Quick Personal Loans: Best Fast Cash Lenders

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Emergencies in life can happen at any time. Often, these unexpected circumstances can leave some in need of fast cash. If you need cash now, many of the top lenders across the industry offer fast personal loans that can be used for a wide array of different needs. Taking the time to find the best lender for your quick cash needs can set you up for success navigating life’s storms.

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The best fast cash lenders of 2020

Lender SimpleScore APR Range Loan Amount Funding Time
LightStream 4.8 As low as 5.95% $5,000 – $40,000 Under 24 hours
Discover 4.4 6.99% – 24.99% $2,500 – $35,000 1 business day
Upstart 3.4 8.13% – 35.99% $1,000 – $50,000 1 business day
Best Egg 3.75 5.99% – 29.99% $2,000 – $35,000 1 business day
NetCredit 2.25 34% – 155% $1,000 – $10,000 1 business day

Lightstream – Best for same-day funding

LightStream

A division of SunTrust Bank, LightStream personal loans offer loans up to $40,000 with same-day approval and same-day access to your funds.

APR range
5.95% - 20.49%
Loan range
$5K - $40K
Funding Time
Under 24 hours
SimpleScore
4.8 / 5.0
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SimpleScore
LightStream
4.8
  • Rates
    5
  • Loan Size
    5
  • Customer Satisfaction
    4
  • Support
    5
  • Fees
    5
If you're looking for the fastest cash possible, LightStream's loans may be a viable option. The company gets you a response to your loan the same day during business hours. If you return your signed paperwork by 2:30 EST on a business day, you'll get access to your funds that same day.

  • Funding time: Under 24 hours
  • Minimum credit score: Not listed
  • Minimum annual income: Not listed

LightStream does require you to declare your plans for the money when you apply for your loan, which will affect the APR you receive. APRs as low as 5.95%, depending on your credit profile, the amount you want to borrow, the length of repayment terms and what you are using the money for.

Full review

Our Two Cents — The ability to get access to money the same day is an incredible benefit offered through LightStream. If you need between $5,000 and $40,000 today, have a look at LightStream personal loans.

Discover – Best for next-day funding

Discover

Discover personal loans come with no origination fees, fixed rates and flexible repayment terms on funds you can have access to by tomorrow.

APR range
6.99% – 24.99%
Loan Range
$2.5K – $35K
Funding Time
1 business day
SimpleScore
4.4 / 5.0
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SimpleScore
Discover
4.4
  • Rates
    5
  • Loan Size
    5
  • Customer Satisfaction
    3
  • Support
    5
  • Fees
    4
If you have to have your money today, you'll want to use LightStream personal loans. But if you can wait until tomorrow, that opens up some additional options like Discover personal loans. Loans are available through the same company made popular by their credit card offerings.

  • Funding time: 1 business day
  • Minimum credit score: Not listed
  • Minimum annual income: $25,000

Personal loans through Discover come with no origination fees, fixed rates between 6.99% and 24.99% APR and flexible repayment terms. Additionally, you can return the funds in under 30 days if you need to and pay no interest at all. If you're looking for funding, speak to one of Discover's 100% U.S. based customer service specialists.

Full review

Our Two Cents — Discover offers some pretty great flexibility with rates, repayment terms and the availability of funding. If you need between $2,500 and $35,000 quickly, check out Discover.

Upstart – Best for short credit histories

Upstart

If you haven't borrowed much in the past but still need money, Upstart may be a great fit as the company does lend to customers with shorter credit histories.

APR range
8.13% – 35.99%
Loan range
$1K – $50K
Funding Time
1 business day
SimpleScore
3.4 / 5.0
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SimpleScore
Upstart
3.4
  • Rates
    2
  • Loan Size
    5
  • Customer Satisfaction
    4
  • Support
    3
  • Fees
    3
Upstart offers loans from $1,000 to $50,000. The lower end of this range is good for people looking for a smaller infusion of cash. Rates span from 8.13% to 35.99% depending on your state of residence, creditworthiness and loan terms. Upstart also offers no prepayment penalties, so you'll only pay for the time you need the money.

  • Funding time: 1 business day
  • Minimum credit score: 620
  • Minimum annual income: Not listed

According to the company's website, the company looks at more than just your credit score when deciding on approval. Upstart looks at your education, work experience and several other factors to make its decision.

Full review

Our Two Cents — Rates at Upstart are competitive. But what is attractive is the company's willingness to work with smaller loans and work with people with shorter credit histories.

Best Egg – Best for debt consolidation

Best Egg

Best Egg offers access to up to $35,000 quickly for borrowers looking to consolidate debt with an easy, fast and friendly service.

APR range
5.99% – 29.99%
Loan range
$2K – $35K
Funding Time
1 business day
SimpleScore
3.75 / 5.0
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SimpleScore
Best Egg
3.75
  • Rates
    4
  • Loan Size
    5
  • Customer Satisfaction
    N/A
  • Support
    3
  • Fees
    3
Best Egg offers personal loans between $2,000 and $35,000 to borrowers with at least a 640 credit score. This minimum score is higher than in many other places but may earn you a better rate. The minimum rate of 5.99% on a personal loan is lower than most of the other options presented on this list.

