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Instant cash loans compared

An instant cash loan can cover you when the unexpected happens.

There are times in life when you may find you need cash quickly, but a loan from a bank or other lender can take up to a week. Some brands specialise in instant cash loans with online approval, and they can give you the money you need in just a few hours. Find out how you can apply and receive funds today.

⚠️ Warning: be cautious with short-term loans

If you're experiencing financial hardship and would like to speak to someone for free financial counselling, you can call the MoneyTalks helpline operated by FinCap on 0800 345 123. It is open from 8:00am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm Saturday. When comparing short term loans, ensure you take into consideration any fees, charges and rates you may be charged.

Alternatives to short-term loans

Consider these alternatives before applying for a payday loan:

  • Use online Government resources. The Commerce Commission New Zealand website explains how loans works and what to be aware of when borrowing from a lender.
  • Payment plans. Talk to your electricity, gas, phone or water provider to see if you can work out a payment plan or receive an extension on your due date if you’re behind on payments.
  • Contact your creditors. Speak with creditors about extending the due date of your payment, or working out a new payment plan that works for both of you. Seek personal loans elsewhere. Consider a small personal loan from a bank or a credit union. You may qualify for a loan with much lower interest rates than those offered by payday loan companies.
  • Pay with credit card. Consider paying with your credit card to cover your emergency bills or payments. This is not a long term solution, as you’ll need to pay off the balance as soon as possible, but it’s an alternative to a short term loan with high – and immediate – interest rates.

Instant cash loans comparison

Select ‘Compare’ in the table below to compare the turnaround time to receive funds across lenders.

1 - 2 of 2
Name Product Max Loan Amount Loan Term Turnaround Time Loan Interest Establishment Fee Account Administration Fee
Save My Bacon Flex Loan
12 - 36 months
Same day
49.95% p.a
$4 per month
Eligibility: Be 18 or over, have an income of at least $400 per week and be a NZ citizen, permanent resident or have a valid work visa.
Medium term loans from $2,000 to $5,000 with no hidden fees.
Moola Loan
92 - 184 days
Often available in under 60 minutes
292% p.a.
(fixed for the term of the loan)
Eligibility: Be 18 or over, be in employment and be a New Zealand citizen, permanent resident or have a valid working visa.
Borrow up to $1,500 and enjoy a flexible repayment plan.

Compare up to 4 providers

How to apply for an instant cash loan in 3 steps on Finder

  1. Compare options using the table above. Once you find a lender, click “More info” to review the loan’s fees and terms or “Go to site” to submit an application.
  2. Wait for the lender’s response, which usually takes around 60 seconds.
  3. If approved, you could receive the cash on the same or next business day.

Is there a way to make sure I'm approved?

While there’s no magic trick to getting your application across the line, it helps to know how the application process works to avoid mistakes. All cash advance companies need to see verification of your income. Lenders usually ask for 90 days worth of bank statements to verify your income, and you may also need to provide Work and Income documents or your payslips. Your bank statements can be submitted as a PDF. Cash lenders also need to verify your identity, which can be in the form of a driver’s licence or passport.

How much cash can I instantly borrow?

Instant cash loans can vary depending on the lender you apply with, the amount you earn and the state of your credit history. Some lenders limit the amount you can borrow on your initial loan, so it is essential to check the criteria of each lender before you apply.

Most lenders offer loans of between $100 and $2,000, but others may provide amounts of up to $5,000. If you ensure all the documents you need to apply are in order, you could potentially maximise your borrowing power.

What features do I get from instant cash loans of $100–$2,000?

Instant cash loans are small personal loans that you can receive quickly. Usually, lenders that offer these loans have flexible lending terms because of the nature of the loan. Here are some features of these type of loans:

  • They are small, potentially manageable loans. Lenders generally offer anything from $100 to $2,000, but the amount the provider approves depends on your financial circumstances.
  • They can serve any (legal) purpose. If your car has broken down or you need that last-minute gift for your partner, lenders design these loans to cover you until your next payday. They allow you to fund anything you may need (within the law). Bear in mind, the amount you borrow and the length of the lending term depends on your pay rate and how regularly you receive your income.
  • Repayments are simplified. Instant cash loans differ from personal loans in that you have to pay the amount back in full rather than in monthly instalments, as is the case with personal loans. You can choose to pay back what you borrow, plus fees, on an agreed-upon date.
  • They offer convenience. Many instant cash loan sites allow you to apply online and can approve your loan within minutes, making this a convenient way to access additional funds if necessary. The lender typically transfers your loan within one business day.

Instant cash loans: What you need to know

The one thing you will notice about instant cash loans is they have a higher cost than traditional loans. Take a look at the fees and rates and make sure it is manageable on your budget. Some lenders may also allow you to pay the loan back early, which is a great option because it helps save on fees. There might be the temptation to keep using instant cash loans, but try not to do this, and only use them in an emergency.

Here’s why instant loans are growing in popularity

  • The loans are convenient. You can apply for different types of credit by applying online. All you require is a computer, smartphone or a tablet. If you use an iOS or Android device, you can even find apps to help you apply for loans.
  • The turnaround time is quick. Some online lenders transfer the funds into the nominated bank account on the day of application, while others may do this the following day.
  • The eligibility criteria are flexible. You don’t need a perfect credit history to receive a quick money advance. Even with bad credit, you can access multiple options. However, it’s essential that you have a regular income and display the ability to manage the repayments.
  • There is a range of options available. Applying for a fast cash advance presents multiple choices, which include payday loans, personal loans, personal lines of credit and bad credit loans. The Internet allows you to choose from a wider range of alternatives than a brick-and-mortar establishment.

