One of the most important rules, when you’re rebuilding your credit, is to put aside cash for emergencies. This way you don’t max out your credit cards to cover any unexpected expenditures when they arise. But that’s easier said than done. Plus, even you do have a little bit saved up, it might not cover what you need. Emergency loans are often simply necessary.

Personal loans come in two forms: installment loans and short-term loans. You should understand both before you decide which one you want.

Installment Loans vs. Short-Term Loans

Installment loans have amortized payment structures, meaning each payment is the same for the life of the loan. You know exactly how much you have to set aside each month to meet your monthly obligations and the payments are usually quite manageable.

The downside, however, is that you may end up paying more overall for the loan because of interest. The installment loans listed below come in a variety of packages, but depending on your income, you may be able to borrow as much as $35,000.

Short-term loans are what they sound like: loans that require payment in a short amount of time. There are two types: loans that must be paid back in one lump sum on your next pay period and loans that can be paid back in installments.

Short-term loans that can be paid back in installments still have shorter terms compared to installment loans (usually 1 to 12 months), whereas installment loans can be as long as six years. Both types of loans are similar in that the amount of money you can borrow is smaller than the amount you can borrow with installment loans. Many are capped at $2,500.

Though time is of the essence, choose your emergency loan wisely and read the terms and conditions carefully. And, above all else, choose the loan with a repayment structure you can easily meet with your current income.

Best Emergency Installment Loans for Bad Credit

When your emergency demands more capital than a short-term loan can deliver, installment loans are the logical choice.

All companies listed below are not lenders themselves but instead are loan brokers. These brokers create an online lender marketplace for borrowers to submit only one application for multiple lenders to see at once. This is great for two reasons: your credit isn’t hurt with multiple credit inquiries, and it requires less of your time. It’s a “work smarter, not harder” approach to finding the right lender.

CashUSA.com

LetMeBank's rating
Get Started

on CashUSA's secure website

Loan Amount

$500 – $10,000

Loan Term

6 to 72 months

APR

Varies

CashUSA.com connects borrowers with lenders. Each application is sent to the lender most likely to lend to the borrower. Because it works with a variety of credit profiles, it is not only a poor credit loan broker.

Borrowers take out anything from $500 to $35,000, and can also choose loan terms often as small as 90 days to as long as six years. APRs vary depending on the lender, so make sure you read through the terms for each loan before you choose.

Applying online only takes a few minutes, and funds are often deposited the next business day.

Features and Requirements

  • Works with all types of borrowers, regardless of credit type
  • Loans borrowed can be used for any need
  • Borrowers must have a bank account for the initial deposit (which must also be the account used for automatic withdrawals)
  • Funds are often received the very next business day
  • To qualify you must make at least $1,000 a month after taxes
Learn More →

BadCreditLoans.com

LetMeBank's rating
Get Started

on BadCreditLoans' secure website

Loan Amount

$500 – $5,000

Loan Term

3 to 60 months

APR

Varies

BadCreditLoans.com works with borrowers with low to poor credit scores. They offer loans from $500 to $5,000, and loan terms from three months to five years.

Though it’s easier for bad credit borrowers to get a loan with BadCreditLoans.com, there are income requirements. Borrowers must have had a steady source of income for the past 90 days, and each borrower must be able to afford the monthly payments.

Even if you are paired with a lender through BadCreditLoans.com, that doesn’t mean you are under any obligation to accept the loan. Read through the terms, compare all the offers you’ve received, and only accept the loan you’re most comfortable with.

Features and Requirements

  • Works with borrowers with bad credit
  • Borrowers must have a steady income, and the income must have been present for the past 90 days before the application was submitted
  • Income can be from social security or a disability
  • Does not have any minimum credit score requirements
  • If approved by a lender, you’re never under any obligation to work with that lender
Learn More →

PersonalLoans.com

LetMeBank's rating
Get Started

on PersonalLoans' secure website

Loan Amount

$500 – $35,000

Loan Term

3 to 72 months

APR

Varies

Borrowers with credit scores as low as 600 can get a loan through PersonalLoans.com, but PersonalLoans.com is not a lender itself. Instead, it has a large network of lenders it has partnered with. Each lender offers its own unique APR and loan term. Depending on your need and income, you can get funds from $500 to $35,000.

