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How to get a short-term loan if you’re self-employed

How to borrow when you don't have a pay stub to show.

If you own your own business, no matter what size, cash flow can be difficult and can put a strain on your personal finances. People who aren’t eligible for conventional forms of credit such as personal loans or credit cards, or who need the money more quickly, can consider short term loans as an alternative. If you’re in this position, find out what your options are in the guide below.

Am I eligible for a short term loan if I’m self-employed?

Short term lenders have more flexible lending criteria than banks or credit unions. To increase your chances of approval, you’ll need to show evidence of a regular income, which you need to do by supplying 90 days worth of bank statements. Some lenders won’t consider self-employed applicants, but others will. You can check the eligibility criteria before you apply.

How does a short term loan for self-employed people work?

These loans are usually available in small amounts, such as $500. But you can also get short term loans for up to $2,000.
Lenders will look at your banking history if you’re self-employed. They’ll work out a repayment plan for you or let you select repayment terms to work with your budget. In terms of eligibility, you may be asked for additional documents to verify your income since you won’t have regular paystubs.

Compare short-term loans and other alternatives

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Name Product Filter Values Loan amount Turnaround time Requirements
Chime SpotMe®
Not rated yet
Chime SpotMe®
Up to $200
Same day
Single qualifying $200 direct deposit into Chime checking account in the last 34 days.
Access fee-free overdrafts up to $200 when eligible. Plus get your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit. See Chime terms and conditions.
Smart Advances
Not rated yet
Smart Advances
$100 to $20,000
As soon as one business day after loan closing
Have a regular income, 18+ years old, be a U.S. citizen with a valid SSN, have an open bank account, meet any additional requirements your lender may have
Smart Advances was designed to help you request the loan you need, for any reason.
Not rated yet
Get up to $100 per day or $750 per pay period.
1 to 2 business days, or in minutes with Lightning Speed.
Direct deposit sent to a checking account, a regular pay schedule, a fixed work location or an online timekeeping system at work
No mandatory fees, no interest, and no credit checks. Subject to EarnIn terms & conditions
Not rated yet
$20 to $250
3 to 4 days standard transfer. Same day with $3.99 express fee.
Not stated
Automatically monitor your spending plus access cash advances up to $100 at a time.
Not rated yet
Up to $250
2–3 business days or instant for a fee
Checking account 2+ months old receiving direct deposit, 2+ months working for the same employer, positive account balance, most recent paycheck was on-time, funds still available in bank account 24 hours after most recent payday.
Get up to $250 overdraft protection if you sign up for Albert's banking app.
Not rated yet
Up to $250
1 to 3 business days or instant with a fee of $0.99 to $3.99, or a $9.99/mo. subscription with small fee, or free with $14.99/mo. subscription.
Bank account must have at least 60 days of activity, Balance must be above $0 and have an average minimum balance on pay day
Have up to $250 automatically deposited into your account — for a $9.99 membership fee.
LendYou Short-term Loans
Finder Rating: 2.5 / 5: ★★★★★
LendYou Short-term Loans
Up to $1,000 for payday loans and up to $5,000 for installment loans
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.
Fast5kLoans Short-term Loans Connection Service
Finder Rating: 3.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Fast5kLoans Short-term Loans Connection Service
$100 to $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.

How you can compare your short term loan options

  • How much you can borrow. When applying for a short term loan, you can typically expect to receive any amount between $50 to $2,000, although this is subject to the lender looking through your financial situation.
  • The fees you’ll be charged. Fees vary by lender and can include things like establishment fees or early repayment fees. Be sure to read these details before submitting a loan application.
  • How long you’ll have to repay the loan. In some cases, you have to repay the borrowed money in as little as two weeks. Make sure you can afford the repayment terms.
  • What fees apply for late repayments. Failing to pay back your loan on time could result in late payment penalties. Lenders often charge a fee is you don’t make your repayments on time. It’s be a good idea to compare these too, if you think you might be late with any of your payments.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of these loans?

  • Easy availability. Even though some lenders don’t offer short term loans to self-employed people, they’re still relatively easy to find.
  • Bad credit accepted. To be eligible for a short term loan, you generally don’t need a good credit history.
  • Quick access to funds. In many cases, funds can be transferred into your bank account within 24 hours.
  • Fees and charges. Carefully go through all the associated fees and charges before applying for a short term loan. Fees and charges you might have to pay include application fees, account-keeping fees, settlement fees, early repayment fees, and late charges.

Is there anything you should avoid?

  • Applying for too many loans. Remember that loan applications count as an inquiry on your credit report. Avoid applying for too many loans if you aren’t approved right away.
  • Accumulating debt. Getting a short term loan requires that you repay it on time. If you don’t, you’ll only end up accumulating debt. Remember to budget for your loan repayments before you sign on the dotted line.

What’s next?

Frequently asked questions

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    MichaelAugust 30, 2018

    Where can I get a short term loan I’m
    Self employed and have bad credit

      Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloAugust 31, 2018

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for leaving a question on Finder.

      Although some lenders may require that you have a perfect credit score before you apply, there are many out there that will gladly accept applications from people without the best credit. While you may find yourself paying higher interest than other borrowers, if you have a steady source of income and the ability to repay your loan, there is likely a lender that can finance your next personal loan.

      Check our guide on bad credit personal loans to compare and read our guide.


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