Why should I compare my instant cash loan options?

When you’re looking for a lender for instant cash, taking your time to do research may not be your priority. However, getting the right loan and the right provider potentially saves you a lot of trouble down the track. Here are a few reasons why making the effort to compare lenders at the outset is in your best interest:

  • You can avoid missing out. Are the lender’s fees competitive? Do you know your loan options if you’re an unemployed borrower? If you come to the market thinking you have no options, and you apply for the first loan you find, you may miss out on a better choice.
  • You can filter out the dodgy lenders. Unfortunately, there are less-than-reputable lenders operating in the payday loans market. These lenders approve loans that borrowers cannot afford, then charge late fees when the borrower is late on repayments or defaults on the loan. It’s vital to compare and filter out these lenders to avoid them. Also, consider the following: Are the lender’s fees reasonable? Is the fee structure transparent? Is the lender easily contactable? Can you find reviews of the lender?

The benefits and drawbacks of instant cash loans

The benefits

  • Access to cash when you need it. Sometimes life can throw you a curveball, and you need extra money for the expense. Instant cash loans can help you out of a tight spot.
  • Quick turnaround. If you receive approval, you may receive funds in your bank account within 30 minutes or up to one business day.
  • Online application process. If you need instant cash, you can apply from the comfort of your computer, tablet or smartphone.
The drawbacks

  • High fees. The higher risk for the lender means you pay more fees for the convenience of the cash.
  • Debt trap. Taking out a loan with a quick approval rate may seem like the answer to unexpected debt, but it sometimes leads people already facing financial problems into a worse situation.
  • Disreputable lenders. It’s essential to do your research and compare loans before you apply online, to ensure your details are 100% safe and secure.

Other considerations for instant loans

  • Repayments may be unaffordable. Make sure you check out the regular repayments so you know you can repay the full loan during the provider’s loan term. If you can’t, you may find extra fees may apply. Repayment terms for instant cash loans are shorter than regular personal loans.
  • Consider loan fees. Ensure you completely understand what charges are imposed if you are late with a payment or default on the loan.
  • Multiple applications. Every loan application you make shows up on credit reports. Although instant loan providers may not take your credit history into account, if you make several applications within a short time, it can have a negative impact on your credit score in the future.
  • Legal issues. Once you sign a loan agreement, you are bound to its conditions until you repay the full amount. Instant cash loans are usually unsecured, which means the provider can initiate legal proceedings against you if you can’t repay the loan.

Alternatives to an instant cash loan

  • Payday loans. You can apply for a short-term loan, even if you have bad credit, as the lender focuses more on your current financial situation. If you can apply in-store, you can get the money you need almost immediately.
  • Personal loans. Some banks provide same-day personal loans to its existing customers, and you can even apply online through Internet banking. Some online providers of personal loans give you access to funds on the same day.
  • Overdraft. Good creditworthiness or a longstanding positive relationship with your bank can help you access quick money. You can apply for an overdraft facility linked to your existing transaction account using your bank’s online banking system. This way, you have access to extra money as and when you need it.
  • Credit card cash advance. Using your existing credit card for a cash advance is an option. If this is possible, you just have to visit your closest ATM. When getting a credit card cash advance, remember you might have to pay higher interest in comparison to how much you pay for purchases, but some cards also offer low cash-advance rates.
  • Other alternatives. You don’t necessarily have to borrow to get quick cash. Consider selling unwanted things you own through websites such as Trade Me or eBay. You could also consider having a garage sale to make the money you need.

How can I find out if I’m eligible?

You typically have to be over the age of 18 and receive a regular income to apply for a cash loan. However, some lenders may approve you if you receive part or all of your income through Work and Income.

The eligibility criteria for instant cash loans are typically less stringent than other personal loans. Most lenders focus on your income and current financial situation, rather than your credit history. Some lenders allow you to repeatedly borrow from them if you prove yourself to be a responsible borrower and it may increase the amount you can borrow.

How can I find the right instant cash loan for me?

When comparing instance cash loans, pay attention to these aspects:

  • Check the turnaround time. When you need quick cash, the turnaround time is crucial. While getting a cash advance within the hour is possible, you typically have to apply well within business hours, and you may need to pay an extra fee for this service. You also have to make sure you have all the required documents. Depending on the provider, and if your loan is approved on a business day, the funds can be transferred into your nominated bank account on the same day.
  • What interest rate do lenders charge? The type of credit you receive has a significant bearing on the interest rate. For example, payday loans usually attract noticeably higher fees (represented as a percentage) than personal loans. Your creditworthiness and the lender you work with also affect the interest rate you get.
  • Is there transparency in the fees? Hidden fees can quickly add to the cost of a loan. Work with a lender who offers a transparent fee structure. Find out how much you may have to pay in application fees, loan disbursement fees, late payment fees and prepayment penalties.
  • Loan term. Selecting the right loan term can make your loan more cost-effective. While extending a loan term leads to lower periodical repayments, it increases how much you pay in interest, and vice versa.

Getting a quick loan can be easy, providing you meet some basic criteria. However, it’s essential you compare a range of loans before deciding which one is right for you.

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