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Need a short-term loan to cover sudden expenses or purchases? Sign up for Borrowell to quickly compare loans, see your likelihood of approval in minutes, and apply for a short-term loan. Plus, check your credit score for free and access tools to help improve your financial health.

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Short-Term Loan

What is a Short-Term Loan?

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A short-term loan is a loan with a term of up to 2 years. Some have terms that are as short as only a few weeks. If you find yourself needing cash to cover an emergency expense, such as car repairs or medical bills, a short-term loan could be a compelling option. These loans typically have higher interest rates than traditional loans, but they can be easier to secure, and, in most cases, you can have the funds in your account within 1 to 2 days. To find different types of loans available to you, sign up for Borrowell. You can find and compare loans that match your credit profile and meet your unique needs. Instantly see your approval chances before applying for the right loan.

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Short-Term Loans:

What You Should Know

Short-term loans typically involve smaller sums of money (sometimes as little as $100), which is paid back over a shorter period. In some cases, short-term loans have an abbreviated approval process, making them easier to get, especially for those with poor credit. Often, short-term loans have higher interest rates than a traditional loan would. 

Many short-term loans differ from traditional loans because they are unsecured, meaning you are not required to use any collateral (such as your house or vehicle) to secure the funds.

The shortest term you could get depends on the type of short-term loan you apply for and the amount of money you borrow. Short-term installment loans could have a term as short as 90 days, while payday loans typically have a 14-day term.

There are no limits to what you can use a short-term loan for. Once the money is in your hands, you can do with it as you please. Common things that people use short-term loans for include:

  • Emergency expenses, such as medical bills

  • Unexpected costs

  • Home improvement or renovations

  • Furniture purchases

  • Equipment or household appliance purchases

  • Vehicle repairs

  • Consolidating debt

Yes, there are a few different types of short-term loans, and each has its own use cases and comes with its own set of pros and cons. Different short-term lenders provide different types of products that have their own terms, interest rates, and requirements. Think carefully when determining which type is best for your situation. Here are some examples below:

Installment Loans

Installment loans enable you to borrow large sums of money over a shorter period than a traditional loan. Lenders may permit you to borrow anywhere from $500 to $30,000. This type of loan is repaid in weekly or monthly installments over a term that often ranges from 6 months to 2 years. The interest rates on installment loans can fall anywhere from 3% to 46%. 

Installments loans can be a good way to cover expenses like emergency car repairs or fund larger purchases, such as new household appliances. They can even be used to cover the costs of events, like weddings or honeymoons.

Credit Card Cash Advance

Credit card cash advances are the quickest form of short-term loan available. If you have room on your card, you can receive a cash advance by simply inserting your credit card into an ATM and withdrawing cash. 

Credit card cash advances have very high interest rates (often over 20%), and, unlike regular credit card purchases, cash advances begin accruing interest immediately. As such, it’s best to only rely on this type of loan in emergencies where you desperately need cash in hand.

Payday Loan

A payday loan is a short-term loan that allows you to borrow money against your paycheck. Typically, payday loans are available in amounts up to $1500 and have repayment terms of 14 to 62 days. Usually, the loan is repaid via a pre-authorized debit from your bank account on the due date. 

These loans can have interest rates of up to 600%, so they aren’t the safest option for borrowers. However, they do have advantages that make them attractive in certain scenarios. For one, you will receive funds from a payday loan in just 1 or 2 days. Some payday lenders don’t require a credit check. Additionally, payday lenders use your proof of income to determine eligibility, making it possible to access this type of loan even if you have bad credit.

How you qualify for a short-term loan depends on the type of loan you apply for. Credit card cash advances are available to anyone with unused credit on their credit card.

For payday loans and installment loans, most lenders will ask for:

  • Proof of citizenship or permanent residency

  • Proof that you are of legal age

  • Pay stubs or bank statements as proof of income

  • A valid bank account 

Many installment loan lenders will use your credit score as a factor in their approval process.

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What is a Credit Score?

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Your credit score is one of the main criteria for qualifying for online loans, including car loans, a mortgages, or other types of onlines loans. To make the application process easier, you should know what your actual credit score is before applying for online loans. With Borrowell, you can quickly check your credit score for free to speed up the process.

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Applying for loans impacts your credit score

When lenders check your credit score, it is recorded on your credit report as a “hard inquiry.” Hard credit inquiries temporarily lower your credit score, and applying for many loans at once results in multiple hits to your credit score. To protect your credit score, you should only apply for loans that you’re confident you’ll qualify for.

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Once your personal loan is approved by a Borrowell loan partner, you can usually access your funds in just a few days.

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Yes, it's really free. Borrowell provides you with your Equifax credit score, free of charge. Based on your credit score, we provide you recommendations on the best loans, credit cards, and financial products that you are likely to qualify for. Knowing your credit score speeds up the loan application process and helps you get your money as quickly as possible.

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More FAQs about Short-Term Loans

In addition to interest, there may be fees associated with some short-term loans. 

You may pay a cash advance fee when you take a cash advance from your credit card. If not, you may incur a penalty fee if your direct debit loan payment fails to go through. If you fail to make your payments on time, you could incur late fees. 

Each loan has its own fee structure, and these will be listed on your loan contract. Study them carefully to avoid surprises.

Yes. There are ways to secure short-term loans, even if you have bad credit. If your credit score is below 660, it may be harder for you to get a short-term loan, but not impossible. There are lenders who specialize in working with individuals who have bad credit. They will use factors such as your source of income and employment history to determine your eligibility for a loan. Keep in mind, borrowers with poor credit typically pay higher interest rates. 

To improve your chances of securing a loan, you should find ways to repair your bad credit score. Steps you can take to fix your credit include:

The advantages of short-term loans are that they can offer you some financial flexibility when you are short on cash. If you find yourself suddenly in need of vehicle repairs or are facing an unexpected medical bill, short-term loans can help you manage these expenses.

A short-term loan can also help you improve your credit score, if you manage your loan properly and your regular loan payments are made on-time and in-full.

The disadvantage of short-term loans is that they can come with high interest rates. Additionally, if you default on your short-term loan, it could damage your credit rating. Missed or late payments can damage your credit score and make it harder for you to secure financing in the future. Before you take a short-term loan, decide whether you will realistically be able to pay it back.  

The best way to find short-term loans with low interest rates is to use Borrowell. You can sign up to get your free credit score and compare loan products based on your credit score. You’ll also see your chances of being approved before even applying for a loan. This can help you find the right loan with the lowest interest rate that you qualify for without damaging your credit score.

The amount of money you can borrow from a short-term lender depends on the type of loan you apply for, as well as your income and credit history.

  • Credit card cash advances are limited to the amount of unutilized credit available on your card. 

  • Payday loans usually allow you to borrow up to $1500. 

  • Short-term installment loans have the largest range in terms of the amount you can borrow, with some lenders offering up to $30,000 for qualified applicants.

If you’re struggling to make payments, it may be possible to get an extension on the repayment period of your short-term loan. Each lender has its own set of policies regarding extensions, but it never hurts to ask. Your chances of receiving an extension will be higher if your account is in good standing and you have a good credit score. 

Keep in mind that there may be fees associated with renegotiating the length of your loan term.

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