example, hypothetical homeowner, Hugh, needs to hire someone to remove a vacationing alligator from his swimming pool. An eight-week cash advance loan of $300 with finance charges of $10 per $100 would cost Hugh $30, plus $30 for each extension. That same balance on a credit card — even a high-interest subprime card — would likely cost him less than $10 a month to carry (although his minimum card payment may be higher).

Always Use Loans Responsibly

While it’s always best to plan ahead, sometimes life brings you unexpected expenses — like a family of furry woodland creatures breaking into your basement. Whenever you need term financing for one of life’s surprises (and its relatives), a short-term loan can be just what the zoologist ordered.

No matter what, though, be sure to use loans, and all types of credit, wisely and responsibly. Always make your payments as agreed, be careful to read the fine print of your agreements, and never borrow more than you can afford to repay. Late payments, missed payments, or, worse, defaulting on your debt can result in serious credit impacts, making it more difficult — and more expensive — to obtain new credit in the future.

Brittney is a Contributing Editor for Digital Brands, Inc., where she uses her extensive research background to develop comprehensive guides and in-depth company profiles for BadCredit.org and CardRates.com. Brittney specializes in translating complex ideas into readable, engaging content for B2C and B2B audiences.
« Back to: Guides