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Personal Loans

How to Borrow $200 Instantly

Emergency expenses can derail even the most carefully planned budgets. Sometimes, you need a couple hundred dollars to get by until your next paycheck. 

Fortunately, there are a number of apps that offer cash advances and small loans, allowing you to access $200 the same day you need it. Speedy funding, however, often comes at a cost, and you may have to pay an extra fee to get money fast. 

Here’s a closer look at $200 instant loan apps and other ways to get money quickly, along with their pros, cons, costs, and some alternative options for obtaining $200 ASAP. 

5 places where you can borrow $200 instantly

There are several ways to borrow $200, including apps that let you borrow money instantly, loans, and cash advances on your credit card. 

Here’s a quick look at these options, ordered from most recommended to least recommended based on factors like fees, speed, and potential impact on your credit. 

OptionFastest funding timeAPRCredit check? 
Paycheck advanceInstant0% No
Loan app Instant0%No
Personal loan Same day 8% – 36% Yes
Credit card advance Instant29%+No
Payday loan Same day400%+No 


Overdraft up to $200 with no fees

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  • Requires direct deposit

Instant $200 cash advance on your paycheck

If you earn paychecks on a regular basis, you could request a cash advance from a paycheck advance app or certain banks. With a cash advance, you can get $200 now and pay it back the next time you get paid. 

You usually don’t have to pay interest on a cash advance, but you may have to pay a fee between $1 and $10 if you want instant funding. You also may be subject to fees if you don’t pay the cash advance back on your next paycheck.

  • Funding time: Many apps offer instant paycheck advances for a fee, such as Earnin and Dave. If you prefer not to pay a fee for instant cash, you can instead get funded in one to three business days. 
  • Credit check? No 
  • Best for: People who earn paychecks on a predictable schedule who need to cover a one-time emergency expense. 


  •  An easy way to borrow against your next paycheck.

  • May come with zero interest or fees, depending on the funding time you select


  • Not a long-term solution to cash flow issues 

  • You must consider how you’ll afford expenses the following month if you’ve already spent a portion of your paycheck before it hit your bank account

Instant $200 loan app

There are various $200 instant loan apps that can deposit small-amount loans directly into your bank account. These loans are often interest-free, as long as you pay them back quickly, such as on your next paycheck. A longer repayment term may come with interest. 

The loan may not cost you any additional fees or interest, or it could come with a fee between $1 and $10 or so, depending on the app. 

  • Funding time: Similar to cash advance apps, an instant loan app may offer instant funding for a fee or one- to three-day funding at no cost. MoneyLion, Brigit, and Chime are a few examples of these apps. 
  • Credit check? No 
  • Best for: People who need to cover a short-term cash flow issue and will be able to pay the loan back quickly. 


  • These $200 instant loan apps offer fast funding and an easy application process

  • They often don’t come with interest, fees, or a credit check


  • You could rack up penalties if you don’t pay the loan back quickly

  • You may also have to pay a one-time or subscription fee to use the app or to get your $200 instantly 

Personal loan

A personal loan provides funds that you can use for almost any expense, including emergency expenses, home renovations, and debt consolidation. It may be tough to borrow just $200, though, as many lenders require a minimum amount of $1,000 or more.

You can usually spread out payments over time; repayment terms often span one to five years or longer. 

Personal loans typically come with interest rates between 8% and 36%, depending on the lender and your creditworthiness. Some lenders also charge an origination fee, which may equal 1% to 10% of your loan amount. 

You’ll repay the amount you borrow, plus interest charges and, if applicable, an origination fee. 

  • Funding time: Depending on the lender, you might be able to get a personal loan the same day your application is approved. Other lenders may take a week or two to get you the funds. Examples of lenders who offer personal loans include Upgrade, SoFi, and Lightstream.
  • Credit check? Yes, though minimum credit score requirements vary by lender. Some lenders also let you apply with a creditworthy cosigner to boost your chances of qualifying or to access better rates. 
  • Best for: Borrowers with good credit who need a larger loan amount and lengthy repayment terms that span a year or longer. 


  • Large loan amounts

  • Lengthy repayment terms

  • Fixed interest rates that might be affordable, depending on your credit


  • It could take a few days to get your personal loan

  • You may have to borrow more than $200 to meet a lender’s minimum loan amount threshold

  • You’ll likely need a good credit score to qualify, as well as meet a lender’s criteria for income and debt-to-income ratio

Credit card advance

Many credit card companies let you borrow against your credit limit with a cash advance. You can use your credit card to take out cash at an ATM similar to how you would with a debit card (except you’ll have to pay interest and fees). 

Cash advances typically come with a fee around 3% to 5%, as well as a higher APR than your credit card’s purchase APR.

You’ll have to pay back the amount you borrowed, plus interest and a fee. Unlike credit card purchases, cash advances usually don’t come with a grace period. That means the amount you borrow starts accruing interest right away, usually at a high rate. 

  • Funding time: Instant 
  • Credit check? No, if you already have a credit card that offers cash advances. If not, you’ll have to undergo a credit check to qualify for a credit card. 
  • Best for: People who have exhausted other, more affordable options and can manage to pay back the high interest charges and fees. 


  • Make it easy to access $200 instantly if you already have a credit card in your wallet


  • Can be very pricey and are usually not the best option for borrowing $200

Payday loan

A payday loan provides fast cash, usually with no credit check required. You’ll generally pay it back on your next paycheck and may have to give the lender your bank account information so they can make an automatic withdrawal on your payment due date.

