Best Short Term Loans: Compare Your Options



Our goal here at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS number 1681276, referred to as “Credible” below, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we promote the products of our partner lenders who pay us for our services, all opinions are ours.

Short term loans can be a good option if you need quick financing and don’t qualify for a traditional loan. Learn how to choose the best for you. (iStock)

Short term loans can be a useful financial solution in various situations. They are commonly used by small businesses and individuals who may not qualify for a traditional loan. If you are looking to save money on interest, you might find a short term loan that meets your needs.

The biggest difference between a long term loan and a short term loan is the repayment term. Short-term loans have a shorter repayment window, usually between three and 18 months, while long-term loans have a repayment period of 24 months or more.

Short-term loans are also generally cheaper (since you spend less time paying off the interest) and have lower borrowing limits. If your credit isn’t perfect, you’re more likely to qualify for a short-term loan than a long-term loan. So if you are looking for quick cash and this sounds like the loan option for you, read on to learn more.

The best short term loans

Finding the right loan for your needs takes a little research. Begin your research by comparing the following four credible partner lenders:


Avant can give you a personal loan even if you don’t have a good credit rating, but be aware that the lender charges a fee, including an upfront administration fee.

Minimum credit score: 550

Loan amounts: $ 2,000 to $ 35,000

Loan conditions : 2 to 5 years

Costs: Administration, delay, payment refused

Best for: People with fair poor credit

Loan point

LendingPoint offers personal loans to borrowers with lower credit scores. Loan origination fees vary depending on your state.

Minimum credit score: 580

Loan amounts: $ 2,000 to $ 36,500

Loan conditions : 2-4 years

Costs: Original fees (3% to 6%)

Best for: Borrowers with lower credit scores who have a minimum income of $ 20,000

OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial does not have a minimum credit score to qualify, but its interest rates tend to drop to the top.

Minimum credit score: Nothing

Loan amounts: $ 1,500 to $ 20,000

Loan conditions : 2 to 5 years

Costs: Original fees

Best for: Borrowers who do not qualify for a personal loan elsewhere


PenFed offers attractive interest rates and is a good option for borrowers with good credit.

Minimum credit score: 670

Loan amounts: $ 600 to $ 50,000

Loan conditions : 1 to 5 years

Costs: Nothing

Best for: Small loans

Use Credible to easily compare personal loan rates in one place.

Other short term loans to consider

The following three lenders are not Credible partners, so you will not be able to easily compare your rates with them on the Credible platform. But they can also be great if you are looking for a short term loan.

To affirm

Affirm offers small personal loans and does not charge any fees.

Minimum credit score: Do not disclose

Loan amounts: $ 50 to $ 17,500

Loan conditions : 3, 6 or 12 months

Costs: Nothing

Best for: Small loans


With Oportun, borrowers can get their funds in as little as 24 hours.

Minimum credit score: Do not disclose

Loan amounts: $ 500 to $ 5,000 (varies by state)

Loan conditions : From 12 months

Costs: Origin or fiscal stamp (varies by state), late checks, returned

Best for: Quick financing

PNC Bank

PNC Bank offers personal loans online or at one of its branches. The lender does not charge origination or application fees.

Minimum credit score: 650

Loan amounts: $ 1,000 to $ 35,000

Loan conditions : 6 months to 5 years

Costs: No administration or origination fees

Best for: Borrowers who prefer an in-person experience


Credible has rated the best short term personal lenders based on factors such as customer experience, minimum fixed rate, maximum loan amount, length of financing, loan terms and fees. Credible’s team of experts gathered information from each lender’s website, customer service, and email support. Each data point was checked to make sure it was up to date.

With Credible, you can compare personal loan rates from multiple lenders within minutes.

How to get a short term loan

While you can get a short term personal loan with a low credit score, you will pay higher interest rates and might not qualify for as much as someone with a higher credit score.

Lenders look at several factors when reviewing your application, including:

  • Credit history and score – All reputable lenders will review your credit rating and credit history. Ideally, you should have a score above 600 to maximize your chances of approval, although some lenders offer loans to borrowers with a score below 500. You can increase your credit score by making your payments on time, by reducing other debt balances and increasing your income.
  • Verifiable income – Lenders want to know that they will get their money back, so you will usually need to provide proof of income when you apply for a loan. Proof of income can include income tax returns, W-2s, or bank statements. If you are self-employed, the lender may want to see proof of regular cash inflows to your accounts.
  • Bank account – In most cases, you will need a bank account to receive your loan funds. Many lenders offer a fully online application and approval process, so having a direct deposit account will simplify the process. Additionally, you may need an account to prove that you have regular income.

How to choose a short term loan

No matter where you choose to get your short term loan, be sure to compare lenders to make sure you get the best deal for your situation. Before applying for a loan, consider the following:

  • How much you can afford to borrow
  • Interest rate
  • Loan origination fees
  • Monthly payment
  • Repayment Terms
  • The reputation of the short-term lender

Short-term loans can be a great way to cover yourself in an emergency, but you’ll get the most benefit if you can pay off the loan quickly and avoid predatory short-term lenders, like those who offer payday loans. .

Remember that a bank, credit union, or online lender may offer you a short-term loan, and if your credit rating is good, you may find it easier to qualify.

Use Credible to guide you through the online loan application process and compare loan rates from multiple lenders.

Alternatives to short-term loans

If you are unsure whether a short term personal loan is right for you, consider these alternatives:

Personal line of credit

With a personal line of credit, you borrow a fixed amount of money and can access the funds as often as you need, as long as you pay back what you owe. Keep in mind that you may be subject to monthly fees even if you are not using the funds.

Credit card

Paying your expenses with a credit card is another way to deal with an emergency. You may qualify for a low balance credit card even if you are unable to secure a personal loan. With regular payments, you can even increase your spending limit. A credit card with a 0% introductory APR offer could allow you to pay off your debt without any interest, provided you do so before the introductory period ends. But credit cards that don’t offer a 0% annual interest rate typically have higher interest rates than personal loans. And many credit cards come with an annual fee.

Payday loan

Payday loans should only be considered as a last resort. While payday lenders advertise quick funds for any borrower, they charge astronomical fees and interest that equate to an APR of up to 300%. Late fees can make it even more difficult to exit the loan. If you take out a payday loan, pay it off as quickly as possible and don’t agree to extend the term of your loan, or you could be paying hundreds or thousands of dollars more than what you borrowed.



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