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Cheap short-term loans

How to find fast, inexpensive funding for all credit types.

Updated

Short-term loans, also referred to as payday loans, can be a convenient form of credit when you need it, but they also tend to be much more expensive than other loans.

Most states have restrictions on the fees and interest short-term loan providers can to charge, but some short-term lenders in the same state may be more affordable than others. Comparing your options can help you avoid high fees and slower processing times.

Our top pick: LendYou Short-term Loans

  • Min. Loan Amount: $100
  • Max. Loan Amount: $15,000
  • Turnaround Time: 1 business day
  • Loan Term: Varies
  • Requirements: $1,000+ monthly income, direct deposit, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
  • Simple application
  • Quick decision
  • Bad credit OK

Our top pick: LendYou Short-term Loans

Get offers from potential lenders in minutes by filling out just one online form.

  • Min. Loan Amount: $100
  • Max. Loan Amount: $15,000
  • Turnaround Time: 1 business day
  • Loan Term: Varies
  • Requirements: $1,000+ monthly income, direct deposit, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+

A selection of cheap short-term loans you can apply for

Check the websites of any providers you’re interested in to confirm they operate in your state of residence.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values Max. Loan Amount Turnaround time Requirements
Check Into Cash Payday Loan
$1,000
1 to 2 business days
Bank account, email address, phone number, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 21+
Plus, get access to check cashing, cell phone top ups, bill pay and more at one of its many storefronts.
LendYou Short-term Loans
$15,000
Same business day to 1 business days
$1,000+ monthly income, direct deposit, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
Get offers from potential lenders in minutes by filling out just one online form.
Fast5kLoans Short-term Loans Connection Service
$35,000
As soon as the next business day
Regular source of income, verifiable bank account, US citizen, ages 18+
Get connected with multiple lenders you might qualify with — even if you have bad credit.
OppLoans Installment Loans
$5,000
1 business day
Direct deposit, meet minimum income requirements, live in eligible state
Comes with the option to change your due date so you won’t fall behind on repayments.
Possible Finance Mobile Installment Loans
$500
As fast as 1 business day
Checking account with 3+ months of banking history, $750+ monthly income, live in eligible state, ages 18+
Borrow up to $500 with just a few swipes — but only for residents of 5 states.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How do these loans work?

A cheap short-term loan is one that charges lower interest rates and lower fees when compared to similar loans. In most cases, states have regulations in place that keep these costs below a certain level. Some lenders may have smaller fees and lower APRs below the legal upper limit of the state to remain competitive.

For example, short-term lenders in New Hampshire can charge an annual rate of up to 36% for short-term loans, but you may find lenders who are willing to charge you less. This would qualify as a cheap short-term loan. Knowing the regulations of your state can help you identify lenders that are charging fewer fees and have a lower APR.

Some states don’t allow payday loans. In this case, there are other options if you need extra money.

Find out how much your lenders can charge in your state.

What features come with a cheap short-term loan?

When you’re comparing your cheap short-term loan options, lenders will generally have the following features:

  • Lower APR. short-term loans charge interest in the form on an APR, which varies from one lender to the next. Cheap short-term loans charge lower interest, although the APR may still be high when compared to other credit products from a traditional bank or through a credit card.
  • Fees. Keep an eye out for late fees, loan refinancing fees and fees for receiving approved funds through a debit card. While state regulations govern how much short-term lenders can charge and if you can refinance, these differ between states and some states don’t have any regulations at all.
  • Online application and approval. If you’re looking to apply, you can submit your application online. You generally won’t be required to fax any documents over and the turnaround time is quick, usually within a few hours or by the next business day.
  • Bad credit applicants accepted. If you have bad credit, you can still apply for a cheap short-term loan. The lender is mainly concerned that you will be able to repay the loan so having a regular income is the key when you’re looking to be approved.

Benefits and drawbacks

  • Multiple options. There are a number of direct short-term lenders available for comparison online and loan-matching services who can find a lender for you.
  • Apply from anywhere. Most short-term lenders in the US have an online presence, and there are plenty of options if you’d like to apply in-store. Whatever your preference, it’s easy to apply and get the funds you need.
  • Bad credit is OK. short-term lenders generally lend to bad credit applicants, and you can find lenders who do not report to the three main credit reporting agencies so borrowing won’t affect your credit.
  • Fees. Even though these are considered the cheaper short-term loan options, short-term loans are still an expensive form of credit. Watch out for high APRs and extra fees for late payments or refinancing your loan.
  • Short repayment schedules. You don’t have much time to repay a short-term loan. Most lenders require the entire amount be repaid within a 30-day period.
  • Disreputable lenders. There are many disreputable lenders operating online who prey on people with bad credit so make sure you evaluate the lender before you apply.

How to get a fast short-term loan

Is there anything I should avoid?

Repaying a loan later than scheduled might cause you to pay considerably high late fees, NSF charges and loan refinancing fees, which can all negatively impact your credit rating.

A good way to find out about all applicable fees and charges is to review your loan’s terms and conditions carefully. If you don’t think you’ll be able to repay your loan on time, it’s best not to take it out in the first place. All reputable lenders will provide all information on your loan contract, and if you don’t agree, you don’t have to sign it.

Frequently asked questions about cheap short-term loans

Are payday loans available in my state?

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