If you need fast cash for emergency expenses and don’t want to rely on a traditional bank, there are a variety of emergency loan companies that can help. Whether you need to borrow money to pay for an auto repair, vacation, or other financial emergency, an emergency loan is one of the fastest ways to borrow the money you need.
The best emergency loans offer an easy online application, next-day funding, and convenient repayment methods.
However, finding the right loan provider can feel overwhelming with so many choices available. To help you find the right emergency loan lender, we’ve reviewed the top companies. We evaluated each company on a variety of factors including application process, speed of funds, interest rate, and reputation.
Here are our top picks for the best emergency loans.
4 Best Emergency Loan Companies With Fast Approval
- ClearViewLoans: Best overall
- LendYou: Best for payday loans
- BadCreditLoans: Best for bad credit borrowers
- PersonalLoans: Best for larger loans up to $35,000
#1. ClearViewLoans: Best Overall
ClearViewLoans facilitates finding the best emergency loans for bad-credit borrowers. To start finding bad-credit loans with ClearViewLoans, you must first fill an online form. After submitting the loan application form, ClearViewLoans will connect you with online lenders that fit your requirements. These lenders will then send you offers, and you can pick the most favorable one.
You can use the money you borrow through ClearViewLoans to do almost anything you want. For example, you can use the borrowed emergency cash to pay bills, make home improvements, settle unexpected expenses, or go on vacation.
Loan Amounts Available
With ClearViewLoans, you can borrow as little as $100 or as much as $5,000. The exact amount you can borrow will depend on your online lender and state of residence.
You can compare offers from multiple lenders and pick the one that provides the highest loan amount and the best loan terms. After signing the loan agreement online, the lender will deposit the money into your bank account.
You can access emergency cash via ClearViewLoans if you are:
- A U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Employed or have a source of income that provides at least $1,000 each month
- A checking account holder
You must also have a valid email address and both a work and home phone number. Lastly, you must have had your current job for at least 90 days. Even if you do not meet all of these minimum loan requirements, you may still find an emergency loan provider at ClearViewLoans that can provide an offer.
Other Key Features of the Lender
Other features that make ClearViewLoans an effective solution for finding the best emergency loans are:
- Safe and Secure Transactions: The online lending platform protects the information of its users and guarantees confidentiality.
- Convenience: Instead of visiting several websites to compare emergency loan offers, you can find multiple lenders and compare offers on ClearViewLoans.
- Speed: Since the paperwork is minimal, you can complete the application process within minutes. Even better, you can complete the application process and have the loan amount deposited into your bank account within 24 hours.
#2. LendYou: Best for Fast Payday Loans
LendYou offers some of the best emergency loans to people who need bad-credit loans. Like ClearViewLoans, LendYou isn’t the actual loan provider. Instead, the online lending platform connects users with reputable third-party lenders.
With LendYou’s website or mobile app, you can get emergency loans for bad credit within 24 hours by filling an online loan application. LendYou will send your application to the most relevant emergency loan providers in its network. Interested lenders will contact you with an offer, and you can choose the offer with the most favorable terms.
After signing the loan agreement, the lender will deposit the loan proceeds directly into your bank account. You can use the money to settle student loans, medical bills, or other unexpected expenses.
Loan Amounts Available
At LendYou, you can access various loan amounts from different lenders. Most borrowers with bad credit can access between $100 and $2,500 from lenders. However, if you have better credit, you can get higher amounts by working with one of LendYou’s personal or installment loan lenders.
Aside from credit scores, factors that influence the loan amounts borrowers can get through LendYou include employment status and income.
You can only access bad-credit emergency loans via LendYou if you:
- Are 18 years or older
- Have a working checking or savings account
- Receive at least $1,000 a month as income
If you want a personal loan, you must have a fair credit rating or higher. Also, you cannot use LendYou if you are a regular or reserve member of the military (including Coast Guard) or a dependent of one.
Other Key Features of this Lender
- Hassle-Free Loan Application: With LendYou, you do not have to worry about long waiting periods to get an emergency loan. After applying, borrowers typically receive loan proceeds in their bank accounts by the next business day.
