There aren’t many personal lenders that offer loans under $500. If you only need up to $300, you may be limited to cash advance apps, payday advances, or maybe a personal loan. However, the good news is that these small, short-term loans tend to be more flexible with credit scores — and many don’t even pull credit reports.
Compare $300 loans for all types of credit situations
For loans $300 or less, compare these eight providers that offer quick funding. Many of these lenders offer cash advances, but we’ve also located lenders that offer personal loans, installment loans and a connection service.
|Lender||Requirements||Loan type||Finder rating|
|Smart Advances||Connection service||★★★★★|
|Fast 5K Loans||Personal loan||★★★★★|
|CashNetUSA||Payday loans, installment loans and lines of credit||★★★★★|
|Possible||Short-term installment loans|
|B9 pay advance||Cash advance|
How much does a $300 loan cost?
The overall cost of a $300 loan largely depends on what type of loan you go with. For example, payday loans often come with a starting APR of 300% and can be as high as 700%. Installment loans tend to have lower APRs, typically ranging from 40% to 300% — but they have longer terms so the overall interest charges as payday loans.
If you go with a cash advance app, you may have to plan for other fees such as tips alongside interest charges. Some cash advance apps charge monthly subscription fees as well, like Brigit, which requires a monthly fee of $9.99. Some other apps require minimum direct deposits or minimum checking account balances as well.
How long does it take to get a $300 loan funded?
Loans as small as $300 can often be funded within a few days, or occasionally, within one business day.
Cash advance apps can be instant, whereas installment loans can take a few days or possibly a week or so. How fast you get the funds is largely dependent on the lender you choose and the type of loan.
How to pay off $300 in debt
Loans under $300 are usually completed within a few weeks — they rarely reach six month terms or longer. But if you’re overwhelmed with other balances and the new loans you’re taking on, consider these tactics.
- Credit consultation agency. There are debt consultation agencies that assist borrowers with debt organization, payoff strategies and maybe even negotiations with your creditors for lower balances or lower rates.
- Debt consolidation. If the $300 is another in the pool, and you’re struggling to keep up with multiple monthly payments, then debt consolidation is worth looking into. It involves paying off multiple accounts with one loan so that you’re left with one larger balance that can be easier to manage month-to-month.
- Early payoffs. This may not apply to every borrower, but if you can manage an early payoff on a loan, it can be worth it. Paying loans off early can reduce interest charges — just make sure your loan doesn’t have any prepayment penalties.
Eligibility requirements for a $300 loan
Lenders rarely check credit scores for loans less than $300, so even if you have poor credit, you may still have a solid shot at getting approved for a short-term loan.
However, a legit lender should have some requirements, and they’re often along these lines:
- An active bank account with a positive balance.
- Be at least 18 years old, or older depending on your state.
- Steady income with a consistent work history.
- Have enough available income to repay the loan after other monthly obligations.
- No active bankruptcies.
- Be a US citizen or permanent resident.
How to increase your chances of approval
You’ve likely been told that having a good credit score greatly increases your chances of loan approval — but that’s not going to be a lender’s main requirement if you only need $300.
One of the better ways to increase your approval chances with a $300 loan or cash advance is to have a consistent work history, have a positive bank account balance, and make sure you have enough available income to meet requirements for the type of loan you’re applying for.
What to watch out for
With cash advances or payday loans, one of the biggest things to watch out for is mega-high APRs. Take your time to stop around, because rates can get as high as 700% APR.
Additionally, avoid lenders with these traits:
- No requirements. A lender that advertises a guaranteed approval before seeing any income or documents from you may be a bad sign. A legit lender should have some minimum requirements.
- Persuading you to take on more. If you only need $300, and the lender tries to persuade you to take on more, then they may not actually be concerned with your creditworthiness or financial security — don’t feel pressured to take on more debt than what you need.
- Won’t disclose rates until you’ve signed. Lenders that guard over rates, terms and conditions is a major red flag. You should know what you’re getting into before signing, so aim for a lender that’s clear about its requirements and loan terms.
- All the reviews are poor. If a lender’s Better Business Bureau customer reviews are nearly all negative, looking elsewhere may be a good move. A few negative reviews are expected from lenders, but an overwhelming majority can be a telltale sign of unethical loans or shady operations.
Alternatives for short-term loans
Payday advances, cash advance apps and short-term installment loans are likely your best chances of getting a $300 loan — many traditional lenders don’t offer loans that low. However, if you’re looking for something else, these three alternatives might be worth exploring.
- If you have a credit card, a credit card cash advance could work out nicely.
- A unique form of lending, lending circles can offer loans with very low rates.
- If you’re a member of a credit union, explore payday alternative loans (PALs).
For more information on these alternatives and eight other options, see our full list of 11 payday loan alternatives.
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