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Fast Personal Loans

February 2024

Emergencies happen without warning. And, whether it’s an unexpected household crisis or sudden job loss, you may not be prepared. Fast personal loans are one option if you need quick access to emergency cash.
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Quick personal loans can be a lifesaver in an emergency. They are a convenient source of quick cash if you need to repair your car, have unexpected medical bills, or want to help a loved one in a tight spot. Some lenders can even provide same-day or next-day funding.
There are plenty of lenders for quick cash, but not all lenders are reputable. If you need a fast loan, it’s important to research your options. Try lenders with low-interest rates and flexible terms. However, if you have bad credit or a low income, you will probably not qualify for the best fast personal loans. It doesn't mean you can't qualify for a loan, but you will need to consider lenders that consider borrower with fair or bad credit.
Here is SuperMoney’s list of the best lenders for quick cash.

Methodology

SuperMoney's list of the best personal loans is based on the qualitative recommendations of our community members and the quantitative recommendations of our ranking algorithms. We analyzed more than 100 lenders and focused on lenders that provide fast funding at competitive rates.

What is a fast personal loan?

A fast loan is typically an unsecured personal loan, paid out in a short amount of time—sometimes the same day or the next day—to fund unexpected expenses. For fast cash, this type of loan tends to be cheaper and safer than other alternatives, like payday or auto-title loans. Quick loans are available from online lenders, credit unions, and some banks. Online lenders tend to be the fastest choice, offering same-day or next-day funding.

What are the pros and cons of fast personal loans

WEIGH THE RISKS & BENEFITS
Here is a list of the benefits and the drawbacks to consider.
Pros
  • Fast access to money.
  • No need to use your assets as collateral.
  • Fixed monthly payments.
Cons
  • Best rates require excellent credit and high incomes.
  • Higher rates than secured loans.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all quick personal loans a good option for borrowers?

Some personal loan options for quick funding are less than favorable for borrowers. Alternatives like payday loans and auto-title loans are expensive, high-interest, short-term debt. You should avoid these types of loans if at all possible.

What is the cheapest option instead of a fast personal loan?

Although they can be cheaper than borrowing, the alternatives aren’t always quick or convenient. Personal loans are already a cheaper alternative to other last-resort options, such as auto title loans and payday loans. You could explore these options in place of an emergency loan.
  • 401(k) loan. You can sometimes borrow from your 401(k) fund. You are borrowing from yourself so the interest rates are low and there is no credit check. The downside is you are taking money from your retirement savings, which will impact how much money you have when you retire.
  • Credit cards. If you have good credit you can apply for a card with a 0% APR intro rate on purchases. However, it will take a week or two to get your card.
  • Credit card cash advance. If you already have a credit card, you can use to get cash from an ATM. However, it won't be cheap. As well as interest rates, you will have to pay a cash advance fee of 5% of the balance with a minimum of $5 to $10.
  • Approach local charities, nonprofits, or religious organizations for help.
  • Ask for an emergency loan or a paycheck advance from your employer.
  • Ask your family or friends for a loan.

What are the best interest rates for fast personal loans?

Currently, APRs in our list of best fast personal loans range from {{features_summary.interest-rate.lowest}}% to {{features_summary.interest-rate.highest}}%. The rate you are offered will depend on several factors, such as your credit score, income, and debt levels.
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Remember, the lowest interest rates are only available to high-income borrowers with excellent credit. Compare at least three lenders from the list above to find the best loan offer available for your credit profile. You will need to get preapproved to determine what your personal rate is. SuperMoney's loan offer engine allows you to get multiple loan offers from top lenders with one secure form.

Can I get a fast personal loan from a credit union?

It depends on what you consider fast. Some federal credit unions offer a small-dollar loan as a cheaper option to payday loans. The loan amounts range from $200 to $1,000, and the interest rates on these short-term loans can’t go beyond 28%. If you can afford to wait for a week or so for your loan approval, a credit union could be a good alternative. You need to be a credit union member—or eligible to join—and be able to wait up to a week for your application to process before the funds are paid out. To approve you for a loan, a credit union doesn’t only consider your credit score. They will evaluate your history with the company, and your income, to determine whether you qualify you for a loan. However, banks and online direct lenders can also provide competitive rates.

What quick personal loan alternatives should I avoid?

It’s better to avoid fast loan alternatives that have high interest rates and short terms, such as payday loans, and auto-title loans unless it is a real emergency. These loans can sometimes push borrowers into a cycle of debt.

Is an auto title loan a good option for a fast personal loan?

If you own a vehicle, you can get an auto title loan, also known as a car title loan. Auto-title loans are expensive, short-term secured loans that use your vehicle as collateral. You give your car’s registration or title to the lender until you pay off the loan, along with interest and fees. If you fail to make the repayments as agreed, you will lose the vehicle.
Auto-title loan terms range between 15 and 30 days. As you can imagine, these are last resort loans that are best avoided unless you are dealing with a serious emergency.

What’s wrong with payday loans as a source of quick cash?

Another type of quick personal loan to avoid is the payday loan. This is an expensive, short-term loan for small amounts, usually $300 to $400, that’s supposed to be repaid from your next paycheck. Apply online, and you should have the cash the next day. Apply in person, and you could have the money in fifteen minutes.
But, beware.
You can renew a payday loan for the price of the lending fee, which increases your total costs. The debt, plus new costs, is payable the following payday. However, payday loans have steep fees—sometimes interest rates as high as 400%–unwary consumers could be trapped in a cycle of debt.

How to find the best fast loans?

You may have a quick loan substitute in your wallet. Your credit card probably offers lower interest rates than what most quick-cash lenders will charge. If you can pay it off in full before the due date each month, you won’t pay any interest.
But if you need to find a quick personal loan, stay away from predatory lenders, high-interest rates, and expensive fees. Instead, prequalify with multiple lenders so that you can compare rates, terms, and features.
SuperMoney's personal loan offer engine allows you to receive prequalified offers from leading lenders without hurting your credit.

About the Author


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SuperMoney is the most comprehensive financial services comparison site around. We have published hundreds of personal finance articles and provide detailed reviews on thousands of financial products and services. Our unbiased advice and free comparison tools help consumers make smart financial decisions based on hard data, not marketing gimmicks.

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