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Emergency Loans: Where to Get a Fast Loan

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.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Unsecured personal loans are one type of emergency loan that can be far less expensive and safer than other types, like payday or auto title loans. 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 or you already have a lot of debt. Even if you’re in a hurry, comparing lenders and other options could save you money in the long run.

Here are lenders offering emergency loans, plus tips on choosing a loan and alternatives to consider. All of these lenders 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

Our pick for

Emergency loan for fair credit

Upstart

on NerdWallet's secure website

Upstart

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Upstart

Min. Credit Score

580

Est. APR

6.16 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

580

Key facts

Upstart uses alternative data in underwriting, which can give borrowers with bad or fair credit a better chance to qualify. This lender accepts borrowers with thin credit histories and high earning potential.

Pros

  • Accepts borrowers new to credit.

  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with some debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Borrowers can choose from only two repayment term options.

  • Charges origination fee.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 580.

  • Minimum credit history: none, this lender accepts borrowers with credit history too limited to produce a FICO score.

  • Minimum gross income: $12,000.

  • Employment: Full-time job, full-time job offer starting in 6 months, a regular part-time job, or another source of regular income.

  • Must have U.S. residential street address where borrower resides (unless military personnel on active duty).

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

  • Valid email account required.

  • Personal bank account with U.S. routing number required.

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

1)This offer is conditioned on final approval based on our consideration and verification of financial and non-financial information. Rate and loan amount are subject to change based upon information received 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 contract for the extension of credit, a US citizen or permanent resident, and a current resident of the US. Duplicate offers received are void. Closing your loan is contingent on your meeting our eligibility requirements, our verification of your information, and your agreement to the terms and conditions on the www.upstart.com website. 2) § 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. 3) ‡ 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 15% and 36 monthly payments of $33 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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Our pick for

Emergency loan for bad credit

Avant

on NerdWallet's secure website

Avant

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
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 has low starting rates and a low minimum credit score requirement. The lender can fund a loan in one business day and lets borrowers pre-qualify to see offers.

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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Our pick for

Emergency loan for no minimum credit requirement

OneMain

on NerdWallet's secure website

OneMain Financial

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
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 doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement, but it charges high rates and origination fees. A borrower’s ability to repay the loan and credit stability are factors in a loan decision.

Pros

  • Option to choose your payment date.

  • Offers joint and secured loans.

  • Able to fund a loan the same or next business day.

  • Offers online educational resources.

Cons

  • Rates are high compared to other online lenders.

  • Charges origination fee.

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

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: None.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: None.

  • Minimum income: Not disclosed; average is $45,000.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: $25 to $400 or 1 - 10%

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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Our pick for

Emergency loans with flexible payments

LendingPoint

on NerdWallet's secure website

LendingPoint

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
LendingPoint

Min. Credit Score

585

Est. APR

15.49 - 35.49%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $25,000

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

585

Key facts

LendingPoint accepts borrowers with low credit scores, but emphasizes an applicant’s debt-to-income ratio in a loan decision. Funds may be available as soon as the next business day.

Pros

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Option to change your payment date.

  • Can fund a loan the business day after approval.

Cons

  • No co-signed or joint loan option.

  • Rates are high compared to other bad-credit and online lenders.

  • Reports payments to two of the three major credit bureaus.

Qualifications

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

  • At least $35,000 in annual income; average customer earns $85,000.

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

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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Our pick for

Emergency loans for fast funding

RocketLoans
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Rocket Loans

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
RocketLoans

Min. Credit Score

580

Est. APR

7.16 - 29.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $45,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

580

Key facts

Rocket Loans prides itself on fast funding, and it has a low minimum credit score requirement. Still, the loan comes with origination fees, and rates may be high for borrowers with bad 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% to 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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Our pick for

Emergency loans for good credit

BestEgg

on NerdWallet's secure website

Best Egg

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
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 lends low-rate personal loans to borrowers with good credit. The company says its online application takes minutes to complete, and funds can be available in as little as one business day.

Pros

  • Competitive rates among fair-credit lenders.

  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

  • Secured loan option for homeowners.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • Charges $15 late fee.

