Quick Loans: Best Lenders for Fast Cash in 2024

Ronita Choudhuri-WadeAnnie Millerbernd
Written by
and
Last updated on July 1, 2024
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Kim Lowe
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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Quick Loans: Best Lenders for Fast Cash in 2024

Lightstream
LightStream
Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, same-day funding
4.5
Rate discount
Est. APR
6.99-25.49%
Loan amount
$5K-$100K
Min. credit score
660
Visit Lender
on LightStream's website
on LightStream's website
Check Rate
on NerdWallet
on NerdWallet
View details
🏆 Top 3 most visited
SoFi
SoFi Personal Loan
🏆 Top 3 most visited
Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, same-day funding
Rate discount
Est. APR
8.99-29.99%
Loan amount
$5K-$100K
Min. credit score
None
Upgrade
Upgrade
Best for Fast loans with approval in a couple of days, next-day funding
Rate discount
Est. APR
8.49-35.99%
Loan amount
$1K-$50K
Min. credit score
560
Check Rate
on NerdWallet
on NerdWallet
BestEgg
Best Egg
Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, next-day funding
Secured loans
Wide range of loan amounts
Est. APR
8.99-35.99%
Loan amount
$2K-$50K
Min. credit score
600
Upstart
Upstart
Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, next-day funding
Fast funding
Flexible payments
Est. APR
7.80-35.99%
Loan amount
$1K-$50K
Min. credit score
None
RocketLoans
Rocket Loans
Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, same-day funding
Fast funding
Rate discount
Est. APR
9.12-29.99%
Loan amount
$2K-$45K
Min. credit score
640
Discover
Discover® Personal Loans
Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, next-day funding
Fast funding
Est. APR
7.99-24.99%
Loan amount
$2.5K-$40K
Min. credit score
660
LendingPoint
LendingPoint
Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, next-day funding
Fast funding
Flexible payments
Est. APR
7.99-35.99%
Loan amount
$2K-$37K
Min. credit score
660
Universal Credit
Universal Credit
Best for Fast loans with approval in a couple of days, next-day funding
Fast funding
Rate discount
Est. APR
11.69-35.99%
Loan amount
$1K-$50K
Min. credit score
560
Lightstream
LightStreamBest for Fast loans with same-day approval, same-day funding
Est. APR
6.99-25.49%
Loan amount
$5K-$100K
Min. credit score
660
Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, same-day funding
Rate discount
Visit Lender
on LightStream's website
on LightStream's website
Check Rate
on NerdWallet
on NerdWallet
SoFi
🏆 Top 3 most visited
SoFi Personal LoanBest for Fast loans with same-day approval, same-day funding
🏆 Top 3 most visited
Est. APR
8.99-29.99%
Loan amount
$5K-$100K
Min. credit score
None
Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, same-day funding
Rate discount
UpgradeBest for Fast loans with approval in a couple of days, next-day funding
Est. APR
8.49-35.99%
Loan amount
$1K-$50K
Min. credit score
560
Best for Fast loans with approval in a couple of days, next-day funding
Rate discount
Check Rate
on NerdWallet
on NerdWallet
Best EggBest for Fast loans with same-day approval, next-day funding
Est. APR
8.99-35.99%
Loan amount
$2K-$50K
Min. credit score
600
Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, next-day funding
Secured loans
Wide range of loan amounts
UpstartBest for Fast loans with same-day approval, next-day funding
Est. APR
7.80-35.99%
Loan amount
$1K-$50K
Min. credit score
None
Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, next-day funding
Fast funding
Flexible payments
Rocket LoansBest for Fast loans with same-day approval, same-day funding
Est. APR
9.12-29.99%
Loan amount
$2K-$45K
Min. credit score
640
Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, same-day funding
Fast funding
Rate discount
Discover® Personal LoansBest for Fast loans with same-day approval, next-day funding
Est. APR
7.99-24.99%
Loan amount
$2.5K-$40K
Min. credit score
660
Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, next-day funding
Fast funding
LendingPointBest for Fast loans with same-day approval, next-day funding
Est. APR
7.99-35.99%
Loan amount
$2K-$37K
Min. credit score
660
Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, next-day funding
Fast funding
Flexible payments
Universal CreditBest for Fast loans with approval in a couple of days, next-day funding
Est. APR
11.69-35.99%
Loan amount
$1K-$50K
Min. credit score
560
Best for Fast loans with approval in a couple of days, next-day funding
Fast funding
Rate discount

What is a quick loan?

A quick loan is a personal loan with a fast approval and funding process. Personal loans are generally unsecured, which means they don't require collateral that takes time to appraise. Instead, lenders consider your credit, income and debt when determining if you qualify and the rate.

Annual percentage rates on personal loans range from 6% to 36%, with the lowest rates going to borrowers with strong credit. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $100,000, and monthly payments are fixed for the loan term, typically two to seven years.

Consider rates and terms — in addition to funding time — when you compare fast personal loans from lenders.

Where to get a quick loan

Banks, credit unions and online lenders offer personal loans, and each can have different approval and funding times.

Fast online loans

Online lenders let borrowers apply, receive money and make payments entirely online. The time from approval to receiving the funds can range from same-day to a few business days, depending on the lender.

Many online lenders offer the option to pre-qualify before applying to see prospective rates and terms without affecting your credit score. Some lenders may charge an origination fee that is deducted from your loan amount and adds to the cost of your loan.

