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If you don’t have emergency funds and need to cover an unexpected cost, an emergency personal loan could help. (Shutterstock)

If you face an emergency expense, it can be stressful how to pay for it, especially if your budget is tight. You may consider an emergency loan if you need to cover car repairs, medical expenses, home repairs, or emergency travel.

A emergency loan is a short-term personal loan that you can use to cover unexpected expenses. Many lenders offer emergency loans, although the lender may charge higher rates than with a traditional personal loan.

Credible, it’s easy to view your prequalified personal loan rates from various lenders, all in one place.

What is an emergency loan and how does it work?

Contrary to payday loans, offered by payday lenders, emergency loans are personal loans offered by traditional lenders. Although the interest rates for emergency loans are generally higher than with a conventional loan, their rates or fees are generally not as high as what you would see with a payday loan.

Also, most emergency loans are unsecured, so you won’t have to provide any assets as collateral for the loan.

Emergency loans generally offer faster funding because many borrowers need money quickly. The convenience of an emergency loan may result in higher interest rates, but borrowing requirements vary by lender.


How to Compare Emergency Loans

One of the most critical steps in choosing an emergency loan lender is comparing loan rates and terms. Comparing lenders lets you decide which best suits your needs, and you’re more likely to save money or find better terms if you shop around.

Here are some things to consider when choosing an emergency loan:

  • Interest rate and APR — The interest rate is the cost you pay to borrow money, expressed as a percentage. The annual percentage rate, or APR, includes interest and any fees charged by the lender. This is therefore a more accurate figure of the cost of your loan.
  • Funding time — If you need money urgently, you’ll want to make sure the lender you choose can meet your deadline.
  • Amount of the loan – Minimum and maximum loan amounts vary by lender. If you need an emergency loan, be sure to choose a lender who offers an amount that will cover your expenses.
  • Repayment Terms – Longer repayment terms mean lower monthly payments, but you’ll pay more interest over the life of the loan. Shorter repayment terms will give you a higher monthly payment, but you’ll save more on interest charges.
  • Lender fees — It’s possible to save money by looking for lenders that offer low interest rates for automatic payments, no loan origination fees, and no prepayment penalties.

Visit Credible for compare personal loan rates from various lenders, without affecting your credit score.

Best emergency loans of October 2022

The following eight Credible partner lenders offer emergency loans with same-day or next-day funding:

Ideal for large loan amounts


  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,0000
  • Loan conditions : 2 to 7 years (12 years for renovation credits)
  • Costs: None
  • Funding time: As soon as the same working day

Ideal for small loan amounts

OneMain Financial

  • Minimum credit score: None
  • Loan amounts: $1,500 to $20,000
  • Loan conditions : 2 to 5 years
  • Costs: Setup fees vary by state
  • Funding time: Same day, but usually requires a visit to a branch

Ideal for bad credit


  • Minimum credit score: 550
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $35,000
  • Loan conditions : 2 to 5 years
  • Costs: Administration fee up to 4.75%
  • Funding time: As of the next business day, if approved before 4:30 p.m. central time on a weekday


  • Minimum credit score: 580
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $36,500
  • Loan conditions : 2 to 6 years old
  • Costs: Set-up costs up to 7%
  • Funding time: From the next working day

Universal Credit

  • Minimum credit score: 560
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Loan conditions : 3 to 5 years
  • Costs: Set-up fee from 4.25% to 8%
  • Funding time: Within 1 day once approved


Ideal for longer repayment terms


  • Minimum credit rating: 700
  • Loan amounts: $10,000 to $50,000
  • Loan conditions : 3 to 6 years old
  • Costs: Setup fee from 0% to 2%
  • Funding time: From the next working day


  • Minimum credit rating: 560
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Loan conditions : 2 to 6 years old
  • Costs: Set-up commission from 2% to 8%
  • Funding time: Within one day after completing the necessary checks

Best for little to no cost


  • Minimum credit rating: 660
  • Loan amounts: $2,500 to $35,000
  • Loan conditions : 3 to 7 years old
  • Costs: Late payment fees
  • Funding time: From the working day following acceptance

Other Lenders to Consider

The following two lenders are not Credible partners, so you won’t be able to easily compare your rates with them on the Credible platform. But they may also be worth considering if you’re looking for an emergency loan.

Ideal for debt consolidation

Road of laurels

  • Minimum credit score: don’t divulge
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $45,000
  • Loan conditions : 3 to 5 years
  • Costs: None
  • Funding time: Within 24 hours after approval

Ideal for low income borrowers

Rocket Loans

  • Minimum credit rating: don’t divulge
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $45,000
  • Loan conditions : 3 to 5 years
  • Costs: Set-up commission from 1% to 6%
  • Funding time: From the same day


Credible rated the best emergency loans on factors such as customer experience, minimum fixed rate, maximum loan amount, funding term, loan terms and fees. Credible’s team of experts gathered information from each lender’s website, customer service, and via email support. Each data point was checked to ensure it was up to date.


How to get an emergency loan

When you’re ready to apply for an emergency loan, follow these four steps:

  1. Compare the prices. Compare loan rates and terms from at least three to five lenders to ensure you find the best deal for your situation.
  2. Submit your application. Once you have chosen a lender, you will need to submit a complete application. Be sure to include all required documents, such as bank statements, proof of income, proof of address, and ID.
  3. Review your loan offer. If your loan is approved, carefully review your loan offer and choose a payment date that best fits your monthly payment schedule. Sign your documents to accept your loan.
  4. Start making payments on your new loan. Consider setting up automatic payments to ensure your monthly payments are always made on time. Some lenders even offer a reduced interest rate for automatic payments.

Emergency loans can be a useful solution when you need money for an unexpected situation. Be sure to do your research and plan to save the most money on your loan.

If you’re ready to apply for an emergency loan, Credible makes it quick and easy compare personal loan rates to find the one that suits your needs.

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