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6 Emergency Loans: Where to Get a Fast Loan

Steve NicastroJune 17, 2020

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Emergency loans help cover unexpected expenses, like urgent car or home repairs. Compare options from online lenders and learn how to choose a safe loan.

Unsecured personal loans are one type of emergency loan that can be far less expensive and safer than other types, like payday loans or cash advances. They can also be just as fast; many lenders fund loans the same day you apply.

Still, interest rates on personal loans can be high, especially if your credit isn’t strong. It’s worth comparing options, including alternatives to borrowing.

Here are lenders offering emergency loans, plus tips on choosing a loan, and alternatives to consider. All of these lenders check your credit and assess your ability to afford the loan, a practice that reduces risk — for you and the lender.

Summary of Emergency Loans: Where to Get a Fast Loan

LenderNerdWallet Rating Est. APRMin. Credit ScoreLearn More
Upstart

Upstart

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Best for Emergency loans

7.00 - 35.99%

600

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Avant

Avant

on NerdWallet's secure website

Best for Emergency loans

9.95 - 35.99%

580

on NerdWallet's secure website

OneMain

OneMain Financial

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Best for Emergency loans

18.00 - 35.99%

None

on NerdWallet's secure website

LendingPoint

LendingPoint

on NerdWallet's secure website

Best for Emergency loans

9.99 - 35.99%

585

on NerdWallet's secure website

RocketLoans

Rocket Loans

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Best for Emergency loans

7.16 - 29.99%

580

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BestEgg

Best Egg

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Best for Emergency loans

5.99 - 29.99%

640

on NerdWallet's secure website

Our picks for

Emergency loans

Upstart
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Upstart

Upstart

Min. Credit Score

600

Est. APR

7.00 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

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Min. Credit Score

600

Key facts

Upstart is a good option for those who have short credit histories and promising financial futures.

Pros

  • Accepts borrowers new to credit.

  • Fast funding.

Cons

  • Origination and late fees.

  • No secured or co-sign option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 620.

  • Minimum credit history: None.

  • Minimum annual income: $12,000.

  • Max debt-to-income ratio: 45%.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0% - 8%.

  • Late fee: 5% of past due amount or $15, whichever is greater.

Disclaimer

This offer is conditioned upon final approval from an Upstart Powered bank or licensed lender which is based on consideration and verification of financial and non-financial information. Rate and loan amount are subject to change based upon information provided in your full application. This offer may be accepted only by the person identified in this offer, who is old enough to legally enter into a contract for the extension of credit and who currently resides in the United States. Duplicate offers received are void. Closing your loan is contingent upon meeting certain eligibility requirements and your agreement to the terms and conditions of Upstart and a bank or a licensed lender partnered with Upstart. Loans are originated by Upstart Powered banks and licensed lenders on the Upstart platform. Loans in Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Nebraska are made by Cross River Bank, an FDIC-insured New Jersey state chartered commercial bank. Loan amounts from $1k-$50k* Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5,100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100. APRs from X-Y, loan term (3 or 5 year loan terms), amount of monthly payment** **The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of X% and 36 monthly payments of $Y per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.
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Avant

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Avant

Min. Credit Score

580

Est. APR

9.95 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $35,000

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

580

Key facts

Avant's low starting rates make it a good option for borrowers with low credit scores and income.

Pros

  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Option to change your payment date.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • No option to include co-signer.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 580.

  • At least $20,000 in gross annual income.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Administrative fee: Up to 4.75%.

  • Late fee: $25 (most states).

  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $15 (most states).

Disclaimer

A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33. Minimum loan amounts may vary by state. If approved, the actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. An administration fee of up to 4.75% will be deducted from the loan proceeds. Avant branded credit products are issued by Webbank, member FDIC
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OneMain

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OneMain Financial

OneMain

Min. Credit Score

None

Est. APR

18.00 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,500 - $20,000

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

OneMain is an option for bad-credit borrowers, but it comes with high starting rates and an origination fee.

Pros

  • Fast funding.

  • Offers joint and secured loan options.

  • Free credit score access.

Cons

  • May charge origination fee.

  • High rates.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: None, average is 600 to 650.

  • Minimum credit history: Not provided.

  • Minimum annual income: None, average is $49,000.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: Varies by state.

