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A short-term loan is typically a loan with a repayment term of one or two years. This type of loan could be helpful if you need to quickly borrow a small amount of cash.
Here’s what you should know about getting a short-term loan:
- 4 short-term personal loans
- How to apply for short-term loans online
- How to qualify for a short-term loan
- How to get a short-term loan with bad credit
- Other short-term loans
4 short-term personal loans
An online lender can be a good option for a short-term personal loan. Here are four Credible partner lenders that offer small personal loans with terms starting at one or two years.
Keep in mind that none of these lenders charge prepayment penalties, meaning you could pay off your loan even earlier at no extra cost.
|Lender||Fixed rates||Loan amounts||Loan terms (years)|
|9.95% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $35,000**||2, 3, 4, 5*|
|15.49% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $36,500||2, 3, 4|
|18.00% - 35.99% APR||$1,500 to $20,000||2, 3, 4, 5|
|5.99% - 17.99% APR||$600 to $35,000 |
(depending on loan term)
|1, 2, 3, 4, 5|
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Where to find a short-term loan
Outside of online lenders, here are a few other places to find short-term loans:
- Banks often offer personal loans, though the available amounts and repayment terms vary. Keep in mind that you might have to be an existing customer to borrow from a particular bank.
- Credit unions are nonprofit organizations — as such, they sometimes offer lower interest rates than banks. You’ll need to be a member of the credit union to take out a loan.
- Payday lenders offer small loans that you’ll have to repay by your next payday. However, payday loans can come with interest rates ranging from 300% to 500% APR — meaning they should be a last resort.
- Pawn shops also provide small loans for those who can offer an item of value. If you pay back the loan, you’ll get your item back — if not, the pawn shop can sell it. Like payday loans, pawn shop loans can come with astronomical interest rates and fees and should be avoided if at all possible.
Learn More: Where to Get a Personal Loan
How to apply for short-term loans online
If you’re ready to take out a short-term loan online, follow these four steps:
- Shop around and compare online lenders: Be sure to consider as many lenders as you can. This way, you can find the right loan for your needs. Remember to check not only rates but also repayment terms and any fees charged by the lender.
- Choose the loan option you like best: After comparing lenders, pick the loan option that works best for you.
- Fill out the application: At this point, you’ll need to complete a full application and submit any required documentation, such as tax returns or pay stubs.
- Get your funds: If you’re approved, the lender will have you sign for the loan so they can send you the money — generally through direct deposit. The time to fund for a short-term personal loan generally ranges from one business day up to a week, depending on the lender.
Before you borrow, it’s also a good idea to consider the total cost of a loan over time. You can estimate how much you’ll pay for a loan using our personal loan calculator below.
Enter your loan information to calculate how much you could pay
With a $ loan, you will pay $ monthly and a total of $ in interest over the life of your loan. You will pay a total of $ over the life of the loan.
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How to qualify for a short-term loan
While each lender has its own requirements, here are a couple of things you’ll typically need to qualify for a personal loan with a short term:
- Good credit: A credit score of 700 or higher is typically considered good. Lenders use your credit history to determine your eligibility as well as your loan terms. While some lenders are willing to work with borrowers who have poor credit, you’ll generally need good to excellent credit to qualify for the lowest interest rates.
- Verifiable income: Lenders want to see that you can afford a new loan in addition to any other debt you might have.
If you’re ready to take out a short-term loan, remember to consider as many lenders as you can — you might get better terms with one lender versus another. With Credible, you can easily compare your prequalified rates from multiple lenders in two minutes.
How to get a short-term loan with bad credit
Payday or pawn shop loans can be tempting if you have bad credit because they don’t require a credit check.
However, a short-term personal loan is almost always a better option. While some personal loan lenders have stringent credit requirements, others offer loans for bad credit that could be easier to qualify for.
Another option for getting a short-term loan with bad credit is applying with a creditworthy cosigner. Not all personal loan lenders offer cosigned personal loans, but some do.
Even if you don’t technically need a cosigner to get approved, having one could help you qualify for a lower interest rate than you’d get on your own.
Here are Credible’s partner lenders that offer fair credit personal loans:
|Lender||Fixed rates||Loan amounts||Min. credit score||Accept cosigners?|
|9.95% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $35,000**||550||No|
|5.99% - 29.99% APR||$2,000 to $50,000||600||No|
|6.99% - 24.99% APR||$2,500 to $35,000||660||No|
|7.99% - 29.99% APR||$10,000 to $35,000||Not disclosed by lender||Yes|
|10.68% - 35.89% APR||$1,000 to $40,000||600||Yes|
|15.49% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $36,500||580||No|
|2.49% - 19.99% APR||$5,000 to $100,000||660||Yes|
|6.99% - 19.99% APR1||$3,500 to $40,0002||660|
(TransUnion FICO®️ Score 9)
|18.00% - 35.99% APR||$1,500 to $20,000||None||Yes|
|5.99% - 24.99% APR||$5,000 to $40,000||640||No|
|5.99% - 17.99% APR||$600 to $35,000 |
(depending on loan term)
|6.95% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $40,000||640||No|
|5.99% - 18.83% APR||$5,000 to $100,000||Does not disclose||Yes|
|8.93% - 35.93% APR7||$1,000 to $20,000||580||No|
|5.94% - 35.97% APR||$1,000 to $50,000||580||No|
|6.46% - 35.99% APR4||$1,000 to $50,0005||580||No|
Other short-term loans
Short-term loans aren’t your only option for borrowing cash quickly. Here are a couple of alternatives to consider:
- Personal line of credit: Unlike a personal loan, a line of credit gives you continuous access to a credit line that you can repeatedly draw from and pay off. If you’re considering a personal line of credit vs. personal loan, keep in mind that a personal line of credit could give you easier access to cash in the future should you need it.
- Credit card: A credit card is another type of revolving credit. Some credit cards also come with 0% APR introductory offers. If you can afford to repay your balance by the time this period ends, you won’t have to pay any interest — which could make a credit card a better choice than a line of credit. However, if you can’t pay off the card in time, you could be stuck with some hefty interest charges.
If you decide to take out a short-term loan, remember to shop around and consider as many lenders as you can. This way, you can find the right loan for you. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from multiple lenders in two minutes.
Keep Reading: Loan vs. Credit Card
About Rates and Terms: Rates for personal loans provided by lenders on the Credible platform range between 4.99-35.99% APR with terms from 12 to 84 months. Rates presented include lender discounts for enrolling in autopay and loyalty programs, where applicable. Actual rates may be different from the rates advertised and/or shown and will be based on the lender’s eligibility criteria, which include factors such as credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history, and vary based on loan purpose. The lowest rates available typically require excellent credit, and for some lenders, may be reserved for specific loan purposes and/or shorter loan terms. The origination fee charged by the lenders on our platform ranges from 0% to 8%. Each lender has their own qualification criteria with respect to their autopay and loyalty discounts (e.g., some lenders require the borrower to elect autopay prior to loan funding in order to qualify for the autopay discount). All rates are determined by the lender and must be agreed upon between the borrower and the borrower’s chosen lender. For a loan of $10,000 with a three year repayment period, an interest rate of 7.99%, a $350 origination fee and an APR of 11.51%, the borrower will receive $9,650 at the time of loan funding and will make 36 monthly payments of $313.32. Assuming all on-time payments, and full performance of all terms and conditions of the loan contract and any discount programs enrolled in included in the APR/interest rate throughout the life of the loan, the borrower will pay a total of $11,279.43. As of March 12, 2019, none of the lenders on our platform require a down payment nor do they charge any prepayment penalties.