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Fast Personal Loans: Best Lenders for Quick Cash

Fast loans are one way to pay for emergencies and other short-term borrowing needs. Compare rates and terms — and stick with reputable lenders.

By Annie Millerbernd and  Ronita Choudhuri-Wade 

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. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Fast personal loans can provide cash for nearly any purpose, from car repairs to moving expenses. Online lenders are convenient and quick — some can provide same-day or next-day funding for qualified borrowers.

Consider rates and terms — in addition to the time a lender takes to fund a loan — when you compare fast cash loans from online lenders.

The personal loans listed here are from reputable online lenders that check your credit as part of the application process. All the lenders say it takes a few days or less to fund a loan.

Fast Personal Loans: Best Lenders for Quick Cash

Our pick for

Same-day approval, same-day funding

SoFi
Get rate

on SoFi's website

SoFi

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi

Est. APR

7.99-23.43%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

None
Get rate

on SoFi's website

Lightstream
Get rate

on LightStream's website

LightStream

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lightstream

Est. APR

6.99-23.99%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

660
Get rate

on LightStream's website

Alliant Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Alliant Personal Loan

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Alliant Personal Loan

Est. APR

6.24-27.24%

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

620
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

RocketLoans
Get rate

on Rocket Loans' website

Rocket Loans

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
RocketLoans

Est. APR

7.73-29.99%

Loan amount

$2,000-$45,000

Min. credit score

640
Get rate

on Rocket Loans' website

Our pick for

Same-day approval, next-day funding

OneMain
Get rate

on OneMain Financial's website

OneMain Financial

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
OneMain

Est. APR

18.00-35.99%

Loan amount

$1,500-$20,000

Min. credit score

None
Get rate

on OneMain Financial's website

Upstart
Get rate

on Upstart's website

Upstart

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Upstart

Est. APR

6.50-35.99%

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

None
Get rate

on Upstart's website

Avant
Get rate

on Avant's website

Avant

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Avant

Est. APR

9.95-35.95%

Loan amount

$2,000-$35,000

Min. credit score

550
Get rate

on Avant's website

LendingPoint
Get rate

on LendingPoint's website

LendingPoint

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
LendingPoint

Est. APR

7.99-35.99%

Loan amount

$2,000-$36,500

Min. credit score

600
Get rate

on LendingPoint's website

Discover
Get rate

on Discover's website

Discover® Personal Loans

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Discover

Est. APR

6.99-24.99%

Loan amount

$2,500-$35,000

Min. credit score

660
Get rate

on Discover's website

Our pick for

Approval in a couple of days, next-day funding

Upgrade
Get rate

on Upgrade's website

Upgrade

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Upgrade

Est. APR

8.49-35.97%

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

560
Get rate

on Upgrade's website

How to get a fast personal loan

There are a few steps you can take to prepare for your loan application to help move it 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 credit score and the length of the loan term can 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 lenders understand your creditworthiness and shows you how much you may qualify for. It doesn’t guarantee you a loan, but it can help you compare loans without affecting your credit score. It’s a good idea to research lenders to identify loans with the lowest rate. This may mean looking at your bank, local credit union and online lenders for comparison.

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

Fast loans online

Online lenders can be a convenient and fast option for personal loans. Many online lenders let you pre-qualify to estimate your rate without affecting your credit score. They often let you apply, receive the money and make payments completely online.

Online loans typically have annual percentage rates from 6% to 36%, and loan amounts range from $1,000 to $100,000. Researching lenders to find one that matches your needs and credit score can expedite the application process. Lenders like Discover and LightStream can be options for those with good or excellent credit (credit score of 690 or higher), while LendingPoint and Upgrade accept borrowers with fair or bad credit (credit score of 689 or lower).

Fast credit union loans

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

Federal credit unions cap annual percentage rates at 18% on personal loans. Credit unions may also use an applicant's history as a member to inform loan decisions, so if you've been in good standing with a credit union for a while, that may be a factor in a loan decision.

Fast 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 will 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.

Though many online lenders can fund loans quickly, take the time to compare bad-credit loans before borrowing and make a plan to repay the loan.

Fast cash without a loan

Before you borrow — and 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 compare rates, loan features and terms. Pre-qualifying on NerdWallet with our lender partners won’t affect your credit score.

Last updated on February 1, 2023

Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 financial institutions. We collect over 45 data points from each lender, interview company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. 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. 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.

This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate most financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. 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 Fast Personal Loans: Best Lenders for Quick Cash

Frequently asked questions