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

  • Borrowers can choose from only two repayment term options.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 640; borrower average is 700.

  • Minimum credit history: 3 years and 3 accounts.

  • Minimum income: No minimum income requirement; borrower average is $80,000. Borrower must have enough cash flow to cover current financial obligations.

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

  • Employment: Must provide proof of income.

  • Must provide valid U.S. address and social security number.

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–$35,000. 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. What this means for you: 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. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.
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Our pick for

Emergency loans for small loan amounts

Oportun

on Oportun 's website

Oportun

Not yet rated

Oportun

Min. Credit Score

None

Est. APR

19.90 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$300 - $10,000

on Oportun 's website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

Oportun accepts borrowers with thin or no credit history, but will consider credit information for borrowers who have it. Rates are high compared to other lenders.

Pros

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Offers co-sign, joint and secured loan options.

  • Accepts borrowers new to credit.

  • Offers small loans starting at $300.

Cons

  • Available in a limited number of states.

  • Borrowers cannot choose or change their payment date.

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

  • Reports payments to two of the three major credit bureaus.

Qualifications

  • Valid identification.

  • Proof of income.

  • Proof of address.

  • Up to four references.

  • Be 18 years or older.

Available Term Lengths

6 to 46 months

Fees

Disclaimer

Loans subject to credit approval and may include an origination fee. Monthly payment options may not be available; Biweekly and semi-monthly payment options are standard. For example, a $5,000 loan in California would have 66 biweekly payments of $119 over 30 months at a 37.6% APR. Terms may vary by applicant and state and are subject to change. To apply, you must be at least 18 years old, must reside within our service area (AZ, CA, FL, ID, IL, MO, NJ, NM, NV, TX, UT and WI) and must not have applied for a loan with us during the past 90 days. While a prior credit history is not required to qualify, Oportun will request and consider credit checks for all applicants. California loans made pursuant to a California Financing Law License. For loans made in other states and for other information, visit oportun.com, which includes our state licenses. This is an advertisement for a consumer loan. ©2020 Oportun, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Where to get an emergency loan

Upstart

Upstart is an online lending platform that considers alternative data on an application, including where you live and went to school, in addition to credit and income information. The company says it funds 99% of loans within one business day after approval.

Avant

Avant has a low minimum credit score requirement and says it can fund a loan one business day after approval. Its annual percentage rate includes an administrative fee up to 4.75%. The company reports payments to the three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — which can help you build credit.

OneMain

OneMain offers personal loans to borrowers with low credit scores, but they come with high APRs and an origination fee. The lender can fund loans quickly by check, but you have to visit a branch to complete the process.

LendingPoint

LendingPoint lends to borrowers with low credit scores and little existing debt. The company says it can fund a loan the business day after approval, but in some cases it could take longer.

Rocket Loans

Rocket Loans says 85% of borrowers get funds by the business day after an application is approved; the longest it takes is about three business days. Rocket Loans also lets borrowers pre-qualify online to see loan offers without affecting their credit score.

Best Egg

Best Egg says its application takes minutes to complete, and loans are funded one business day after approval, in some cases. Though the lender approves applicants with fair credit, the average credit score is 700, which falls in the good range on the FICO scale.

Oportun

Oportun offers small installment loans to borrowers with little or no credit history at rates that are high compared to other bad-credit lenders. It operates in only a few states and sometimes funds loans within hours, whether you apply online or in person.

How to choose an emergency loan

Funding speed: If you urgently need funds, consider a lender that offers fast funding, like Rocket Loans or Upstart. 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 and monthly payments on a new loan.

Lender features: In addition to the rates and fees, 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. Lenders may also provide financial education on their websites.

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 don’t check your credit when they offer you an emergency loan. Some 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 Rise 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 October 14, 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

  • Upstart: Best for Emergency loan for fair credit
  • Avant: Best for Emergency loan for bad credit
  • OneMain Financial : Best for Emergency loan for no minimum credit requirement
  • LendingPoint: Best for Emergency loans with flexible payments
  • Rocket Loans: Best for Emergency loans for fast funding
  • Best Egg: Best for Emergency loans for good credit
  • Oportun : Best for Emergency loans for small loan amounts

Frequently asked questions