Disclaimer

Not all applicants will qualify for larger loan amounts or most favorable loan terms. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral). Larger loan amounts require a first lien on a motor vehicle no more than ten years old, that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. Maximum annual percentage rate (APR) is 35.99%, subject to state restrictions. APRs are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle. Depending on the state where you open your loan, the origination fee may be either a flat amount or a percentage of your loan amount. Flat fee amounts vary by state, ranging from $25 to $400. Percentage-based fees vary by state ranging from 1% to 10% of your loan amount subject to certain state limits on the fee amount. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered under the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral for a loan. OneMain loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z, such as college, university or vocational expenses; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase securities; or for gambling or illegal purposes. Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: Unless you are a present customer, $3,100 minimum loan amount. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600. Borrowers (other than present customers) in these states are subject to these maximum unsecured loan sizes: Florida: $8,000. Iowa: $8,500. Maine: $7,000. Mississippi: $7,500. North Carolina: $7,500. New York: $20,000. Texas: $8,000. West Virginia: $14,000. An unsecured loan is a loan which does not require you to provide collateral (such as a motor vehicle) to the lender.
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LendingPoint

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LendingPoint

LendingPoint

Min. Credit Score

585

Est. APR

9.99 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $25,000

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

585

Key facts

LendingPoint accepts low credit scores and has flexible payments. Rates are high but comparable to competitors.

Pros

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • No prepayment fee.

  • Option to change your payment date.

Cons

  • May charge an origination fee.

  • No co-sign or secured loan options.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 585; borrowers’ average is 670. LendingPoint uses the FICO 9 credit scoring model.

  • At least $20,000 in annual income; average customer earns $85,000.

  • Debt-to-income ratio of less than 40%; average customer is 15%.

  • LendingPoint is unavailable to borrowers in West Virginia.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 4 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0% - 6%.

  • Late fee: $30 after 15-day grace period.

Disclaimer

Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint's proprietary scoring and underwriting system's review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 6% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon LendingPoint's final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. LendingPoint makes loan offers from $2,000 to $25,000, at rates ranging from a low of 15.49% APR to a high of 34.99% APR, with terms from 24 to 48 months.
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RocketLoans
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Rocket Loans

RocketLoans

Min. Credit Score

580

Est. APR

7.16 - 29.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $45,000

See my rates

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Min. Credit Score

580

Key facts

Rocket Loans funds loans as fast as the next day. Its loans have low rates for borrowers with good credit.

Pros

  • Able to fund some loans the same day as approval.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • Does not offer direct payment to creditors for debt consolidation loans.

  • No co-sign, joint or secured loan option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 580; borrowers’ average is 710. Rocket Loans uses the FICO 9 credit scoring model.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 40%; borrowers’ average is 14%. This lender doesn’t include a mortgage in its debt-to-income calculation.

  • Minimum annual income: $24,000; borrowers’ average is $85,000.

  • Minimum credit history: Two years; borrowers’ average is 18 years.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 1% - 6%.

  • Late fee: $15 after 10-day grace period.

  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $15.

Disclaimer

All personal loans are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey state chartered commercial bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loans are unsecured, fully amortizing personal loans. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Please refer to our Disclosures and Licenses page for state required disclosures, licenses, and lending restrictions. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident alien at least 18 years of age (in Nebraska and Alabama a borrower must be at least 19 years of age). All loan applications are subject to credit review and approval. Offered loan terms depend upon your credit profile, requested amount, requested loan term, credit usage, credit history and other factors. Not all borrowers receive the lowest interest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have excellent credit, meet certain conditions, and select autopay. Rates and Terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Please refer to RocketLoans.com and our Terms of Use for additional terms and conditions.
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BestEgg

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Best Egg

BestEgg

Min. Credit Score

640

Est. APR

5.99 - 29.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $35,000

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

640

Key facts

Best Egg offers personal loans for borrowers who want to consolidate debt and need cash fast.

Pros

  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Option to change your payment date.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • Charges $15 late fee.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 640; average is 700. This lender uses the FICO 8 credit score to evaluate borrowers.

  • Minimum credit history: 3 years and 3 accounts.

  • Minimum annual income: Not specified, but average is $80,000.

  • Minimum debt-to-income ratio: 40% or 65% including a mortgage.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0.99% - 5.99%.

  • Late fee: $15.

  • Return fee: $15 if payments are not processed.

