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Best Short Term Loans for July 2024

If you need money quickly, short-term loans can be a good choice. There are limited options for loans that you have to pay back in less than two years. But there are more options for loans that you have to pay back in two years or more. And, you can even prepay most of them without a penalty. Compare short-term personal loan offers now.
Betsalel CohenJul 1, 2024
Editor’s Note
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At, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. While many of the products reviewed are from our Service Providers, including those with which we are affiliated and those that compensate us, our evaluations are never influenced by them.

Compare short-term personal loans under 2 years

These loans cater to borrowers with bad or no credit.

Best for fair to poor credit
Integra Credit Logo
149% - 199%
$500 - $3K
None rating
Best for last-resort loan
NetCredit logo
34% - 155%
$1K - $10K
None rating
Best for borrowers with poor credit
9.95% - 35.99%
$2K - $35K
600 rating

Compare short-term personal loans for more than 2 years

Best for borrowers with fair credit
Achieve Logo
8.99 - 35.99%%
$5K - $50K
620 rating
Best for low rates
light stream logo
2.49 - 19.99% with AutoPay
$5K - $100K
660 rating
Best for Large personal loans
sofi logo v1
7.99% to 23.68% APR (with .25 % auto pay discount)
$5K - $100K
None listed rating
Best for subprime credit card consolidation
Happy Money Logo
5.99 - 24.99%
$5K - $40K Loans are not currently offered in MA MS NE and NV.
640 rating
Best for people with lowish credit
lendingpoint logo
7.99% - 35.99%
$2K - $37K
580 rating
Best for consolidating higher-interest-rate debt
Prosper Logo
6.99% – 35.99%
$2K – $50K
600 rating

What is a short-term loan?

A short-term loan is a loan you get when you need money urgently, like fixing your car or paying a medical bill. It's called 'short-term' because you usually pay it back quickly, sometimes in a few weeks, up to a year. They are generally offered without collateral. Just your personal signature.

How a short-term loan works

When you take out a short-term loan, the process is usually fast and simple. You don't need to put up anything valuable like your car or house as security. But, because it's quick and doesn't need security, the interest rate—that's the extra money you pay on top of the loan—is usually higher. This is how the lender makes sure they're protected. You agree to pay back the loan, which includes the amount you borrowed plus the interest, within the agreed time.

Types of short-term loans

There are several different types of short-term loans available, including

  • Payday loans: These are small loans you borrow until your next payday. They can be helpful but are expensive, so it's best to use them only for emergencies.
  • Cash advances: This is when you use your credit card to get cash. It's quick but comes with high fees.
  • Installment loans: With these, you pay back the money in parts, usually every month, until it's all paid off. Many lenders offer loans on the internet. They are fast and you don't need to visit a bank or office.

Remember, each type of loan has its own rules and costs. It's important to understand all of this before you decide to borrow money.

How to compare short-term loans

Comparing short-term loans involves examining several key factors to make sure you select the best option for your financial situation. Here's a simplified guide on what to look for:

Interest rates: This is the cost of borrowing money. Look for the lowest possible rate to reduce the overall expense of the loan. When comparing interest rates, check the APR, which includes the nominal interest rate and the fees.

Fees: Beyond interest, loans may come with various fees like origination fees and late-payment fees.

Loan amount: The maximum amount you can borrow with a short-term loan depends on the lender and the state you're in. Generally, short-term loan amounts range from $100 to $2,500. Determine how much money you can borrow and ensure it aligns with your needs without being excessively high.

Repayment terms: Consider the length of time you have to repay the loan. Some interest loans are installment loans, principal and interest, while others, like payday loans, have a balloon payment. What is the repayment timeline for a short-term loan? The repayment timeline for a short-term loan depends on the lender and the loan amount. Payday loans vary between 14–90 days. Installment loans are between 6 months and 2 years. (They are also available for longer periods, and you can usually pay them early without a penalty).

Lender's reputation: Research the lender's history and customer reviews. A reputable lender is crucial for a secure borrowing experience.

Speed of funding: If you need funds quickly, check how fast the lender can provide the loan after approval.

Eligibility requirements: Check lender's requirements, including credit score, income level, and employment status. Many short-term loans have no credit score requirements but come with a higher cost.

When comparing short-term loans, consider these key questions:

  1. What is the maximum amount I can borrow with a short-term loan?
  2. How quickly can I receive the funds after applying
  3. Are there any hidden fees with short-term loans?

The answers vary between lenders, The maximum amount is generally small and greatly depends on your credit score. To compare, let's consider two different short-term loan options:

FactorsLoan Option 1Loan Option 2
Interest Rate15%20%
Fees$50 Origination FeeNo Fees
Loan AmountUp to $2,000Up to $5,000
Repayment Term6 Months12 Months
Lender ReputationWell-establishedNew in Market
Speed of Funding24 Hours48 Hours
Eligibility RequirementsMinimum 650 Credit ScoreNo Credit Check Required

Note: This table is a simplified representation and should be used as a guide to understand the key aspects to compare when considering short-term loans. Remember, reading the fine print and understanding all terms and conditions before committing to a loan is crucial.