- Online Lenders Alliance (OLA) Accreditation: As an OLA member, LendYou adheres to some of the strictest codes of conduct in the lending industry.
- Choose Your Loan: Since you can access loan offers from various lenders, you can choose the one with the most attractive annual percentage rates (APR) and lowest origination fee.
- Free to Use: Using LendYou to find the best emergency loan is free. You only have to pay fees to a lender whose loan terms you’ve accepted.
- Minimum Credit Score Requirement: Regardless of how bad your credit history is, you can access emergency loans via LendYou.
#3. BadCreditLoans: Best Urgent Loans for Bad Credit Borrowers
BadCreditLoans is all you need to get an emergency loan with bad credit. After filling a loan application form at the BadCreditLoans website, the platform will connect you with loan providers that can provide an offer. You can compare offers and pick the one with the most attractive loan term, origination fee, and annual percentage rates.
To accept an offer and receive the loan proceeds, all you have to do is attach your e-signature to the loan agreement the lender provides. You can complete the entire process online and avoid the hassles of getting a bank loan if you have bad credit scores.
Loan Amounts Available
At BadCreditLoans, several loan options are available to individuals with poor credit scores. The minimum loan amount you can get via the platform is $500. Depending on the lender you choose and other factors, you can get bad-credit loans as high as $10,000.
If you have trouble finding a lender that can work with your low credit score, BadCreditLoans can connect you with credit repair providers. Working with a credit repair provider can improve your credit and increase your chances of getting a loan with better terms.
With a low credit score, you can get an emergency loan through BadCreditLoans if you are:
- At least 18 years old
- A U.S. citizen or legal resident
- Employed (or receive regular income from disability or Social Security benefits)
- A checking account holder
You must also have a working email address and both work and home telephone numbers.
Other Key Features of the Lender
Other features that make BadCreditLoans a top choice for finding the best emergency loans are:
- 100% Free Services: Finding and comparing bad-credit loans is free. Also, before you select a lender, you can find all the information you need about their interest rates, origination fees, and other costs.
- Privacy Guaranteed: BadCreditLoans uses advanced encryption technology to protect the information of its users.
- 24/7 Services: BadCreditLoans is available all day, every day, to help you find the best emergency loans.
#4. PersonalLoans: Best for Small Personal Loans up to $35,000
Unlike the typical online lender that provides emergency loans for bad credit, PersonalLoans offers more than payday loans and other high-interest loans. For example, through PersonalLoans, you can access a personal loan. Most personal loans are unsecured installment loans.
Personal loans typically come with more favorable interest rates and terms. Even better, you can spend personal loans any way you want. Lastly, using PersonalLoans to find a lender and get loan offers is free.
Loan Amounts Available
The minimum loan amount that you can access via PersonalLoans is $1,000. If you need more, the platform can help you find a lender that offers up to $35,000. Your loan’s annual percentage rates and fees will depend on the amount you borrow and the online lender you choose. If you accept a loan offer, the lender can deposit the loan sum in your checking account within one business day.
PersonalLoans has a simple online form that you can quickly fill to start receiving loan offers. The lenders in PersonalLoans’ network will use the information in your submitted form to determine your eligibility for a personal loan. The lenders will also use the information to determine the annual percentage rate to offer with your loan.
To access an emergency loan with bad credit via PersonalLoans, you must be over 18 and have:
- A valid ID and Social Security number
- Regular income and a checking account
- U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
If you want the best personal loans with the most attractive terms, you may need to improve your credit score first.
Other Key Features of the Lender
Other reasons customers prefer borrowing money via PersonalLoans are its:
- Competitive Rates: PersonalLoans connects borrowers to lenders that offer some of the most attractive interest rates for personal loans.
- Low Cost: Both your interest rate and fees will determine the cost of getting a loan. PersonalLoans reduces your loan expenses by charging zero fees to help you find a personal loan lender.
- Fast Services: PersonalLoans can connect you with personal loan lenders within minutes of receiving your loan request form. Even better, after receiving loan approval, the loaned sum can be in your bank account by the next business day.
