Best Short-Term Loans for Bad Credit

Personal Loans

Just because you have bad credit doesn’t mean you’re exempt from financial emergencies hitting at inconvenient times in life. But because of your credit history, you may find your options more limited, making it hard to cover those temporary cash flow needs.

While you may be tempted to charge your expenses on a credit card (if that’s even possible) or take out a payday loan, both of those options come with a lot of disadvantages. Most notably, it’s easy and common to get stuck in a debt cycle with either product.

With a credit card, you may simply make the minimum payment each month while continuing to accrue additional interest on your balance. With a payday loan, you could quickly end up rolling over the loan into a new one and racking up extra fees each time.

That’s where a short-term loan can help you gain a little more breathing room while still spreading out your payments longer than a payday loan. Even with poor credit, there are plenty of options available to choose from. In fact, most of the options we recommend are actually an online marketplace of lenders, meaning you can submit just one online application and potentially get offers from more than one lender.

Ready to find out the best way to get a short term loan? Check out our list of lenders that offer short term personal loans for bad credit.

Best Short-Term Cash Advance Loans

A short-term cash advance loan can supply you with a small amount of cash that is repaid over a shorter period of time. Interest rates are typically above average, particularly if you have poor credit. Eligibility requirements generally include that you have a consistent income each month (whether through employment or government benefits) as well as a checking account.

Many short term loans offer a repayment period of just a few weeks. The networks listed below offer slightly longer repayment periods, starting at just a few months. This flexibility allows you more time to ensure you can make your payments.


LetMeBank’s rating
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  • 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
    $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.

While many short-term lenders require a lump sum payment, that’s not always the case. As you consider different loan options and structures, be realistic about your financial situation. If you can’t afford your emergency sum now, will you be able to repay it by the time your loan comes due?

In this situation, you may prefer to actually spread out your payments over a few months. Also, consider all the costs involved with a loan. Compare whether your interest is charged each month or if it’s lumped together as a one-time fee. Look at the total cost of the loan, since terms may be presented differently.

Plus, lenders may charge different fees even beyond your interest rate. Is there an origination fee? How about late fees? Take a truly holistic look at all possible fees and charges you could be subject to. That way, you’re not hit with any unexpected consequences in case you face another curveball during your repayment term.

Best Short Term Installment Loans

For a personal loan with longer repayment terms than just a few weeks or months, consider a short-term installment loan. Installment loans can be short term or long term loans that last as long as several years and come with a few extra benefits compared to a cash advance loan. The first benefit is that you can qualify to borrow a larger amount of money.

Also, your payments could potentially be more manageable since they’re spread out over a longer period of time. Finally, most installment lenders report to one or more credit bureaus. That means as you repay the loan and exhibit responsible habits like paying on time and in full, you’ll start to successfully rebuild your credit score.

Remember to look at the total cost of the loan over time. If you just focus on affording your monthly payment amount, you could end up paying an arm and a leg in interest over time, since your repayment schedule could be substantially longer.

When planned wisely, however, installment loans can be an effective tool in bridging your cash flow gaps when you face unexpected hurdles in life. Here are our top picks for online lenders that can quickly get you the loan you’re looking for.


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
Apply Now
  • 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.

Because each lender network offers clear guidance on most eligibility requirements, it’s relatively easy to plan your path forward. Use this list to find the lenders that are best suited for your situation, whether it’s income requirements, credit requirements, or any other borrower qualifications that are published.

From there, you can apply online in just a few minutes. And since you could very well receive more than one offer, you can quickly and efficiently compare loan offers to find one that actually works for you. Remember to look at all costs included, plus how all that interest adds up over time. You want to strike the balance between affordable monthly payments and being aggressive with your payoff strategy to minimize what you’re paying over time.

Making the Most of Your Bad Credit Short-Term Loan

Once you’ve selected a short-term loan, whether it’s a cash advance or an installment loan, be prepared to start making your payments. But first, understand what happens once you sign your loan agreement. Many lenders can deposit your funds quickly, making it easy to recover from your financial emergency.

Keep in mind that if your lender charges an origination fee, they simply deduct it from your loan funds before you even receive them. Let’s take a look at how that actually works.

If you borrow $3,000 and get charged a 3% origination fee, that amounts to $90. When your funds are deposited into your banking account, you’ll receive just $2,910. It may not seem like a huge amount, but it can be a game-changer if you need that exact amount to cover your emergency expense.

See also: Top 5 Emergency Loans for Bad Credit of 2020

Also, read the terms and conditions to find out what kind of payment options are available and whether any fees are charged. Some lenders, for instance, may charge a fee if you want to pay by check. Others, as we mentioned earlier, may require automatic withdrawals from your checking account.

You may also find lenders that offer convenient payment options via their online website or mobile app. And some may provide payment vendors in select stores so you can make a cash payment in person.

These details and more are an important part of the loan selection process. It may be hard to focus when you’re also dealing with a life emergency, but definitely bite the bullet and perform your due diligence. In reality, you’re only adding a few extra minutes to a process that could either make or break your finances over the coming months and, potentially, years.