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 for 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. There are also plenty of other personal loans that may be better suited for your specific needs, but a short term loan can really 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.
Top 5 Short-Term Personal Loan Companies:
|Up to $50,000
- Why go with Credible: Easily find pre-qualified rates
- Borrow from $600-$100,000
- APR from 5.20% - 35.99%
- Loan terms from 12-84 months
Credible is an online loans marketplace that lets borrowers see prequalified rates from multiple lenders based on their credit history. Credible works with only a select group of personal loan lenders. Filling out a single form gets you offers from a selection of reliable lenders without any impact on your credit score.
The main benefits to using Credible are the speed and breadth of its service. It takes only a couple of minutes to fill out the form and see a personal loan comparison of prequalified rates. Credible’s partners offer a broad range of loan amounts and loan terms, making this a good option for personal loans service overall.
Credible promises $200 if you find a better rate elsewhere. Read our Credible review to find out more about rates, fees, and other features.
- Why go with LendingTree: Competitive rates from large network of lenders
- Borrow from $1,000-$50,000
- APR between 6.99% - 35.99%
- Loan terms from 12-144 months
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.
- Why go with LoansUnder36: Flexible repayment terms
- Borrow from $500-$35,000
- APR from 5.99% - 35.99%
- Loan terms from 2-72 months
LoansUnder36 is another solid choice for borrowers looking for a short-term loan because of its fast online process, flexible repayment terms, and wide range of loan amounts. LoansUnder36 works with a huge network of lenders, so once you fill out the quick online application form, your loan request is sent out to all of its partners in seconds. This stands to give you a better chance of receiving approval and also provides you with a number of loan options to choose from.
Like other top lenders, LoansUnder36 offers loans anywhere from $1,000 all the way up to $35,000. This is a big enough range to cover small one-month bill payments or a purchase you want to make now but pay off over time. You can pay off your loan in just 2 months, which is an advantage for short-term borrowers, or if you want you can spread it out over 72 months (6 years).
LoansUnder36 has no minimum credit score requirement. That means you could technically have a 0 credit score, and LoansUnder36 will still work with you. Such flexible terms make this company the choice for people who have little or no credit history including college students or graduates, those who just finished their service in the armed forces, or people who made some poor financial choices and are looking to start again.
- Why go with AmOne: No minimum credit score required
- Borrow from Up to $50,000
- APR from 5.99% - 35.99%
- Loan terms from 12-84 months
AmOne is a lending marketplace that helps borrowers find short-term loan options from a number of established loan providers. After completing the online application, AmOne 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 appropriate lender. AmOne doesn’t charge any fees but you might be charged by the lender. AmOne does not set a minimum credit score and also provides loans for borrowers with less than perfect credit.
- Why go with Fiona: Quick and easy application process
- Borrow from $1,000-$250,000
- APR from 5.20% - 35.99%
- Loan terms from 24-84 months
Fiona is also a marketplace for loan providers and has a range of lenders that offer very favorable rates for short-term borrowers. The application process on Fiona takes just a few seconds to complete, and returning with pre-approved loan offers within a few minutes, if you're looking for a quick short-term loan. Fiona has no minimum credit score for application but mainly serves borrowers with credit ratings of about 580. Although Fiona 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.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Short-Term Loans
Here are some advantages and disadvantages of getting a short-term loan:
|Get your money fast, usually within 24 hours
|Interest rates are usually quite high
|Easy to qualify for a loan
|Sometimes the repayment period is too short
|Many different lenders to choose from
|Maximum loan amounts are usually quite low
How to Get a Short-Term Loan
Getting a short-term loan doesn’t need to be exhausting, but you do need to do your homework. You want to be sure of getting favorable terms while avoiding hidden fees and high-interest rates. That means taking the time to shop around and compare loan offers. Read the small print for additional charges like origination charges, loan insure charges, and high late payment charges that are applied immediately after your payment date. They might not be pointed out to you before you commit to the policy. Check if the interest is fixed or variable and whether the rate rises suddenly after a given period of time.
To get a short-term loan, you’ll usually begin by sending a short application form to one or more lenders, with some basic personal and financial information. If the lender accepts your loan request, it will send you a pre-approval loan offer. This is the point when you need to read all of the fine print thoroughly and make sure that you understand all of the terms of the loan in their entirety.
If you think the loan suits your needs, you’ll respond accepting the offer. Now, the lender will probably ask you for your documents and more detailed information. Although every lender has a slightly different set of requirements, you are likely to be asked for:
- Your credit score
- Your average annual or monthly income
- A short-term loan application, either online or in person
- Your existing debt such as mortgage payments, auto loans, credit card debt, etc.
The loan company will check up on your financial situation, and if it all looks good, will send a final loan contract. Then you can read it through once more, in case something has changed since the pre-approval offer, sign the contract, and return it to the lender.
5 Alternatives to Short-Term Loans
Although a short-term personal loan can be a very good choice for dealing with a sudden financial emergency or cash flow problem, it’s not the only solution. Alternatives to a short-term loan are:
- Unsecured loans. Loans that don't require any collateral. Interest rates for unsecured loans are often higher than with secured loans, but there's no risk of losing your collateral if you have trouble making payment.
- Line of Credit. A line of credit lets you withdraw any amount up to the maximum credit limit whenever you’d like. It’s usually secured against your home or other equity items. It’s flexible – you only borrow the amount you need, and money is immediately available when you need a bit more.
- Payday loans. Payday loans are super-short term loans secured against your next paycheck. They are easy to qualify for, but interest rates tend to be high, and it's easy to fall into debt, so try to avoid them.
- Family and friends. These loans usually come with no or low-interest rates, but you can destroy your relationship if the loan goes bad. There's also the risk that your lender could change his/her mind unexpectedly.
- A title loan. This is similar to pawning your car as collateral against a short-term loan. It's an easy and fast way to get some cash, but you could lose your car if you can't keep up repayments, and interest rates tend to be as high as payday loans.
Short-term loans are often the answer to temporary financial troubles or to fund large purchases. These 5 short-term loan providers can give you loan options to suit your financial needs.