Lenders like Discover and LightStream can be options for those with good or excellent credit (score of 690 or higher), while Upstart and Upgrade accept borrowers with fair or bad credit (score of 689 or lower).

» COMPARE: Best online personal loans

Fast credit union loans

Some credit unions can fund personal loans quickly. Alliant Credit Union, for example, funds loans the same day, though you’ll need to be a member for 90 days before you apply.

Credit unions often have lower annual percentage rates, which can make it a cheaper option. An applicant's history as a member can inform loan decisions, so being in good standing with a credit union may help your application.

Fast bank loans

Banks offer personal loans, but funding may take up to a week. Some banks accept loan applications only from existing customers, and you may have to apply in person for a loan. Banks also tend to favor borrowers with strong credit scores.

Quick loans to avoid

Payday loans and high-interest installment loans are both options that offer quick funding but can be expensive and difficult to repay. Try to avoid fast loans with high interest rates whenever possible.

Payday loans are short-term loans that are repaid from your next paycheck. While funds can be obtained almost instantly, loans can carry an APR of nearly 400%. Payday loans are commonly offered for small amounts like $500 or less and should be considered a last resort.

High-interest installment loans are repaid over a few weeks to months, which allows you more time to repay the loan when compared to a payday loan. However, interest rates can be more than 36%, the maximum rate that most consumer advocates consider affordable.

For example, a $1,000 loan with a six-month term and a 60% APR would cost $182 in interest and require a $197 monthly payment. The same loan with a 20% APR would cost $59 in interest. It’s best to avoid high-interest installment loans if possible, as high APRs can make it difficult to pay these loans off.

Frequently asked questions

  • Some lenders say they can approve a loan application in minutes and fund a loan in a day or two of approval, while others may take a few days for each. Generally, you should get the funds from a loan within a week of approval.

  • It is safe to get a loan from an online lender; you just need to choose a reputable lender. Features like no credit checks and annual percentage rates above 36% should be red flags. Know the signs of predatory loans to avoid a debt trap.

How to get a quick loan

Here are steps you can take to help move a loan application along quickly:

  1. Gather documentation: Know what you need to apply for the loan so the lender can easily verify your identity, income and other information. Lenders often say their ability to fund a loan quickly depends on borrowers’ responsiveness to requests for documentation.

  2. Calculate estimated payments: Use a personal loan calculator to see how rates and loan terms affect monthly payments. Then, consider how the estimated monthly payment may impact your budget.

  3. Pre-qualify and compare loans: Pre-qualifying for a personal loan helps show how much you may qualify for and the rate. It doesn’t guarantee a loan, but it can help you compare loan options without affecting your credit score. 

  4. Apply: Depending on your lender, you can apply for a personal loan online or in person. Smaller banks and credit unions may request physical applications, while online lenders offer faster web-based applications. You can typically get a decision within a day after submitting all the necessary information. If approved, expect to receive funds in your bank account within a day or two.

Quick loans for bad credit

Some lenders offer fast loans for borrowers with bad credit (629 or lower credit score). If you have bad credit, a low debt-to-income ratio and proof of stable income can help you qualify.

Your credit score doesn't affect how long it takes for a lender to fund your loan, but your loan is likely to have a high APR, and you may not be approved for a large loan amount.

A credit union may be the best option for bad-credit borrowers. They offer lower loan rates and look at more than just your credit score when reviewing your application. However, credit unions typically require membership and some require a few days to fund a loan.

Many online lenders can fund loans faster, but take the time to pre-qualify and compare bad-credit loans before borrowing. Choose a loan with a monthly payment that fits your budget and make a plan to repay the loan.

How to get quick cash without a loan

Before you borrow — especially if the rate you pre-qualify for is high — see if you can delay the expense or find an interest-free cash source. NerdWallet recommends trying all these cheaper alternatives before taking a high-cost loan:

Next step: Pre-qualify on NerdWallet

When you pre-qualify, you get the chance to quickly compare rates, loan features and terms. Pre-qualifying on NerdWallet with our lender partners won’t affect your credit score.

PRE-QUALIFY ON NERDWALLET

Last updated on July 1, 2024

Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 technology companies and financial institutions. We collect over 50 data points from each lender and cross-check company websites, earnings reports and other public documents to confirm product details. We may also go through a lender’s pre-qualification flow and follow up with company representatives. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.

Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. Our ratings award fewer points to lenders with practices that may make a loan difficult to repay on time, such as charging high annual percentage rates (above 36%), underwriting that does not adequately assess consumers’ ability to repay and lack of credit-building help. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences.

NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read more about our ratings methodologies for personal loans and our editorial guidelines.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Quick Loans: Best Lenders for Fast Cash in 2024

  • LightStream: Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, same-day funding
  • SoFi Personal Loan: Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, same-day funding
  • Upgrade: Best for Fast loans with approval in a couple of days, next-day funding
  • Best Egg: Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, next-day funding
  • Upstart: Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, next-day funding
  • Rocket Loans: Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, same-day funding
  • Discover® Personal Loans: Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, next-day funding
  • LendingPoint: Best for Fast loans with same-day approval, next-day funding
  • Universal Credit: Best for Fast loans with approval in a couple of days, next-day funding
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