The 5 Best Short Term Personal Loan Companies
Short term loans are generally unsecured personal loans that have repayment terms of 3 years or fewer. Short term loans are also useful as a “bridge”— if you’re short on cash now, but won’t be in the near future, or for large expenses such as home repairs or appliances when you know that you can pay for the item in a few months but you need it now. A short term loan might be a good fit if you don't want to risk your house, car, or other assets as collateral on a long term loan, know that you can repay the amount within the repayment term, and have good credit to keep the interest rates at reasonable levels.
The best loan companies that provide short team loans can help you avoid carrying the burden of debt for too long. You’ll end up paying less interest overall, and the shorter the payment term the less interest you pay. Long term loans are a better choice if you are making a major purchase like a house or a car, need to spread payments out across a longer period of time so that each one is lower, and if you want to put up assets as collateral to get better interest rates.
The 5 Best Short Term Loan Companies
- Borrow up to $100,000
- APR rates begin at 5.49% for fixed rate short-term loans (rates rise if you choose a longer term)
- Terms of 3, 5, or 7 years
SoFi is a direct online lender that promotes itself as a community as well as a loan provider. SoFi provides networking and job seeking support for its borrowers while also offering short-term personal loans. It's biggest strength for short-term loans is its flexibility. You can choose fixed or variable interest rates, a repayment term of 3, 5, or 7 years, and can change the date of your monthly payments even after the loan has begun.
If you encounter financial trouble and can’t make your payments, SoFi permits you to request forbearance, namely suspending payments, for up to 12 months, 3 months at a time. SoFi also charges no origination fees, early repayment fees, or personal check processing fees. The late payment charge of $5 or 4% (whichever is lower) is only applied if your payment is over 15 days late. No minimum credit history or monthly income required to apply for a loan through SoFi. However, you do need a credit score of at least 660 and the highest loan amounts and best APR rates are kept for borrowers with the best credit ratings.
- Borrow from $1,000 to $35,000 for any purpose you’d like
- APR between 5.99% and 35.99%
- Loan repayment terms can be as little as 3 months or as long as 15 years
LendingTree is an online loan aggregator that connects borrowers with loan providers. Taking a short-term loan through LendingTree means you can get plenty of preapproved quotes from a number of different lenders with just 1 application process. LendingTree's application is fully online and takes only a few minutes to complete, after which it is shared with the database of lenders and will quickly return at least 5 loan offers. The streamlined presentation and integrated calculators help you to compare loan options. LendingTree itself does not charge any fees but you could have to pay to the lender you end up going with and there is no minimum credit score requirement to apply for a loan.
- Borrow $1,000 to $40,000
- APR typically ranges from 5.99% to 35.89%
- Loan repayment terms can be for 3 or 5 years
LendingClub is a peer-to-peer loan marketplace that matches borrowers with individual lenders. The advantage of using LendingClub for short-term loans is that the competition from a number of lenders bidding to fund your loan helps drive down interest rates. The online application is quick and asks the amount you want to borrow, the reason for the loan, and basic personal details. Lenders then send you pre-approved loan offers to compare and accept.
LendingClub charges an origination fee of 1% to 6%, a $7 fee for personal check processing, and 5% or $15 (whichever is greater) as a late payment fee. LendingClub offers a Hardship Plan, whereby you can ask to pay only the interest on the loan for 3 months if necessary. LendingClub provides loans for borrowers with credit scores from 600 and up. If your credit score is lower, down to 540, you can make a joint application with a co-signer whose credit rating is over 600.
- Borrow between $1,000 and $40,000
- APR rates from 4.93% to 35.99%
- Loan terms are from 2 to 7 years
GuidetoLenders is a lending marketplace that helps borrowers find the best short-term loans from a number of respected and established loan providers. GuidetoLenders offers a range of different short-term loan options depending on the purpose of your loan. After completing the online application, GuidetoLenders will share your information with its community of loan providers and then suggest pre-approved loan offers. The online tools let you compare the loan options and choose the one that’s best for your circumstances. GuidetoLenders doesn’t charge any fees but you might be charged by the lender. GuidetoLenders does not set a minimum credit score and also provides loans for borrowers with less than perfect credit.
- Borrow large amounts up to $100,000
- APR rates from 4.99% to 35.99%
- Loan terms stretch from 24 months to 7 years
Even Financial is also a marketplace for loan providers. The application process on Even Financial is the fastest around, taking just a few seconds to complete, and returning with pre-approved loan offers within a few minutes. Even Financial has no minimum credit score for application but mainly serves borrowers with credit ratings of about 580. Although Even Financial itself does not charge any fees for its services, the lender might charge an origination fee of 1% to 6% and determine the personal check processing fees, late payment fees, and other charges.
What to Look for in a Short-Term Loan
If you're looking for a short-term loan, you want to be sure to get the best terms possible while avoiding unscrupulous providers not afraid to hit you with hidden fees and high-interest rates. When comparing short-term loans, check if the interest is fixed or variable and whether the rate rises suddenly after a given period of time. Read the small print for charges like origination charges, loan insure charges, and high late payment charges that are applied immediately after your payment date. Keep an eye out for extremely short ‘payday' loans. These usually need to be repaid within 90 days and frequently carry exorbitantly high-interest rates. Features of a good short-term loan include early repayment without charge, good customer service, and options to pay less or suspend payment for short periods of time if you hit financial difficulties.
Short-term loans are often the best answer to temporary financial troubles or to fund large purchases. Anyone of our 5 best short-term loan providers can give you excellent loan options to suit your financial needs.