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The best short term loans for you

Find out what you need to compare to get a payday or instalment loan that works best for you.

There are times in life when you might need money quickly. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re considering a short-term loan, you may be wondering how you can compare your loan options to find the best one.

Below is our guide on what to look for in applications and everything you need to know to make a good decision for your financial future.

warning icon Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk.

warning icon Please note: High cost short term credit is unsuitable to support sustained borrowing over long periods and would be expensive as a means of longer term borrowing.

What features can make a short-term loan the best one for you?

Here are ten simple questions you can ask while searching for a short-term loan:

  • What’s the overall cost? Since these loans are far from cheap, the most important thing to consider is usually the total cost of borrowing. The APR of payday loans can be confusing, but lenders must also tell you the projected cost upfront. Look to keep the overall cost as low as possible, while making sure the repayments are affordable for you.
  • Is the lender legit? Only borrow money from loan companies authorised and regulated by the FCA (that’s the Financial Conduct Authority). It’s quick and easy to check that the lender you’re considering is in the FCA register.
  • Does the lender offer a loan term that suits you? As a general rule, the longer you borrow for, the more a loan will cost. But sometimes it’s necessary to spread repayment of a loan, in order to make each instalment manageable. When you borrow for longer, although it’ll cost more, you’ll usually be able to access better rates. If a payday/short term lender doesn’t offer the length of loan that you’re after, then try another – there are plenty of them in the market.
  • Does the lender let you repay on a date that suits you? The best loans allow you to specify the exact date(s) on which you’d like to make a payment. You’ll usually want to align this with when you receive your income. If you get paid weekly, the the best loan for you might allow weekly repayments.
  • How long does it take to process the loan? Some of the best short-term loans ensure that you have access to the approved funds the same day, within hours or even minutes, while others, for example, might not approve and issue loans outside of office hours. If the turnaround time is important to you seek out a lender offering faster loans.
  • Are you aware of all the fees? While some of the best short-term loans provide quick access to funds, take the time to find out just how much you’ll have to pay in the form of fees. The best short-term loan company in this regard is the one that charges the lowest fees. It’s rare to find admin/product fees in this game, but fees for late payments will be anywhere from £0 to £15. Missing a repayment is a terrible idea – you’ll damage your credit record, annoy your lender and find it harder to borrow in future.
  • Does the lender accept bad credit applications? If you’re looking for the best bad credit short-term loan, take into account that most short-term lenders accept applications from individuals who don’t have good credit history. If the lender you’re looking at requires good credit history and you aren’t eligible, you could simply move on to the next.
  • Can you save money by repaying early? The best short-term loan company should let you repay early at any time, and should only charge you for the days on which you borrow.
  • Is there a store network and online presence? Any lender that calls itself the best short-term loan company should offer you convenience when it comes to borrowing. This may mean they have a wide network of stores across the country or that they let you apply for and manage your loan online.
  • Is it easy to track and manage your loan? Staying on top of your loan is important. If you live on your mobile, then the best lender might offer a decent app for tracking your loan, making payments etc.

Compare short-term loan options

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

Here are some loan providers you can apply with. Note that the max loan amount is based on the lender’s max amount and will vary based on your state.

How much do you need to borrow?


How long do you need to borrow for?


Name Product Available Amounts Monthly repayment Total payable
£50 to £800
Representative example: Borrow £200 for 6 months at a rate of 292% p.a. (fixed). Representative 1333% APR and total payable £386.61 in 6 monthly payments of £64.44.
£150 to £5,000
Representative Example: Borrow £350 for 6 months at a rate of 220% p.a. (fixed). Representative 651.4% APR and total payable £605.55 in 6 monthly payments of £100.93.
£100 to £1,000
Representative example: Borrow £400 for 6 months at a rate of 259.33% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 947% and total payable: £750.78 in 6 monthly payments of £125.13.
£100 to £1,000
Representative example: Borrow £250 for 30 days at a rate of 292% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 1270% and total payable: £310, in 1 payment of £310.
£50 to £1,000
Representative example: Borrow £250 for 74 days at a rate of 292% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 1300.5% and total payable: £398.00, in 1 payment of £74.00 and 1 payment of £324.00.
£300 to £1,000
Representative example: Borrow £500 for 5 months at a rate of 292% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 1,297% and total payable: £867.05 in 5 instalments of £173.41.
£100 to £1,000
Representative example: Borrow £480 for 9 months at a rate of 133.1% p.a. (fixed). Representative 535% APR and total payable £959.04 in 9 monthly payments of £106.56.
£50 to £200
Representative example: Borrow £80 for 29 days at a rate of 292% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 1281.8% and total payable: £98.56, in 1 payment of £98.56.

Compare up to 4 providers

Important information:
You should always refer to your loan agreement for exact repayment amounts as they may vary from our results.

Want to quickly see which lenders can offer you a loan?

  • Good and bad credit histories accepted
  • 1 fast, simple form to compare multiple lenders
  • Quick loan funding with no hidden costs

What are the pros and cons of short-term loans?

  • You can get your money quickly. When you’re applying for a short-term loan, you can often get your money immediately after approval if you apply in-store, and many online lenders transfer approved funds to your bank account the same day.
  • Freedom to use the money as you like. You apply for a short-term loan for almost one-off expense.
  • Bad credit is OK. Short-term loan providers will usually consider applications from people with poor credit histories. They’ll typically focus more on how affordable the loan would be for you.
  • Really, really expensive. While interest is capped by the FCA, it’s capped at 0.8% per day. That’s 80p per day for every £100 you borrow. Disappointingly, a large proportion of the lenders operating in this space do simply charge the maximum
  • Disreputable lenders. If a short-term lender sounds great and is offering rates too good to be true, be sure to find out if they are. Ensure the lender complies with all relevant regulations and that they are operating legally.
  • Small loan amounts. If you’re using a new lender for the first time, it’s likely they’ll only offer you a small sum.

Anything that isn’t “the best” with these loans?

Before you apply, ensure that you won’t have problems repaying the loan. If you think you might have trouble, don’t take out the loan. Late or missed payments usually lead to fees and additional interest, and negatively impact your credit profile. Always work the repayment schedule into your budget, and the best loans will remain the best.

Even the best short-term loans can end up costing much more than originally anticipated, especially if you don’t repay your loan on time.

Bottom line

Bear in mind that while the best short-term loans will give you quick access to the money you need, there are a number of competing short-term loan providers vying for your attention, so compare all your options before applying.

Questions you might have asked

We understand that you may be cautious when applying for short-term loans. Here are some of the frequent questions our users have asked.

*Disclaimer: The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products finder has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Unless indicated otherwise, products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms "Best", "Top", "Cheap" including variations, are not product ratings and are subject to our terms of use. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.

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