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Short-term loans for single parents

How to find fast funding, what to watch out for and alternatives.


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Short-term loans like payday and installment loans could help single mothers and fathers out in a pinch — an unexpected medical bill or fixing a car. While they can often get you money the same day, short-term loans are highly expensive. Consider all of your options before you apply.

Are payday loans available in my state?

How do short-term loans work for single parents?

Short-term loans, also known as payday loans, are fast financing between $100 and $10,000 for a period of 14 days to 18 months. These are open to borrowers with all credit and income ranges — including single mothers or fathers with lots of personal expenses. You can can apply online or in-person and often get your funds the same or the next day.

Compare short-term loans

Here are some loan providers that you can apply to. Note that the max loan amount is based on the lender’s max amount and your state of residence. Check the websites of any providers you’re interested in to confirm they operate in your state of residence.

Data updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values Loan amount Turnaround time Requirements
OppLoans Installment Loans
$500 - $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.
Pheabs installment loan connection service
$100 - $35,000
As soon as next business day
Fair credit accepted
Check Into Cash Payday Loan
$50 - $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.
Fast5kLoans Short-term Loans Connection Service
$100 - $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.
Monevo Installment Loans
$500 - $100,000
Varies by lender
Credit score of 500+, legal US resident, ages 18+
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.

Compare up to 4 providers

Compare short-term loan connection services

These lender matching services are not lenders, loan brokers or agents for any lender or loan broker. They also do not make credit decisions. They focus on trying to match you with a lender that might be able to provide you the funds you seek. Note that the max loan amount is based on the matching services max amount, but it will vary based on your state of residence. If you proceed with one of these services, confirm that the lender is reputable by checking with your local government.

Data updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values Loan amount Turnaround time Requirements
Fast5kLoans Short-term Loans Connection Service
$100 - $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.
LendYou Short-term Loans
$100 - $15,000
Same business day to 1 business day
$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.
$500 - $10,000
Depending on lender requirements, people from all 50 states may not be eligible for a personal loan.
With straightforward, simple qualifications, these loans offer easy approval for people with poor credit.
Slam Dunk Loans
$100 - $50,000
Same business day to 1 business days
Employed, $800+ regular monthly income, checking account, ages 18+, US citizen
Fill out a simple online form to compare offers from several lenders that may be able to help.
CashUSA Installment Loans
$500 - $10,000
As fast as same business day
Regular source of income, bank account, US citizen or permanent resident, age of majority in your state
Explore its online education center to get tips on budgeting, how to prioritize your bills and more. Payday Loans
$100 - $1,000
1 to 2 business days
Employed, $1,000+ monthly income after taxes, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
Use its repayment calculator to see how the loan term and amount you borrow affects the overall cost.

Compare up to 4 providers

How to find the right loan

If you’re in need of quick funds you may be tempted to apply for the first loan you see, but there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • How much you can borrow. Lenders usually offer between $100 and $2,000, but if you’re a first-time borrower you may only be eligible for less. There are higher loan amounts available – up to $5,000 and $10,000.
  • When you need to repay the loan. You will usually be offered loan terms to suit your pay frequency. For example, if you get paid biweekly your repayments will be set to be taken from your account every two weeks. Loan terms can extend up to one year.
  • What the fees are. Fees will vary by state and lender.
  • When you will receive the funds. You can usually receive your funds on the same day you are approved, although some lenders may transfer it to you the next business day.

Can I get a short-term loan with bad credit?

The majority of short-term lenders will consider you for a loan even if you have bad credit. Lenders may have other eligibility criteria you need to meet, such as receiving a regular income or having more than 50% of your income come from government assistance. As long as you meet the minimum criteria set by the lender (which you can find on review pages) you can apply.

How to apply for a short-term loan

Applying for a short-term loan is simple. You can start by comparing your options using the comparison table on this page. Once you’ve found a loan, click the “Go to site” button to be redirected through to the lender’s online application form.

You’ll need to provide a form of ID and details of your employment or financial situation.

The application won’t take long to complete and you should receive an instant response as to whether you have been approved. Once you’ve signed the loan contract, you will receive your loan amount within the time specified by the lender.

How short term loans work

What to consider before applying for a payday loan

While short-term loans can seem like a good solution to take advantage of, there are a few drawbacks to be aware of.

  • It’s expensive. Payday loans can come with APRs over 700%. In contrast, most personal loans stop at 36%.
  • Risk getting caught in a cycle of debt. Many borrowers renew their loans at least once, which increases the cost of the loan and can be even more difficult to pay off.
  • Predatory lenders. While there are legit payday lenders out there, some payday loan companies don’t offer loans meant to trick customers into paying more than they might have otherwise.
  • Not available everywhere. Payday loans are illegal in many states, so they might not even be an option for you.

Watch out for payday loan scams

What other financing options do single parents have?

Payday and installment loans aren’t the only way you can get money quickly. You also might want to consider:

  • Grants for single parents. Several organizations offer grants to help cover expenses from child care to food. The application might take some time but you won’t have to pay it back.
  • Non-profit loans. Some nonprofit organizations like KivaFriends offer affordable loans for single parents as an alternative to short-term financing.
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The federal government’s TANF program gives single parents short-term cash advances to eligible applicants. You can apply through the US office of Family Assistance.
  • Title loans. If you have a car, motorcycle or other vehicle, you can often get a same-day short-term loan with a slightly lower rate by using your vehicle’s title as collateral. You can still drive around but risk losing your car if you default.
  • Payday alternative loans (PALs). Some federal credit unions offer payday loan alternatives from $200 to $1,000 with interest rates capped at 28% to members with all credit types. However, it’s not as fast as a payday loan.
  • Credit card cash advance. Already have a credit card? Taking out a cash advance is typically less expensive and more forgiving than a short-term loan.
  • Pay advance apps. Apps like Earnin give you interest-free advances on your paycheck, usually up to around $500 per month. Typically, you’ll only be requested to give a tip or pay a monthly membership fee.

Additional short-term loan alternatives

Bottom line

Short-term loans like payday or installment loans might be your only option when you need money fast. But there are other alternatives that single parents might want to consider. You can get more details on how short-term loans work by checking out our guide.

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