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Personal Loans

Quick Loans: How to Find Fast Cash

An unplanned financial emergency can be stressful, especially if you don’t have cash savings to cover the expense. A personal loan could be a viable option to get fast funds. You can get a lump sum and repay the loan each month over a fixed repayment term.

Browse our top picks for personal loans that deliver quick funds to your bank account. We’ve selected a wide range of lenders based on credit profiles and other unique features.

In this guide:

Best quick personal loans

Getting quick cash loans doesn’t mean you need to apply with a predatory payday lender. None of the lenders we feature here are payday lenders. The time it takes to get a personal loan can differ by lender, but many deliver funds as soon as the same day.

Find out more details on our recommendations by following the link from the lender’s name in the table. It will drop down to a more detailed review, so you have all the information you need to weigh your options.

LenderBest forTime to fund
SoFiGood creditSame day
UpgradeFair creditWithin 1 day
AchieveChoosing payment date24 – 72 hours
Best EggSecured loans24 hours
UpstartThin (little to no) credit1 business day
Happy MoneyCredit card debt3 – 6 business days
LightStreamExcellent credit Same day

Best for good credit: SoFi

Editorial rating: 5 out of 5

  • Large loan amounts
  • Rate quote in 60 seconds
  • Unemployment protection

SoFi makes it easy to apply for a fast loan and get funds. You will, however, need good to excellent credit to qualify, along with a relatively high income. 

Get a loan quote in under a minute with a soft pull to your credit score. SoFi only performs a hard credit check when you accept a rate quote and continue with your application. 

Approval times are fast, and you could get funds the same day you apply. SoFi states it funded 86% of personal loans signed on a business day before 7 p.m. Eastern time the same day.

  • Credit score category: Good credit
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Yes
  • Deposit time: Same day
  • Origination fee: 0% – 6%
  • Late fee: None
  • Interest rates (APR): 7.99% – 23.43%
  • Repayment terms: 24 – 84 months

Best for fair credit: Upgrade

Editorial rating: 4.9 out of 5

  • Wide range of loan amounts
  • Next-day funding available 
  • Free credit monitoring resources

Upgrade is designed for borrowers with fair credit or better. The minimum credit score to apply is 560. One benefit is the minimum loan amount of $1,000, so you only borrow what you need.

You won’t get same-day funding with Upgrade, but you can get your loan amount delivered the day after passing the verification process. This includes confirming your income. 

Help speed up the process by quickly responding to any documentation requests, such as pay stubs or bank statements. 

  • Credit score category: Fair 
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Yes
  • Deposit time: Within one day of clearing verifications
  • Origination fee: 1.85% – 9.99%
  • Late fee: Up to $10
  • Interest rates (APR): 8.49%35.99%
  • Repayment terms: 24 – 48 months

Best for choosing payment date: Achieve

Editorial rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • Loan consultants available online or via phone
  • Lower origination fee range
  • Direct pay discount when consolidating debt

Loan approvals are fast with Achieve. You’ll find out the status of your application the same day you apply. From there, delivering funds to your bank account takes 24 to 72 hours.

One benefit of using Achieve to find quick loans online is that you can choose your initial payment date. That helps you control your monthly budget based on your schedule. 

  • Credit score category: Fair
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Yes
  • Deposit time: 24 – 72 hours
  • Origination fee: 1.99% – 6.99%
  • Late fee: $15 or 5%
  • Interest rates (APR): 7.99%35.99%
  • Repayment terms: 24 – 60 months

Best for a secured loan: Best Egg

Editorial rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • 24-hour funding time
  • Some borrowers have the option to change payment due date
  • No prepayment penalties

Best Egg offers secured and unsecured loan options. Secured loans use the equity in your home as collateral and save an average of 20% on interest rates. And when your loan amount is $50,000 or less, you don’t need to complete extra paperwork.

With either the secured or unsecured option, Best Egg funds personal loans quickly. The lender estimates half of its borrowers get next-day funding. Otherwise, it can take up to three business days.

  • Credit score category: Good
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Yes
  • Deposit time: As fast as 24 hours
  • Origination fee: 0.99% – 8.99%
  • Late fee: Yes
  • Interest rates (APR): 5.99%29.99% (secured); 8.99%35.99% (unsecured)
  • Repayment terms: 36 – 60 months

Best for thin credit: Upstart

Editorial rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • Most loan funds delivered the next business day
  • Unique approval process looks at education and income as well as credit
  • Low minimum loan amount

Borrowers who need quick loans for bad credit—or little to no credit—could get Upstart’s approval depending on other factors. Upstart doesn’t have set credit score minimums. Instead, the lender analyzes other factors, including education and income.

Funding times are fast with Upstart. Sign your loan agreement by 5 p.m. Eastern on a business day, and get your funds the next day. 

  • Credit score category: Poor
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Yes
  • Deposit time: Within one business day
  • Origination fee: 0% – 12%
  • Late fee: The greater of 5% of monthly past due amount or $15
  • Interest rates (APR): 6.12% – 35.99%
  • Repayment terms: 36 or 60 months

Best for credit card debt: Happy Money

Editorial rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • Personal support from Member Advocates
  • Designed for credit card debt consolidation
  • Could improve your credit score

Happy Money is designed to consolidate high-interest credit card debt with a fixed-rate loan. You’ll then make one single payment with no late fees. 

Plus, you could boost your credit. A 2021 study showed that members who paid off at least $5,000 in credit card debt with a Happy Money loan saw a 40-point credit score increase within four months.

The downside is slower funding times. Expect the deposit process to take up to six business days. 