- Security: PersonalLoans is available 24/7 and uses state-of-the-art data encryption technology to protect customer data.
What Are Emergency Loans and How Do They Work?
Emergency loans are loans that you can quickly get from a lender. You may urgently need the loan to settle a debt or an unexpected expense. Unlike traditional lenders that may take weeks to approve a loan request, emergency lenders can deposit the requested loan in your bank account within one to two days of receiving your application.
An emergency loan may be either an unsecured loan or a secured loan. Secured loans require providing collateral before the lender can give the loan amount. The collateral’s value must equal or exceed the requested loan amount.
Unsecured loans do not require collateral. Since borrowers don’t have to go through a collateral verification process, they can access unsecured loans in less time. However, unsecured loans typically come with higher interest rates. Since they are a higher risk to the lender, they usually also require a better credit rating.
Note that if you want a high loan amount ($20,000 to $100,000), you should seek a secured or unsecured personal loan. If you opt for a secured loan to avoid high interest rates, your collateral could be your home, stocks, or other high-value assets you own. However, if you will be able to get your desired loan amount will depend on the lender and your credit rating.
Borrowers who need a few hundred dollars can contact credit card cash advance or payday loan providers. Most payday loans and credit card advances come with high interest rates and short terms.
Before accepting any lender’s offer, we recommend comparing lending options from various providers. That way, you can find a loan that will fit your needs without being a burden. If you accept a loan with unfavorable terms, you could end up with worse debt and a badly damaged credit history.
How to Choose an Emergency Loan Lender
Several companies are out there claiming to provide the best emergency loans. Unfortunately, many of these lenders engage in unscrupulous activities that take advantage of a borrower’s situation and lack of knowledge.
Before you borrow money from any lender, verify that you are dealing with a respectable company. You can identify the best emergency loan company by looking out for the following features.
Some lenders have stringent eligibility requirements that only a handful of borrowers can meet. If you submit a loan request to such a lender, you could find yourself waiting weeks or months for a response, only to have your application rejected.
Avoid wasting time by checking a lender’s eligibility requirements before seeking a loan from them. With online emergency loan platforms like ClearViewLoans and LendYou, you can find several lenders that are willing to work with you by simply filling an online form. Using such platforms is easier and faster than researching several lenders one at a time.
If you need $10,000, there’s no point contacting a lender that won’t offer more than $1,000. What if you borrow $1,000 from several lenders to get $10,000? That’s a bad idea because each lender will charge fees and interest rates. The combined expenses will cost more than borrowing money from one lender.
Save time and money by verifying the maximum and minimum loan amount a lender provides. Doing this before submitting a loan request will let you know if a lender can help with the loan amount you need.
Lenders typically perform a credit check before making a loan offer. The credit check will reveal a borrower’s credit score, and most lenders do not accept loan requests from individuals with a bad credit history. If you have a bad credit history, you will need to look for a lender that does not perform credit checks. Alternatively, find a lender with loan options for people with bad to fair credit.
Note that hard credit checks can reduce your credit rating, which is a problem if you already have bad credit. Prevent such an outcome by applying to lenders that perform only a soft credit inquiry. To understand the difference between hard and soft checks, read this article from Forbes.
A soft credit pull will involve viewing your credit report from the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian). A lender should only perform a hard credit check after you have accepted their loan offer.
Loan Payment Terms
Payment terms are the conditions attached to a loan. A lender should state these terms clearly in their loan offer. Loan terms typically include the loan repayment period, monthly payment amount, and fees (such as the origination fee).
You should work with a lender that can offer you terms that fit your circumstances. For example, if you need a short-term loan, don’t take a one-year loan that requires paying months of interest.
A lender’s offer may also mention prepayment penalties. Lenders charge prepayment penalties to stop borrowers from paying off their emergency loans before the repayment period expires. If you settle your loan too early, the lender cannot make money by receiving monthly interest on the loan.
Why opt for a payday loan with high interest rates when you can get an unsecured personal loan? If you are not comfortable with the loan options that one lender provides, look for a lender that offers loans that match your requirements.