Disclaimer

*Trustpilot TrustScore as of June 2020. Best Egg loans are unsecured personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC. “Best Egg” is a trademark of Marlette Funding, LLC. All uses of “Best Egg” refer to “the Best Egg personal loan” and/or “Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan,” as applicable. The term, amount and APR of any loan we offer to you will depend on your credit sc-ore, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, credit history and other factors. Your loan agreement will contain specific terms and conditions. The timing of available funds upon loan approval may vary depending upon your bank’s policies. Loan amounts range from $2,000–$30,000. Residents of Massachusetts have a minimum loan amount of $6,500 ; New Mexico and Ohio, $5,000; and Georgia, $3,000. For a second Best Egg loan, your total existing Best Egg loan balances cannot exceed $50,000. Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) range from 5.99%–29.99%. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0.99%–6.99% of your loan amount, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive. The origination fee on a loan term 4-years or longer will be at least 4.99%. Your loan term will impact your APR, which may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest APR. To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you.*Trustpilot TrustScore as of June 2020. Best Egg loans are unsecured personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC. “Best Egg” is a trademark of Marlette Funding, LLC. All uses of “Best Egg” refer to “the Best Egg personal loan” and/or “Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan,” as applicable. The term, amount and APR of any loan we offer to you will depend on your credit sc-ore, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, credit history and other factors. Your loan agreement will contain specific terms and conditions. The timing of available funds upon loan approval may vary depending upon your bank’s policies. Loan amounts range from $2,000–$30,000. Residents of Massachusetts have a minimum loan amount of $6,500 ; New Mexico and Ohio, $5,000; and Georgia, $3,000. For a second Best Egg loan, your total existing Best Egg loan balances cannot exceed $50,000. Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) range from 5.99%–29.99%. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0.99%–6.99% of your loan amount, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive. The origination fee on a loan term 4-years or longer will be at least 4.99%. Your loan term will impact your APR, which may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest APR. To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you.
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How to choose an emergency loan

Funding speed: If your situation is urgent, quickly getting a loan may be your priority. While some lenders offer same-day funding, typical funding times are two to seven days. Online lenders often disclose how long it takes, so you’ll know what to expect before applying.

Gather the required documents — such as W-2s, pay stubs and bank account statements — before you apply for a loan, and promptly answer the lender's questions to speed up the loan process.

Loan costs: Speed may seem more important than loan cost, but it’s still important to compare fees and annual percentage rates from multiple lenders. Most online lenders offer pre-qualification, which involves a soft credit check and allows you to preview your rate and term without impacting your credit score.

The loan with the lowest APR is the cheapest and usually the best choice, as long as the monthly payments are affordable. Use a personal loan calculator to estimate your total interest costs and monthly payments on a new loan.

Lender features: In addition to the loan costs, consider payment options and other features. Some lenders let you choose your payment due date, forgive late fees or allow you to skip a payment if necessary during loan repayment. Lenders may also provide financial education opportunities.

Credit union loans for emergencies

You can also get emergency loans from a local credit union. These not-for-profit lenders are often good options for borrowers with bad credit because they consider your entire financial picture — not just your credit — and may provide lower rates and terms. Some offer short-term payday alternative loans in amounts up to $2,000.

Becoming a credit union member typically requires you to live, work or study in a particular area, or be associated with a particular group. You'll need to purchase a share in the credit union to open an account ($5 to $25).

Institutions that offer credit union loan options include PenFed Credit Union and First Tech Credit Union.

No-credit-check emergency loans

Be wary of lenders that offer emergency loans without performing a preliminary credit check, which involves a soft pull of your credit report. Such no-credit-check installment loans share characteristics with conventional payday and auto-title loans, including sky-high interest rates and additional fees that make the loan less affordable than you initially thought it would be.

Some online lenders, such as Oportun and OppLoans, offer emergency loans and are positioned as low-cost alternatives to payday loans. However, their rates are still high, and you should consider these lenders only after you've ruled out other lower-cost options. Capital Good Fund is another no-credit-check lender that offers lower rates, but is available in only a handful of states.

Emergency loan alternatives

Cheaper alternatives to borrowing are not always fast or convenient, and sometimes they require asking for help. But NerdWallet strongly recommends exhausting alternatives first, even in an emergency. Here are some possible alternatives to an emergency loan.

Build an emergency fund

Once your emergency passes, do what you can to build an emergency fund that can help you avoid taking high-cost loans in the future.

Most financial experts recommend saving between three and six months’ worth of living expenses. If that seems like a lot, start small with savings of $10 to $20 per week. Set a goal to save at least $500, which can usually cover small emergency expenses like minor car repairs.

Last updated on June 18, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Emergency Loans: Where to Get a Fast Loan

Frequently asked questions