Fast cash loans for bad credit can provide you with relief when you need money urgently. If you don’t have an emergency fund saved, getting access to money for a medical emergency, home improvement, or car repair can be a lifesaver.

If you have bad credit, look for loans with easy eligibility requirements or no credit check. Before you sign the loan agreement, check the interest rates, fees, and penalties to ensure the payments fit into your budget.

What Are Fast Cash Loans?

Fast cash loans are unsecured loans for bad credit that can be used to cover a financial emergency. You’ll receive the loan funds in a lump sum and repay it through fixed monthly installments. The interest rate is fixed, so your monthly payments remain the same throughout the term.

Lenders will use your FICO score, debt, and income information to determine how much you can borrow and the interest rate you’ll need to pay. Since payments are reported to the three major credit bureaus, missing payments can hurt your credit.

Can You Get a Fast Cash Loan With Bad Credit?

You can get a fast cash loan with bad credit, but you’ll likely pay higher interest rates and will have shorter repayment terms. Most traditional lenders may not be willing to issue loans to borrowers with a low credit score. If you have an existing relationship with a credit union, you may be able to get approved.

Online lenders typically have more lenient qualification requirements, so you may be able to get a bad credit loan through these types of lenders. Research your options carefully and compare the borrowing costs before you make a decision.

5 Best Fast Cash Loans

We reviewed 15 popular fast cash loans for bad credit lenders. We chose the five best lenders based on the following criteria:

Minimum Credit ScoreLoan AmountAPRLoan Term
Upstart300$1,000-$50,0006.40%-35.99%36-60 months
Upgrade620$1,000-$50,0008.49%-35.99%24-84 months
Universal Credit5809.95%-35.95%11.69%-35.99%6.99%-35.99%
Prosper56012-60 months36-60 months24-60 months

How To Get a Fast Cash Loan?

If you’re in need of money for an emergency, you can speed up the process by being prepared. Here’s how to get a fast cash loan with bad credit:

  1. Start by checking your credit report for any errors and correct them before you apply for a loan.
  2. Review your budget to determine how much you can afford to pay each month towards the loan.
  3. Even if you’re in a hurry, it’s worth pre-qualifying with at least three lenders online to preview the loan amount, repayment term, and interest rate.
  4. Compare multiple loan offers to find the best deal. Check for late fees, origination fees, and prepayment penalties to find the best personal loan.
  5. Gather documents like your identification, proof of address, pay stubs, tax returns, Social Security number, and W-2s.
  6. Fill out the online application form, attach the required documents, and submit the application.
  7. Most of these are same-day loans for bad credit, so you may get an instant loan approval. Funding is usually done on the next business day.

Improve Your Credit Score To Increase the chances of Getting Approved

A bad credit score doesn’t automatically mean you won’t be able to get a fast cash loan. However, it does limit your options and can drive up the cost of borrowing. Here are a few tips on how to improve your creditworthiness and boost your chances of getting approved for a loan:

  • Pay all your bills on time to improve your payment history.
  • Pay down large credit card balances to improve your credit utilization rate.
  • Check and dispute errors on your credit report.
  • Don’t apply for a lot of loans at once.
  • Apply with a co-borrower or a co-signer to improve your chances of getting approved.
  • Apply for a secured loan for bad credit if you have a vehicle, bank account, or another asset.

Alternatives to Fast Cash Loans

A fast cash loan for bad credit isn’t your only option for an urgent financial need. Consider some of the alternatives we’ve listed below before you choose one:

Cash Advance 

If you have a credit card, you may be able to withdraw cash instantly. However, these loans can be expensive, and interest starts accruing immediately, so be wary of costs.

Payday Loan 

A payday loan is a short-term loan you can get without a credit check. However, these loans come with annual percentage rates (APRs), often as high as 400%, and can be hard to repay.

401(k) Loans 

If you have a 401(k) account, you can borrow against your savings. The loan payments you make will go back to your account, but taking out a 401(k) loan means you’ll lose out on the investment growth.

Family and friends 

A less risky option may be to borrow from family members or friends. This will usually be at a lower interest rate (often no interest) and won’t require a credit check. However, it can damage relationships if you fail to repay the loan.

“Given the very high cost of fast cash loans, payday loans, and credit card cash advances, it is often a much better idea to focus on raising the cash you need some other way if you have a little bit of time before you need the money,” advises Brad Reichert, debt expert and founder and managing director of Reichert Asset Management LLC.  

Where To Find Fast Cash Lenders

You may be able to get a fast cash loan from an online lender, credit union, or bank, depending on your credit score and financial situation. Here’s what you should know about each type of lender:

  • Online lenders usually have quick funding, online prequalification, and lower minimum credit score requirements. However, there may be predatory lenders that charge very high interest rates on online loans, so be sure to check the APRs carefully.
  • It’s much harder to qualify for loans with traditional banks, but there may be exceptions. If you’re an existing customer, there are higher chances to qualify because the bank can verify your income, average account balance, and the amount of your liquid savings simply by looking at your checking and/or savings account(s).
  • Credit unions offer affordable loan options with APRs capped at 18%, which is often lower than online lenders. However, you need to be an existing member to borrow a loan.

How To Choose a Fast Cash Loan

Before you borrow a fast cash loan with bad credit, be sure to compare loan options from multiple financial institutions to get the best possible deal. Here’s how to compare and choose fast cash loans:

  • Know your credit score to see which lenders are likely to approve your application.
  • Research and compare the APRs offered by different lenders.
  • Compare the repayment terms of different installment loans. Choose a term that aligns with your budget, but keep in mind that you’ll pay more in interest with a longer term.
  • Read the loan’s terms and conditions carefully.
  • Read reviews of the lender you plan to work with to determine if they’re trustworthy.

Get a Fast Cash Loan (Even) With Bad Credit

Getting a fast cash loan with bad credit is possible, but there are many predatory lenders that may try to take advantage of you. While these loans generally tend to be more expensive compared to traditional personal loans for borrowers with good credit, sometimes, it may be the only option you have.

Consider borrowing money from friends and family members if possible. If that option isn’t available, be sure to pre-qualify with at least three different lenders to find the best possible loan rates.