Instant decision payday loans

Most short term loan companies can now give a yes or no within seconds of you hitting "Apply", but how quickly they'll transfer the funds varies significantly from lender to lender.

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

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

Plenty of payday lenders are willing to transfer cash fast to eligible applicants. But despite what some lenders promise, an “instant” payday loan – from a lender you haven’t used before – simply doesn’t exist. However, some near-instant options are out there.

While some lenders only approve loans during business hours, with no guarantee of when they’ll get around to it, other lenders make an automatic decision where a loan application meets certain criteria, after which you’ll be in for a wait that could be as short as 15 minutes.

Let’s take a look at how long it takes to get cash from some of the key players in the UK payday loans market. We’ve covered high-cost loans paid back in one lump sum on your next payday and those paid in a few instalments.

Turnaround times for popular short term loan companies

  • Anico Finance – Anico Finance aims to have the money in your bank account the same day as approval.
  • Care Finance – Provided the signed Credit Agreement is received by Care Finance by 5pm, the funds should reach your bank account on the same day.
  • Conduit – Conduit states that once it receives the completed paperwork, your loan will be in your bank account within 3-5 working days. (For a £7 Faster Payment fee, you can receive your loan the same/next working day, subject to the cut-off time of 2pm.)
  • Creditspring – You'll need to wait 14 days from signing up before you can borrow, and then you can borrow at any point. The transfer process is usually immediate.
  • Creditstar – If your application is approved, Creditstar says the funds will usually reach your account within 30 minutes.
  • Drafty – Drafty says it aims to send the cash from your credit line to your bank within 90 seconds.
  • Fast Loan UK – Money will be transferred into your account within 15 minutes of signing your Loan Agreement.
  • Fund Ourselves – Fund Ourselves aims to transfer the money on the same day for applications approved before 10pm.
  • Lending Stream – Lending Stream says that, in most cases, the loan will be streamed to your bank within minutes of approval, but it may depend on your bank’s policies and procedures.
  • Loans 2 Go – You can expect the money in your bank account within 15 minutes of approval (this is subject to you applying within the working hours of Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm, and Saturday, 8am to 5pm).
  • Moneyboat – Moneyboat says that approval can take place the same day, and following approval, cash is transferred directly to your account.
  • QuidMarket – If your application is approved, you can usually expect the money to be in your account on the same day. If you apply outside of business hours, your loan will be funded the following day.
  • Savvy.co.uk – Once your application has been approved, Savvy states it will normally send funds within one hour (Monday-Saturday).
  • SteadyPay – To be eligible for top-ups, you must have paid the subscription for 2 weeks.
    Upon accepting a top-up offer, SteadyPay will transfer the money to your bank account by the next business day.
  • Swift Money – 10 minutes
  • The Money Platform – If you agree terms on a loan before 3pm on a weekday, you will have the funds in your account that day within just a few hours.
    If you agree terms after 3pm on Monday to Thursday, you will have the funds the next morning.
    If you agree terms after 3pm on Friday, you may not receive the funds until Monday.
  • The One Stop Money Shop – The One Stop Money Shop says that once approved, the money can be in your bank account within 60 minutes.
  • Tick Tock Loans – Once approved for a loan, Tick Tock Loans says that you can expect the money in your bank account within a few hours.
  • Wageme – If your bank accepts faster payments, you will receive the money on the same day that you are approved for a loan. Some banks may take 24-48 hours to clear the funds.

Can I get a payday loan instantly?

Realistically, you’ll be hard-pressed to get a payday loan instantly, but some lenders have managed to streamline their processes to the point that borrowers who get approved can go from hitting “apply” to receiving funds comfortably within an hour.

Text loans and facilities that connect to your bank account or that access your Internet banking can, in theory, deliver funds even faster, but you’ll need to be an existing customer. However, you should never get to the point where you’re using this type of loan regularly. They’re simply not suitable for sustained borrowing.

So what happens after I submit my application?

The lender runs your application through its own in-house assessment. In many cases, this part of the process is automatic. But in more “borderline” cases, it may require human involvement – potentially even a discussion with you. The lender also requests a credit search from a credit reference agency (CRA).

Provided the lender’s happy to proceed, it then makes you a formal offer. In some cases, if the lender can’t approve the application in its received form, this offer may be for a lower amount or shorter loan term than you originally applied for.

Once you’ve accepted the offer, it’s then simply a matter of transferring the funds. This should, in theory, be fairly fast, depending on how slick the lender’s (and your bank’s) systems and processes are.

Example: Tickets to the game

Hugo's best friend is moving soon, and he wants to treat him to tickets for the big game. Good seats are costly — about £90 per person — and Hugo knows they'll be sold out if he waits until his payday.

He decides to look into a payday loan that deposits cash directly into his current account. Hugo compares lenders to find a company with a competitive rate, checks he's eligible and then completes an online application. Within an hour, he has the money he needs to give his friend the send-off he deserves.

Hugo pays off the £200 loan in under a month. It's been quick and convenient, but cost him an eye-watering £32 in interest.

* This is a fictional, but realistic, example.

Top features to compare

If you’re thinking of applying for an instant payday loan or short term instalment loan, take some time to review these key features to choose the right lender for you.

  • Total amount payable. This figure should be your main focus when comparing lenders. It takes into account the rate plus any fees. Keep it as low as possible while ensuring the repayments are affordable.
  • Eligibility. Don’t waste time looking into (let alone applying for) a loan if you’re not eligible for it. Remember that each application for credit affects your credit record.
  • Amounts and terms available. A loan with a great rate is one thing, but if you can’t get it for the duration and amount you need, it’s unlikely to be suitable or cost-effective.
  • Turnaround time. Most payday lenders like to shout about how fast they are – as you can see from the table of turnaround times on this page. If you’re really in a rush, choose one of the faster options.
  • Early repayment terms. Most short term lenders only charge you for the days on which you borrow and will happily let you repay some or all of your loan early at any time. If you think this would be a possibility for you, double-check the lender’s policy before proceeding – there are significant savings to be had.

Benefits and drawbacks to consider

What are the benefits?

  • You can use the funds for almost any purpose. Payday and other short term loans are an option when you’ve been hit by an unexpected, temporary shortfall. This could include paying a bill larger than anticipated, car repairs or fixing an appliance.
  • You can still apply with bad credit. Bad credit doesn’t have to stop you from getting a loan. Most direct payday loan providers focus on your ability to repay instead of your credit rating.
  • You’ll get the money quickly. If you need money in a hurry, applying for a payday loan is one of your options. Some lenders can give you the required money within minutes.

What are the drawbacks?

  • Sky-high rates. Payday loans tend to charge considerably higher interest when compared with conventional loans. If you don’t repay your loan on time, you could be penalised with additional fees, and it will damage your credit record further.
  • It’s a short term solution. Hopefully, your loan will get you out of a jam. Realistically, it’s not a cure-all for ongoing money problems. Try not to use these loans repeatedly, or you’ll likely get stuck in a cycle of debt.

Bottom line

Payday or short term loans offer a quick source of money, though they come with high interest rates. As with any loan, you should only take it out if you’re sure you can make the repayments. However, as in the name, this source of finance is only a short term solution. If you’re looking for a longer term solution, you may want to explore longer term loans.

Frequently asked questions

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

Written by

Chris Lilly

Chris Lilly is Head of publishing at finder.com. He's a specialist in personal finance, from day-to-day banking to investing to borrowing, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their money. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more. See full profile

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