However, payday loans are often considered predatory, since they can come with astronomical interest charges and fees. Along with paying back the amount you borrow, you’ll pay these hefty interest charges and fees. 

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), payday loans can come with sky-high APRs of 400% or more. Financial experts generally recommend against borrowing a loan with an APR higher than 36%

  • Funding time: Same or next day after you apply 
  • Credit check: Usually no 
  • Best for: It’s generally not recommended to get a payday loan, since they can be very expensive. 


  • Easy to obtain

  • Offer fast funding without a credit check


  • Payday lenders often prey on vulnerable borrowers, offering funds regardless of your ability to pay them back

  • You can get stuck in a cycle of debt that’s difficult to repay

Can you get $200 now for free? 

It’s possible to access $200 instantly with a cash advance app, instant loan app, or another method, but you probably won’t get that cash for free. If avoiding fees is a priority, you may have to wait one to three days to receive the $200. 

  • Paycheck advance app Earnin, for example, lets you borrow up to $100 per day and $750 per pay period. You can opt for free delivery, or get fast funding for a fee between $1.99 and $4.99. Earnin also gives you the option of leaving a tip for each cash advance. 
  • Brigit is another app that lets you borrow between $50 and $250. Using Brigit requires a monthly subscription fee of $9.99 to $14.99. You can also pay an additional fee for fast funding. If you don’t pay the express fee, you can get your $200 in two to three business days. 

Despite the fees, these paycheck advance and instant loan apps are likely a more affordable option than a credit card cash advance or payday loan, both of which can come with expensive interest charges and fees. 

Risks and responsibilities

Having an urgent need for $200 can be a stressful situation, but it’s important to proceed with caution. While there are legitimate apps and institutions that can offer fast loans, there are also a number of predatory lenders in this space that take advantage of vulnerable borrowers. 

As mentioned, payday lenders often charge exorbitant interest rates and fees on loans that can trap borrowers in a cycle of debt. Borrowers may not be able to pay the loan back on their next paycheck, so they borrow another payday loan to pay off the first, and so on. 

Before you take out any money, make sure to do the following:

  • Read the fine print about any associated interest and fees, including penalties for not paying the loan back on time.
  • Consider upfront how you’ll pay back the loan, so you know what to expect and have a solid plan for repayment in place. 
  • Make sure that the lender is trustworthy before sharing any sensitive personal information, such as your bank account details or Social Security number. Review customer feedback on a site like TrustPilot or the Better Business Bureau, and check out the CFPB’s consumer complaint database to make this assessment.

If you feel you have been taken advantage of by a predatory lender, the Commodity Futures Trade Commission offers several steps to take.

Erin Kinkade


Alternative ways to borrow $200 

If none of the methods described above are a good fit for your finances, there are alternative ways to access the financing you need. Here are some additional options worth exploring. 

  • Payday Alternative Loan (PAL): Offered by credit unions, PALs range from $200 to $1,000 with repayment terms up to six months or a year, depending on the loan. The APR on a payday alternative loan maxes out at 28%. However, you may need to be a member of the credit union to borrow a loan. 
  • Buy now, pay later (BNPL) service: If you’re looking for $200 to cover a purchase, consider using a BNPL service at checkout. BNPL providers like Affirm and Afterpay let you spread out the cost of a purchase over time. You may be able to avoid interest and fees if you pay back the amount over four to six weeks. Longer repayment terms, however, may come with interest charges. 
  • 0% APR credit card: Creditworthy borrowers may consider opening a credit card with a 0% APR promotional period, which could span a year or longer. During this time, your purchase balance won’t accrue interest. However, you’ll be responsible for interest charges when the introductory period comes to an end, so this approach is best if you can pay off your balance in full before that date. 
  • Family or friend loan: If you’re in need of $200 fast, consider asking a friend or family member to front you the cash. You could draw up an agreement so that you’re both on the same page about when and how you’ll pay the loan back. 

Ask the expert

Erin Kinkade


Of these alternatives, a family or friend loan will be least expensive and will not impact credit, reliable—but pay them back as soon as you can! After that, consider a BNPL as long as payment is made within the terms, no interest or fees, or a 0% credit card, as long as payment is made within the terms of no interest.


Is there a “cooling-off” period for any of these options?

Loans that use your home as collateral, such as mortgages and home equity loans, come with a three-day “cooling-off” period, during which you can cancel the loan for any reason. 

This three-day cancellation rule doesn’t necessarily apply to other types of loans, but you may be able to contact the lender and cancel the loan if you’ve changed your mind. Reach out to the lender as soon as possible to find out about your options. 

What are the consequences of not repaying on time?

Not paying back a loan on time can lead to late fees, which can add to your costs of borrowing. The lender may also report late payments to the credit bureaus, which can damage your credit score. 

Which of these options can affect my credit score?

All of the options described above have the potential to hurt your credit score if you don’t make on-time payments. If you miss payments for a long time, the lender could report this activity to the credit bureaus, resulting in a decreased score. 

What’s more, a cash advance on a credit card could potentially harm your credit score, as it would increase your credit utilization ratio. 

That said, making on-time payments on a personal loan could help your credit score over time, since “payment history” makes up 35% of your FICO credit score.