Speed of Funds
The top emergency loan companies can approve your loan request and deliver the loan proceeds within one to two business days of receiving your application. If you need to borrow urgently, you can also find lenders that provide funds within 24 hours of receiving a lender’s application.
When applying for a bad credit loan, you will need to provide sensitive information about yourself. If such information gets into the wrong hands, it could lead to identity theft and other problems.
You can avoid such issues by working with a lender that has taken precautions to protect customer data. For example, PersonalLoans and LendYou use data encryption technology to protect user data on their websites.
The top emergency loan companies allow customers to borrow money from the comfort of their computers or mobile devices. The loan request form should also be as simple as possible to avoid frustrating customers.
A reputable emergency loan company will have primarily positive customer reviews. If most customers have a positive experience, you will most likely also enjoy your experience with the company. You can check an emergency lender’s reputation by reading customer reviews on Google, Trustpilot, Better Business Bureau, and other review platforms.
Why Do Lenders Prefer Good Credit?
According to Equifax, 580 to 669 is a fair credit score, while 670 to 739 is a good credit rating. If your rating is above 740, you have an excellent credit score.
People with good credit or better can qualify for most loan types and get the best interest rates. Borrowers with fair credit can qualify for some loans, but they won’t get the best interest rates. If you have poor credit, you may have difficulty accessing most loans.
Most traditional lenders avoid bad-credit borrowers because they are high risk. Why? A bad credit score implies that you have a history of missing monthly payments (bills or debt repayments). After seeing your bad credit history, a lender will believe that you won’t fulfill your debt payment obligations after receiving a loan.
Lenders discover a loan applicant’s credit history by asking the three major credit bureaus for credit reports. If you want to improve your chances of getting the best loans, you can work on cleaning up your credit history and improving your credit score. You can do this by:
- Settling outstanding debts
- Paying every monthly payment on time
- Decreasing your credit utilization
- Removing errors from your credit report
Note that repairing your credit and rebuilding a credit score can take 3 to 12 months, depending on your circumstances. Individuals seeking emergency loans for bad credit may not have that much time to improve their credit score to get a better loan deal tomorrow.
How to Get an Emergency Loan with Bad Credit
If your bad credit is stopping you from getting loan approval, consider applying for a:
Payday Alternative Loan from Credit Unions: Some federal credit unions offer financial assistance to their members. Compared to a traditional payday loan, payday loans from credit unions have less stringent terms. For example, the interest rate legally cannot exceed 28%, and credit unions can’t charge more than $20 as an origination fee. However, note that credit unions can’t offer more than $2,000 as a payday loan.
Loan with a Co-signer or Co-borrower: If you have bad credit, applying for a loan with a co-borrower can improve your chances of getting approved. However, note that this will only work if the co-borrower has a good credit history and earns more income than you. If you fail to make your monthly payments, the co-signer will have to pay it for you.
Family Loan: If you have well-off friends or family, try to borrow money from them. Unlike traditional lenders, loved ones may not charge interest rates or an origination fee when you borrow money. You also don’t need a credit score to get a loan from relatives. However, if you do not repay the debt at the agreed time, it could spoil your relationship. Also, the relative may sue you to get their money back.
What Are Emergency Loans Commonly Used For?
Some lenders offer emergency loans with limits on what the borrower can do with the money. With the top four emergency loan platforms that made our list, you can find a lender that offers your desired loan amount without any restrictions. You can spend a loan from such a lender on anything you want, including:
Rent and Mortgage Payments: Falling behind on your rent or mortgage payments can adversely affect your credit score. It can also lead to losing your home. Avoid such outcomes by getting a loan to pay your mortgage or rent on time.
Medical Bills: Medical treatment can be expensive, and health issues can occur without warning. Being unable to pay for proper health care can delay getting treatment, which may worsen your condition. If you do not have enough funds to pay the hospital, consider getting an emergency loan to cover your hospital care. You may also need an emergency loan if your health insurance cannot cover your treatment.
Debt Consolidation: Debt consolidation loans are loans taken to pay off other loans or debts. Using this strategy to settle old debts can prevent your interest from amassing and becoming more than you can handle. Borrowers can also take debt consolidation loans to avoid losing the collateral provided for secure personal loans.
