Top 5 Emergency Loans for Bad Credit of 2024

One of the most important rules when 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 have a little money 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 Emergency Loans for Bad Credit: Installment Loans

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.


LetMeBank’s rating
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  • Loan Amount
    Up to $10,000
  • Loan Term
    3 – 72 months
  • APR
    5.99% – 35.9%

Features & Benefits

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

CashUSA connects borrowers with lenders. Each application is sent to the lender most likely to lend to the borrower. This platform caters to a diverse range of credit profiles, making it more than just a broker for those with poor credit.

Interest rates vary depending on the lender, so make sure you read through the terms for each emergency loan before you choose. Applying online only takes a few minutes, and funds are often available the next day.

LetMeBank’s rating
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  • Loan Amount
    $500 – $10,000
  • Loan Term
    3 – 60 months
  • APR
    5.99% – 35.99%

Features & Benefits

  • No cost 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

Bad Credit Loans is an online lender marketplace that allows you to connect with multiple lenders by filling out a single application. The service is 100% free.

Once you’re approved, your lender will provide you with the APR, loan fees, and other terms.

Read through the terms, compare all the offers you’ve received, and only accept the loan you’re most comfortable with. You are not obligated to accept the personal loan from any lenders that you are matched with.

LetMeBank’s rating
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  • Loan Amount
    $1,000 – $35,000
  • Loan Term
    3 to 72 months
  • APR

Features & Benefits

  • Multiple loan types available
  • Fast loan decision
  • Funds deposited as soon as you accept an offer
  • Nationwide availability

You can get a loan through with credit scores as low as 600. Each lender in their network offers its own unique interest rates.

The quick and easy online application only takes minutes. You’ll have a decision within a business day of submission.

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 Emergency Loans for Bad Credit: Short-Term Loans

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 various 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.


LetMeBank’s rating
Apply Now
  • Loan Amount
    Up to $5,000
  • Loan Term
  • APR

Features & Benefits

  • Application takes less than 5 minutes
  • Get a decision on your loan within minutes
  • Funds are available within 24 hours
  • Trusted by more than 2,000,000 borrowers

MoneyMutual is an online marketplace of lenders. They make it quick and easy to find a short-term cash advance loan in as little as 24 hours.

One application can potentially get you multiple loan offers. MoneyMutual has been trusted by more than two million customers. They serve borrowers with bad credit from all 50 states except New York and Connecticut.

LetMeBank’s rating
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  • Loan Amount
    $200 to $10,000
  • Loan Term
    7 days to 12 months
  • APR

Features & Benefits

  • Response by email or phone within minutes of submitting request
  • Money deposited as soon as the next business day
  • High approval rate even with bad credit
  • Trusted since 1997 provides a free service that quickly connects customers with lenders that offer short-term loans that may work for them.

Whether you have an emergency or an unexpected expense, this online lender may be able to help you out quickly.

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 emergency loan because of interest. The online loans listed above offer different maximum loan amounts, 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 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.

How to Choose the Right Loan for You

Selecting the right emergency loan for bad credit involves understanding your financial situation, the loan’s details, and the lender’s terms. This guide outlines key factors to consider, ensuring you make an informed decision.

Assess Your Financial Health

Before applying for a loan, evaluate your current financial status. This includes understanding your credit score, monthly income, and existing debts. Knowing where you stand financially helps you determine what loan terms you can realistically manage and whether you can improve your credit score before applying.

Compare Loan Types and Terms

Emergency loans come in various forms, each with its own set of terms and conditions. Comparing these can help you find a loan that best fits your needs:

  • Interest rates: Lower rates mean lower overall costs. Look for the most favorable rates for which you qualify.
  • Repayment terms: Consider how long you have to repay the loan. Longer terms might lower monthly payments but increase total interest paid.
  • Fees: Be aware of any additional charges, such as origination fees or prepayment penalties, which can add to the cost of your loan.

Understand the Total Cost

The annual percentage rate (APR) combines the interest rate and fees to give you the total cost of the loan. Comparing APRs is a reliable way to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of different loans. Remember, the goal is to find a loan that meets your immediate needs and fits within your budget over its lifetime.

Read Reviews and Check Accreditations

Research potential lenders by reading customer reviews and checking their status with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Positive reviews and BBB accreditation can indicate reputable lenders, reducing the risk of encountering scams or unfair loan terms.

Evaluate the Lender’s Flexibility and Support

Some lenders offer flexibility in payments, such as extended due dates or grace periods. Understanding these options can provide peace of mind if you encounter unforeseen financial difficulties during the repayment period. Additionally, a lender’s customer support can be invaluable, so consider their responsiveness and the quality of their service.

Choosing the right emergency loan for bad credit requires careful consideration of these factors. By taking the time to assess your financial situation, compare loan options, and research potential lenders, you can secure a loan that supports your financial recovery without imposing undue strain.

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.