Benefits and risks of short-term loans

Short-term loans can be useful when you need money quickly, especially for emergencies. They can be easy to get and often have less strict eligibility requirements, making them accessible to more borrowers. However, there are also advantages and potential risks.

  • Quick access to funds
  • Flexible repayment terms:
  • Credit score improvement
  • No collateral required
  • Simplified application process


Cons and risks of short-term loans explained:

  • High Annual Percentage Rates (APRs)
  • Debt cycle
  • Predatory lending practices
  • Short repayment terms
  • Potential for negative impact on credit score

Pros explained

  • Quick access to funds: They offer a rapid solution for financial emergencies, providing funds much faster than traditional loans.
  • Flexible repayment terms: Short-term loans often have more flexible repayment schedules than long-term loans.
  • Credit score improvement: For borrowers with less-than-perfect credit, these loans can offer an opportunity to rebuild credit scores through timely payments.
  • No collateral required: Short-term loans are generally unsecured, meaning they don't require collateral like a home or car.
  • Simplified application process: They usually have more lenient requirements for applicants and a simple application procedure.

Cons and risks of short-term loans explained:

  • High Annual Percentage Rates (APRs): Short-term loans often have high APRs, which can significantly increase the total amount you'll need to repay.
  • Debt cycle: taking on too many loans can be an easy way to get into a cycle of owing money and accumulating a large amount of debt.
  • Predatory lending practices: some lenders of short-term loans may engage in predatory practices, including excessive interest rates or hidden fees.
  • Short repayment terms: The quick repayment schedule can be challenging for borrowers, potentially leading to late fees or missed payments.
  • Potential for negative impact on credit score: Failure to meet repayment terms can adversely affect your credit score.

How to apply for a short-term loan - 6 steps

Applying for a short-term loan doesn't have to be overwhelming. Here's a friendly, step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

Step 1: Research and compare lenders

  • Start by exploring various lenders.
  • Compare their fees, interest rates, repayment terms, and other loan conditions.
  • Check reviews or testimonials to assess their credibility.

Step 2: Understand the loan terms

  • Carefully read the terms and conditions for each loan offer.
  • Ask the lender for clarification on any unclear terms.

Step 3: Prepare your documents. Gather necessary documents like:

  • Proof of income (e.g., pay stubs)
  • Valid identification (e.g., driver's license
  • Bank statements

Step 4: Apply for the loan

  • Complete the loan application, either online or in-person, depending on the lender.
  • Make sure all provided information is accurate.

Step 5: Await approval and receive funds

  • After applying, wait for the lender's decision.
  • If approved, you'll typically get the funds quickly.

Step 6: Set up repayment

  • Understand your repayment schedule and set reminders for payments.
  • Consider automatic payments if available.

Tips for a smooth process:

  • Make sure you can repay the loan on time.
  • Be aware of high APRs and fees.
  • Borrow only what you need.

Remember: Short-term loans should be your last resort. Explore other options like personal loans from banks, credit unions, or online lenders with better terms. If uncertain, consider consulting a financial advisor.

Bills Action Plan: managing your short-term loan responsibly

A short-term loan can help pay for an emergency or medical bill. However, being in a rush can make you take a loan you can't afford. That's a costly mistake. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Do your research and review different loan types and lenders.
  2. Before you take a loan, make sure that you can afford the payments..
  3. Avoid predatory loans and debt traps.
  4. Set up payment reminders or automatic payments.
  5. Paying off your loan early or making additional payments can lower the interest you owe and potentially boost your credit score.
  6. If you are struggling with debt, then get a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a short-term loan with bad credit?


Yes, you might be able to get a short-term loan with bad credit. But lenders usually need borrowers to have a regular income and a valid checking account.

What credit score does a cosigner need for a personal loan?


The credit score a cosigner needs for a personal loan will typically depend on the lender. Generally, cosigners need to have a good credit score to get approved. A good FICO score is a score of 670 or higher. 

What if I can’t qualify for a hardship loan?


If you are not eligible for a standard hardship loan, ponder several alternatives, such as taking a hardship withdrawal from your 401(k) account, borrowing funds from a friend or relative, pursuing a home equity loan or home-equity line of credit, applying for a secured, personal loan, bad-credit loan, joint personal loan, payday loan, or a credit card cash advance. 

Are short-term loans safe?


Short-term loans from reputable lenders can be a safe option for financial emergencies. However, you need to be careful. Always research the lender and the loan terms to make sure it's legitimate and that the rates and fees are reasonable. This type of loan should be used sparingly because it can impact your financial situation. Being well-informed and careful when choosing a lender and loan terms is key.