  • Funding time: 1 business day
  • Minimum credit score: 640
  • Minimum annual income: Not listed

People looking to consolidate debt can get up to $35,000 from Best Egg in a matter of minutes. If you have outstanding debt and rates are now lower, or your credit profile has changed, you may be able to save significantly.

Full review

Our Two Cents — Best Egg is only available to people with credit scores over 640. While this isn't great news for anyone with less-than-great credit scores, customers with good to great scores can enjoy better rates.

NetCredit – Best for bad credit

NetCredit

NetCredit offers up to $10,000 to customers who have bad credit.

APR range
34% – 155%
Loan Range
$1K – $10K
Funding Time
1 business day
SimpleScore
4.4 / 5.0
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SimpleScore
NetCredit
4.4
  • Rates
    5
  • Loan Size
    5
  • Customer Satisfaction
    3
  • Support
    5
  • Fees
    4
While NetCredit does not list the minimum credit score it's willing to work with, the company does boast that people are more than just a credit score. Additionally, the much higher rates signal it's willing to take on riskier investments, which means lower credit scores.

  • Funding time: 1 business day
  • Minimum credit score: Not listed
  • Minimum annual income: Not listed

The maximum you can borrow on a NetCredit personal loan will depend on the state that you live in. In most states, though, that maximum is $10,000. While this is a smaller amount than the other options on the list, it may be all you qualify for if you have bad credit.

Full review

Our Two Cents — The money you can get through a NetCredit personal loan is expensive and limited. But if you have bad credit, you may need to take what you can get and start rebuilding your credit for access to better options.

How to get a quick loan

  1. Gather a copy of your credit report and your supporting financial documents. You’ll need all of this during the application process. If you find errors in your credit report, get them corrected first. Even if you have less-than-great credit, you may still be able to qualify for a bad credit loan.
  2. Begin shopping lenders to find the options that may work for you. Remember, even though you need the money fast, you still need to make fiscally smart decisions. Find the lender that offers the best rates, most favorable terms and the right dollar amount for your needs.
  3. Complete the approval process. Most quick cash lenders will have a preapproval process that will give you an idea of whether you will get final approval. Once you find the right lender that preapproves you, fill out the paperwork for final approval. The quicker you get your paperwork in, the quicker you’ll get access to your funds. Some lenders may be able to get you your funds the same day.

Types of quick loans

Unsecured personal loans: Unsecured personal loans are borrowing programs where you don’t have to put up collateral to get a loan. The rates are higher than secured personal loans, but the approval process is quicker.

Payday loans: While payday loans promise quick cash, they are predatory and can put you on course for a debt cycle you can’t escape. Use payday loans as a very last resort after you’ve exhausted every other possible option.

Car title loans: These quick loan options give you fast cash in return for a high-interest rate and putting your car title up for collateral. While this might seem like a quick fix, the longer-term impact can be devastating. If you default on one of these loans, you will lose your car.

Risks and alternatives to fast cash loans

The money is expensive. Access to quick cash may be more expensive than traditional loan options like secured personal loans or credit cards. If you can wait, take the additional time to seek out other cost-effective options. In addition, quick loans may make you susceptible to falling into a debt cycle. If you don’t have a plan to pay back your loan, you shouldn’t take one out. Many people find themselves trying to pay off debt with other forms of debt, which begins a downward debt cycle. Have a plan for repayment before you borrow.

If the thought of borrowing money fast and repaying it back with interest bothers you, try asking friends or family for a short-term loan. Draw up an agreeable contract that has little to no interest and see if someone will agree to lend you the cash you need to bridge those financial gaps. Furthermore, it may be possible to ask your employer for a paycheck advance if you’re really hurting for the cash.

Alternatively, using a credit card can help patch things up in a pinch. Instead of opening another line on your credit profile or paying origination fees, your current credit card can be a source of quick cash in the case of an emergency. Just be sure to pay it back as soon as possible — as you would with a personal loan — in order to avoid heft interest charges on your balance.

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The bottom line

It’s not uncommon for people to run into financial emergencies that call for quick cash. However, lenders like LightStream and OneMain Financial make it possible to secure funding fast to mitigate and resolve those emergencies. But if the expensive form of quick cash lending leaves you uneasy, explore other forms of fast funding to get the money you need.

Methodology

The SimpleScore was created with you in mind, to simplify the process of making complex fast cash lending decisions, for your peace of mind and wallet. We rated top business lenders based on five different categories: terms, interest rates, loan amounts, customer support and customer satisfaction.

We also lean on our editorial expertise and industry knowledge to help choose and rank each company. Our ratings are meant to be a directional and helpful tool to help you in the process of choosing a fast cash loan provider. Be sure to continue your research and shop around for the best fast cash loan that fits your specific needs.

Jason Lee
Jason Lee
Contributing Writer

Jason Lee is a U.S.-based freelance writer with a passion for writing about dating, banking, tech, personal growth, food and personal finance. As a business owner, relationship strategist, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base and skill sets with the rest of the world. Follow Jason on Facebook here