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 if 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.

Best Installment Loans for Emergencies

When your emergency demands more capital, installment loans online are a 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:

  1. They do only one credit check which means you won’t have multiple credit inquiries
  2. It requires less of your time. It’s a “work smarter, not harder” approach to finding the right lender.

CashUSA

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on CashUSA's secure website

Loan Amount

$500 – $10,000

Loan Term

6 to 72 months

APR

Varies

CashUSA 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.

Interest rates 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 available the next day.

Features and Benefits

  • Flexible borrower requirements
  • Loan request can be approved within minutes
  • Money deposited as early as 1 business day
  • All credit types accepted
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BadCreditLoans.com

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on BadCreditLoans' secure website

Loan Amount

$500 – $5,000

Loan Term

3 to 60 months

APR

Varies

Though it’s easier for bad credit borrowers to get a loan with BadCreditLoans.com, there are income requirements. You 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, 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 Benefits

  • No obligation or fee to check loan approval
  • High approval rate despite credit history
  • Funds available as soon as next business day
  • Assisting people with bad credit since 1998
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PersonalLoans.com

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on PersonalLoans' secure website

Loan Amount

$500 – $35,000

Loan Term

3 to 72 months

APR

Varies

It’s possible to get a loan through PersonalLoans.com with credit scores as low as 600. Each lender in their network offers its own unique interest rates. Depending on your need and income, you can get funds from $500 to $35,000.

Their lenders often review and accept applications on the same day as they’re received. Likewise, funds are often available 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 Benefits

  • Multiple loan types available
  • Fast loan decision
  • Funds deposited as soon as you accept offer
  • Nationwide availability
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Before choosing an installment loan, make sure you’re happy with the overall cost of the loan and that 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 Short-Term Loans for Emergencies

If you only need a small emergency loan to get you over a financial hurdle, this option may be the best for you. Short-term loans are like a cash advance and 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.

Similar to payday loans (but usually with better interest rates), they often require you to pay back everything at once. That includes principal, interest, and fees. And just like payday loans, they sometimes have to be paid back 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.

MoneyMutual

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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. You are often able to make small monthly payments instead of paying back one lump sum.

They work with a variety of credit profiles and have less stringent requirements when compared to other loan brokers. Currently, the maximum amount you can borrow with them is $2,500. Terms and rates vary depending on which lender you’re partnered with.

At the moment, they are 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 emergency funds in less than 24 hours. They have served over 2,000,000 customers and counting.

Features and Benefits

  • Fill out online form in less than 5 minutes
  • Get a decision on your loan within minutes
  • Loan deposited in little as 24 hours
  • Trusted by more than 2,000,000 borrowers
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CashAdvance

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Get Started

on CashAdvance's secure website

Loan Amount

$100 to $999

Loan Term

7 days to 12 months

APR

Varies

CashAdvance.com is also a loan network offering short-term for eligible borrowers. Bad credit loans on this network can range from $100 to $999 and often have very high APR.

Nevertheless, this can be a viable option to cover a one-time expense, particularly if you have a poor credit score. Just fill out the eligibility form and they will connect you with a potential list of lenders. Note that you must have at least $1,000 of after-tax monthly income, be at least 18 years of age, and have a bank account.

Features and Benefits

  • Trusted since 1997
  • Response by email or phone within minutes of submitting request
  • Money deposited as soon as next business day
  • High approval rate even with bad credit
Learn More →

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 online 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, but still have shorter terms (usually 1 to 12 months), whereas installment loans can be as long as 6 years.

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

Bottom Line

Anyone can go through a financial emergency, whether you have bad or good 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 fees. And of course, any payments made after 30 days can be listed on your credit report, causing even more damage to your credit 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.