PersonalLoans.com’s lenders often review and accept applications the same business day. Likewise, funds are often deposited the same day as well. Each lender has its own income requirement, but you will at least $2,000 a month after taxes to qualify for a peer to peer lender. Most installment lenders require a minimum monthly income of $3,000.

Features and Requirements

  • Works with borrowers of all credit types
  • Available in every state
  • Applications are often approved within only one business day
  • Funds may be deposited the same day as the application
  • Borrower must not have had a late payment more than 60 days or recent bankruptcy
  • Works with a variety of lenders with different requirements
  • Borrower must have a regular and stable source of income
Learn More →

Before choosing an installment loan over a short-term loan, make sure you’re happy with the overall cost of the loan. Though the payments are more manageable than a short-term loan, you may end up paying more in the long run. Of course, it all depends on your needs. Just make sure you choose the one that works best with your budget. It’s a balance between how much you want to pay and how much you can afford.

Best Emergency Short-Term Loans for Bad Credit

If you only need a small amount of money to get you over a financial hurdle, a short-term loan may be the best loan for you. Short-term loans come in a variety of packages and repayment options. For every loan type, you’ll want to read through the terms and conditions, but it’s a little more important for short-term bad credit loans.

They often require you to pay back everything at once (including principal, interest, and fees) and also often require a fast turnaround time. Sometimes this can be as soon as your next pay period. If you miss the payment or extend the repayment period, that means more fees are tacked onto the final bill. Make sure you are 100% sure you can meet any repayment agreements.

NorthStarCash.com

LetMeBank's rating
Get Started

on NorthStarCash's secure website

Loan Amount

$1,000 – $10,000

Loan Term

6 to 60 months

APR

Varies

NorthStarCash.com has flexible credit score requirements and doesn’t place limitations on who can and cannot apply. The network of lenders that works with NorthStarCash.com offers loan terms from half a year to five years. Depending on your specific qualifications, you can take out funds between $1,000 to $10,000. The final APR you’re offered will vary depending on your unique credit score and income.

To qualify, you must not have had any recent bankruptcies nor missed any recent payment by 60 days or more. You’re also required to have a steady source of income. Applying online takes only takes a few minutes. If you are approved, you’ll get your funds directly deposited into your bank account in less than a week.

Features and Requirements

  • Works with a variety of credit profiles
  • Borrower must not have had any recent bankruptcies
  • Borrower must not have any late payments that are 60 days or more delinquent
  • Borrower must have a consistent and stable source of income
  • Offers flexible loan terms
  • Funds are deposited between one to five business days
Learn More →

MoneyMutual

LetMeBank's rating
Get Started

on MoneyMutual's secure website

Loan Amount

Up to $2,500

Loan Term

Varies

APR

Varies

MoneyMutual is a short-term loan broker that connects borrowers with multiple lenders through a single application. Though it’s a short-term loan broker, it can also be thought of as an installment loan broker. Borrowers are often able to make small monthly payments instead of paying upon everything all at once.

MoneyMutual works with a variety of credit profiles and has less stringent requirements when compared to other loan brokers. Currently, the maximum loan amount you can take out with them is $2,500. Terms and APRs vary depending on which lender you’re partnered with.

At the moment, MoneyMutual is available in every U.S. state except New York. To apply only takes a few minutes, and it’s quite possible you’ll get your funds in less than 24 hours. MoneyMutual has served over 2,000,000 borrowers and counting.

Features and Requirements

  • Online marketplace that connects lenders with borrowers
  • Is not currently available in the state of New York
  • Funds may be directly deposited in less than 24 hours
  • To apply online only takes a few minutes
  • Has served over 2,000,000 borrowers and counting
Learn More →

Bottom Line

Anybody can go through a financial emergency, whether you have bad credit or perfect credit. The point is to fully understand all of your options so you can make a smart decision that truly works for your current situation. While it can be tempting to push the limits of your monthly budget, that can often result in late payments and expensive fees. And of course, any payments made after 30 days can be listed on your credit report, causing even more damage to your score.

Try one of the bad credit emergency lenders to find a realistic option that also offers flexibility. As you make your payments on time month after month, you could potentially qualify for even better loan terms in the future.