  • Credit score category: Fair
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Yes
  • Deposit time: 3 – 6 business days
  • Origination fee: 0% – 5%
  • Late fee: None
  • Interest rates (APR): 10.50%29.99%
  • Repayment terms: 24 – 60 months

Best for excellent credit: LightStream

Editorial rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • No origination or late fees
  • Large loan amounts
  • Same-day funding available

LightStream is among the fastest lenders on our list, offering quick loans with same-day funding. However, the lender doesn’t provide preapproval. To be considered, you must complete a full application—including a hard credit check, which can lower your credit score by several points.

You’ll also need a good or excellent credit score. LightStream also evaluates your assets, income, current debts, and payment history.

  • Credit score category: Excellent
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? No
  • Deposit time: Same day
  • Origination fee: None
  • Late fee: None
  • Interest rates (APR): 7.49%24.49%
  • Repayment terms: 24 – 144 months

Should I take out a quick loan online?

Everyone’s situation is different. When considering a quick online loan, determine whether your planned use for the loan is worth the expense. All personal loans cost something in the form of interest and sometimes fees, regardless of credit score.

Check your credit score before loan shopping to understand your rate range. Many banks and credit card companies offer free credit score access. Or you can find a free educational version of your credit score online.

Here are the credit score ranges using the popular FICO scoring model:

Credit scoreCategory
300 – 579Poor
580 – 669Fair
670 – 739Good
740 – 799 Very good
800 – 850Exceptional

How to choose a quick personal loan

You should consider several features when comparing your options for quick loans. Start by looking at lenders that cater to your credit category. 

Those that offer a prequalification process perform a soft credit check to let you see terms you’ll likely qualify for. It only affects your credit score once you submit the loan application. These recommended lenders offer prequalification with just a soft inquiry:

  • SoFi
  • Upgrade
  • LendingPoint
  • Achieve
  • Best Egg
  • Upstart
  • Happy Money

When you get loan terms to compare, look at all the potential costs, including:

  • Interest rate and APR
  • Origination fee
  • Late fees
  • Prepayment penalties

Ensure the monthly payments are affordable. For instance, a shorter loan comes with higher payments than a longer loan term, but you’ll pay less in interest over time. 

How to apply for a quick cash loan

Once you’ve selected your lender and loan offer, it’s time to complete the application process. Here’s how.

  1. Submit the complete online application.
  2. Provide required documentation, such as pay stubs and bank statements.
  3. Wait for loan approval (often same-day with online lenders).
  4. Review and sign the final loan agreement.
  5. Get funds deposited into your account. Most origination fees are deducted before you receive the money.

Alternatives to personal loans for fast funds

If a quick loan doesn’t feel right or you can’t get approved, consider these alternatives for speedy financing. 

Credit cards

Credit cards can come with higher interest rates than personal loans, averaging 20.09% in February 2023. Plus, paying off your balance can take a long time if you only make the minimum payment.

However, it is fast to get approved. You’ll find out right away whether your application is accepted. After that, you just need to wait for the credit card to arrive in the mail, which can take seven to 10 business days.

Line of credit

A personal line of credit is a revolving credit similar to a credit card. But instead of using a card to pay for your expenses, you transfer funds from the credit line to your bank account. Then interest accrues until you pay off your balance.

The downside is that approval requirements may be similar to a personal loan. You could improve your odds by applying with a bank or credit union where you already have an account in good standing.

Retirement plan loan

Another option to access emergency fast cash is a retirement plan loan. However, this alternative has several disadvantages to be aware of.

You don’t have to pay taxes or penalties as you would with a withdrawal, but loan payments are deducted from your paycheck. 

And if you leave your employer, you must repay the loan by the federal tax deadline of the following year. If you don’t, you’re subject to income tax and an early withdrawal penalty on the remaining balance.

FAQ

Can I get a quick loan for bad credit?

Loan options exist even if you have a poor credit score. We recommend Upgrade as our best lender for fair and bad credit. For thin credit (meaning you have a limited amount of established credit history), we recommend Upstart.

When you explore quick loans for bad credit, avoid payday loans. These are known for sky-high fees that continue to grow if you can’t make your payments on time.

What is the best quick loan I can take out online?

It depends on your situation. Different lenders cater to unique types of borrowers. Here’s what to look for:

  • Credit profile that matches lender’s minimum
  • Low origination fee
  • Funding time that meets your needs
  • Monthly payments that work within your budget

What quick cash loans should you avoid?

Not all quick loans offer favorable terms for borrowers. Watch out for payday loans. These come with high fees and short repayment deadlines (often within two weeks). You may need to give access to your bank account for an automatic deduction on your payday.

On top of that, payday loans are only reported on your credit report if you default. If you make on-time payments, you don’t benefit from establishing a positive payment history.

Another type of high-interest loan to avoid is a title loan. Instead of attaching to your paycheck like a payday loan, this financing uses your car as collateral. Loan amounts are small, and the interest is high. 

If you fall behind on payments, the lender can take possession of your car to cover the defaulted loan. 

Do any recommended quick loans offer same-day funding?

Consider these lenders for fast loans.

LenderSame-day approvalSame-day fundsNext-day fundsFunds within a few days
SoFi
Upgrade
LendingPoint
Achieve
Best Egg
Upstart
Happy Money
LightStream

What are the risks of quick personal loans?

Evaluating any personal loan offer, especially those advertised as fast, is essential. Many lenders may charge high origination fees, which lowers the loan funds you receive.

Interest rates could also be high. Review how much you’ll pay in interest and any prepayment penalties.

We only recommend trusted lenders with APR ranges that don’t exceed 36%. We also look for  lenders with no or low fees. Our recommendations come with various loan terms to choose from so you can pick a monthly payment that works for your budget.

What can I do to speed up getting my loan funds?

Prepare your financial documentation in advance. You might need your Social Security number, recent pay stubs, and bank statements. Check each lender’s requirements before you apply to ensure a quick and smooth application process.