Utility Bills: Your power or gas company could cut you off if you have not paid your bills. Consider taking an emergency loan to settle your utilities and keep your home powered and heated.
Funeral Expenses: Experts recommend having $10,000 saved for funeral costs. Since death can occur without warning, your loved one may not have that much saved to pay for a funeral. Taking an emergency loan can lighten the financial burden of laying your loved one to rest.
Home or Car Repairs: You may find yourself in a jam if you need urgent home or auto repairs. Fortunately, many emergency lenders can offer the loan amount required to complete such repairs.
School: Failure to pay your school fees can delay your education. Consider getting an emergency loan to cover your college, medical school, or law school bills and keep your career goals on track.
Vacation: If you don’t have enough saved up to go on your dream vacation, you could get a loan to cover most of the expenses.
Wedding: Couples that need help making their dream wedding a reality can contact an emergency lender for a loan.
Types of Emergency Loans
The most common types of emergency loans include the following.
Since payday loans do not require a minimum credit score, they are easier to access. However, you can access far less with a payday loan than with personal loans. Most payday lenders offer between $100 and $1,500.
Payday borrowers usually have to repay the entire loan amount within one to two weeks (or by their next payday). You can write a post-dated check to cover the loan amount, fees, and interest. Alternatively, you could authorize the lender to withdraw the debt amount from your bank account.
Even though the best payday loans have strict conditions and high interest rates, people opt for them because they can quickly access them without collateral.
Home Equity Loans
Unlike payday loans, you need a minimum credit score to access home equity loans. Home equity loans usually have a lower APR and a more extended repayment period than traditional personal loans. Depending on the lender, you can access home equity loans of up to 85% of your property’s value.
Note that a home equity lender will use your house’s equity as collateral. If you default on loan payments, the lender may foreclose on your home. Note that the process for obtaining this kind of loan can take weeks or months.
Credit Card Cash Advance
Credit card cash advances involve getting a cash advance from your credit card provider. You can think of the advance as a short-term loan. However, credit card providers typically charge high fees and interest rates for credit card cash advances. On the upside, getting a credit card advance is quick and easy, and you don’t need collateral or money in the bank to access it.
Auto Title Loans
Auto title loans are a type of secured payday loan. However, unlike regular payday loans, you have to use your car as collateral to get the loan. Most auto title loan lenders can provide loan amounts of up to 50% of the equity you have in your car value.
Since it’s a secured loan, the lender may repossess your vehicle to cover your debt if you miss payments. Also, note that the loan may attract a high origination fee and interest rate.
Where to Get Emergency Loans
You can approach these types of lenders for emergency loans.
When it comes to convenience, nothing beats an online loan company. You can access loan services 24/7 and handle the entire loan request process via your computer or mobile device. Also, many online lenders offer multiple loan options, allowing borrowers to find a suitable loan for their needs.
Compared to traditional lenders, the top online lenders process loan requests quickly. All the online lenders on our list of top emergency loan providers can deposit your requested loan amount in your checking account within one to two business days.
The exact amount that you can borrow from an internet lender will depend on various factors, such as your credit score. If you have bad credit, you can find internet lenders that do not perform credit checks. However, such lenders may not offer more than $2,000 loans.
At banks, you can access various loans, including personal loans. Also, compared to other lenders, banks can provide borrowers with some of the highest loan amounts. However, the amount that a bank can provide will depend on your credit score.
You can access personal loans worth hundreds of thousands of dollars if you have excellent credit, depending upon your income and assets. However, if you have bad or fair credit, a bank may reject your loan application.
If you qualify for a bank loan, note that it may take days or weeks to receive the loan amount. Also, banks charge a high origination fee for personal loans. Lastly, if you are applying for a secured loan, you may not qualify for a personal loan if you have nothing to offer as collateral.
The typical credit union doesn’t charge an origination fee for loans. Also, the loan terms that a credit union provides are usually not as strict as what banks offer. For example, you can often get loans from credit unions with a not-so-great credit score and without collateral.
