We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our goal is to help you make smarter financial decisions by providing you with interactive tools and financial calculators, publishing original and objective content, by enabling you to conduct research and compare information for free – so that you can make financial decisions with confidence. The offers that appear on this site are from companies from which TheSimpleDollar.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site including, for example, the order in which they appear. The Simple Dollar does not include all card/financial services companies or all card/financial services offers available in the marketplace. The Simple Dollar has partnerships with issuers including, but not limited to, Capital One, Chase & Discover. View our full advertiser disclosure to learn more.
Quick Ways to Borrow Money
A car repair, medical expense or job loss could render your finances short of cash fast. When the unexpected happens, it’s important to consider where you could borrow money. Some of these options include:
- Get a cash advance on your credit card
- Apply for an online personal loan
- Get a cash advance from your bank or credit union
- Borrow from your HELOC
- Borrow from a friend or family member
- Borrow from your retirement account
Emergency loans are loans provided by lenders that are easy to apply for, offer reasonable rates and have quick funding time to mitigate the emergency that the borrower is facing.
The 4 best quick funding loans of 2021
- OneMain Financial – Best for emergencies
- TD Bank – Best for next-day funding
- Rise Credit – Best for bad credit
- LightStream – Best for good credit
|Rates||Loan Amount||Terms||Funding Time|
|One Main Financial||18% – 35.99%||$1,500 – $20,000||2 – 5 years||Same day if approved by noon|
|TD Bank||6.99% – 19.24%||$2,000 – $50,000||1 – 5 years||Normally within 48 business hours|
|Rise Credit||50% – 299%||$300 – $5,000||4 – 26 months||Within one business day|
|LightStream||As low as 3.49%||$5,000 – $100,000||2 – 12 years||Same day approval–conditions apply|
OneMain Financial – Best for emergencies
If you need access to borrow money quickly, then OneMain Financial makes it simple. You can apply online or through one of its branches located nationwide. If you’re approved by noon, you could receive your cash the same day, making it a great option when you’re in a pinch and need money fast. And unlike payday lenders, you’ll pay much less in interest rates and you’ll have flexible repayment terms to align with your budget.
However, OneMain has higher rates compared to lenders like LightStream, but borrowers don’t need great credit to qualify. Furthermore, in order to complete the loan approval process, applicants must visit a branch in person to sign the final documents.
TD Bank – Best for next-day funding
Normally, when you need to borrow money fast you’ll pay for it in higher interest rates. However, TD Bank’s express personal loans offer some of the lowest interest rates available, where if you have excellent credit you can receive a rate as low as 6.99%. This, coupled with the flexible loan amounts and repayment terms make TD Bank a smart choice for when you need money fast but don’t want to have to pay a higher total loan cost.
Rise Credit – Best for bad credit
If you have experienced credit problems in the past, then Rise Credit is one of the best bad credit loans to consider. Unlike payday loans, Rise gives you more flexibility in repayment options — depending on the amount borrowed. Moreover, its interest rates are far more favorable than a payday lender and with fast approval times, you could have the money you need the next business day.
LightStream – Best for good credit
Lightstream is the top emergency lender for flexibility because it offers higher borrowing amounts, where you can get a loan for up to $100,000. It also provides more flexibility in repayment terms as you have anywhere from two to 12 years to repay your loan. Lastly, if you have excellent credit, then LightStream will be your best option. It advertises interest rates as low as 3.49% APR and will beat any competitor’s offer by 0.10%.
Other ways to borrow money quickly
Get a cash advance on your credit card
One of the main advantages of having credit cards is the ability to use them in a pinch for emergency expenses. And if you need physical cash, many credit card companies allow cash advances through ATMs, though you’ll have a withdrawal limit and fees may apply. This should be a last resort given the high-interest rates credit card issuers charge on cash advances. Still, even with the higher interest rates, it’s less expensive than a payday loan.
Apply for an online personal loan
Many lenders allow you to apply online and with approval, you could have money within 24 hours. Before applying for a personal loan, you’ll want to check if your credit is good enough to receive approval and favorable rates. Moreover, you’ll want to know what the loan terms are such as the interest rate, repayment term, and the loan’s total cost — which is the amount borrowed plus the interest and any fees. Many lenders will let you check your rates to see if you qualify without doing a hard pull on your credit.
Get a cash advance from your bank or credit union
Some banks and credit unions have express personal loans where you can borrow the cash you need at a lower interest rate. Some have shorter repayment terms ranging from your next payday to a few months, so it’s important to budget the repayment costs to ensure this is a good option for you.
Borrow from your home equity line of credit
Your home equity line of credit could also be an option when times are tough. Often, these loans come with low interest rates, giving you access to the cash you need without making it an expensive proposition. It’s important to check first to make sure you meet the federal guidelines for a home equity loan.
Borrow from a friend or family member
If you have a lower credit score or don’t want to take on a costly loan, then borrowing money from a family or friend could be a smart option. To make the process easier on both of you, it’s ideal you show proof you can repay the loan and you both agree to terms of repayment before borrowing, so each is on the same page.
Borrow from your retirement account
Some retirement accounts allow you to do emergency/hardship loans. However, any money you borrow from your account that you don’t repay will be subject to tax and fees. You should check with your broker to see the terms and conditions that apply for hardship loans then consider if it’s a good option for you.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Financial Wellness Resources
Where to Find Financial Relief During Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Coronavirus Stimulus Package: Everything You Need to Know
How to get your stimulus check as soon as possible
How to cash quickly during the Pandemic
Preparing for life after the Coronavirus
Why payday loans and no-credit-check loans should be a last resort
Payday loans often come with hefty interest rates close to 400% and short repayment times of only a month — two months at the most. Once you’re in this form of borrowing, it could be difficult to break out. If you’re facing eviction, a utility disconnection or other emergencies, it can help, but it’s by far the most expensive and least favorable option.
Before signing up for a payday loan, be sure that you’ve exhausted all other possible payday loan alternatives.
How to avoid cash emergencies in the future
The best way to avoid emergencies in the future is to plan ahead. Setting aside money now can ensure you have funds for emergencies. A simple way to do this is to analyze your budget and see if you can create some wiggle room by reducing eating out, getting rid of cable, going to a prepaid cell phone plan and cutting out other unnecessary expenses. Even a small amount such as $10 weekly ends up being over $500 in one year.
Once you have an amount you can save per pay period, treat it as an expense by setting up automatic transfers from your checking to a high-yield savings account for that amount. This allows you to save money so when the unexpected happens, you have some funds to account for it.