Credit union interest rates are among the most attractive in the lending industry. However, the loan sum that you can get from a credit union is smaller than what most banks and online lenders offer. Lastly, you may not qualify to access a credit union loan if you are not a member of the union.
Should I Build an Emergency Fund?
Emergency loans can be helpful, but they are not for everyone. Instead of relying on emergency lenders, consider starting an emergency fund account. The money that you build in the account will be savings that you can access to help cover unexpected expenses and get out of financial jams.
If you don’t know how to start and build an emergency savings account, here are our best tips for getting started:
Define Your Expenses
What are your recurring monthly expenses? Identify them and separate the necessaries from the unnecessary ones. Avoid spending money on as many unnecessary expenses as possible, and you can start putting that extra cash every month into your emergency account.
Start a High-Yield Savings Account
A regular savings account helps you save money but rewards you with little interest if you do not touch the money in the account. If you open a high-yield savings account and use it as your emergency savings account, the interest you will receive for your saved money will be significantly higher.
The average annual percentage yield (APY) for a high-yield savings accounts is about 0.4%. That’s far higher than the 0.06% APY of a regular savings account.
Deposit Into the Emergency Account Regularly
While you can deposit as little as $5 monthly, regularly depositing a larger sum will help the account grow faster. Can you budget $100 or more a month? Designate a portion of your monthly income to deposit into your emergency savings account. By doing this, your emergency funds will keep growing. If you can automate a monthly transfer, even better.
You may grow tired of making monthly deposits or simply forget to do it. Avoid such outcomes by automating your monthly transfers into savings.
Replace Money Spent
Your emergency savings account has reached a significant level when it contains enough money to cover six months of living expenses. However, after acquiring that much money, don’t stop depositing.
The more money you have in your rainy-day account, the more financially prepared you will be for unforeseen expenses. Also, if you spend part of your rainy-day fund, work towards quickly replacing it.
Frequently Asked Questions
How fast can I get an emergency loan?
Emergency lenders have some of the fastest loan request processing times. However, the amount of time it will take to complete the loan request process and deposit the loan in your checking account will vary between lenders. Some lenders offer next-day or 24-hour funding, while others promise to deliver the loan amount within one to two business days of approving a loan request.
What is the minimum credit score required to get a personal loan?
Most personal loan lenders only accept loan requests from borrowers with a minimum credit score of 600 or higher. If you want the most competitive loan interest rates and the highest loan amounts, it helps to have a 700 credit score or higher. Individuals with a bad credit score can also get loans, but the interest rate is usually higher.
Can I get a fast loan without a credit check?
Most lenders perform a soft credit check to verify a loan applicant’s credit standing. The lender will use your credit history information to determine whether to give you a loan and how much to offer. A soft credit check will not affect your credit score.
You can also find lenders that offer fast loans without performing credit checks. Such lenders typically offer payday loans and similar loans with high interest rates.
Will an emergency loan impact my credit score?
Some emergency loan types affect credit scores. The ones that can affect a credit score appear on credit reports from Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian. Unlike banks and online lenders, most payday and title lenders do not report loans to the credit bureaus.
Even if you take a bank loan, it may not hurt your credit score if you make your monthly payments on time. In fact, doing so may enhance your credit score since you’re establishing a record of paying back loans on time.
What is the difference between a secured and unsecured loan?
You must provide collateral, such as your car or your house, to get a secured loan. Such loans usually attract lower rates and feature higher borrowing limits and longer repayment terms. Unsecured personal loans do not require collateral, and you can get them faster than secured personal loans. However, the maximum amount you can get as an unsecured loan will likely be less than what secured personal loan applicants can access.
Which Emergency Lender Should You Choose?
The right emergency lender for your needs will depend on your credit score, how quickly you need the cash, and how much money you need. If you need up to $35,000, PersonalLoans is your best option, but the platform may not be a good fit if you have a bad credit score.
ClearViewLoans, BadCreditLoans, and LendYou offer the best emergency loans if you need fast cash and don’t have time to build your credit score. You can use these platforms to compare offers from various lenders until you find one with the most favorable terms.