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Updated: May 11, 2023
author photo Written by Patrick MooreUpdated: May 11, 2023
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Emergency loans are quick loans to cater to urgent short-term expenses. For instance, a broken-down car is something you don't look forward to most of the time. If you don't have stashed funds at that time, an emergency loan can come in handy.

Emergency loans can be challenging to secure when you have poor credit and payment history. However, you will still get offers; read below for guidance on how to secure one.

Can I get an urgent loan with bad credit?

Bad credit doesn't stop you from getting an emergency loan. Some lenders don't offer an advance based on your credit history. Instead, they consider your debt-to-income ratio, meaning you can still secure the loan if your income can cover it.

Loan companies that consider debt-to-income ratio usually give loans based on your capacity. If you request a loan higher than your income can cater for, they simply reduce it and offer an amount you are likely to pay back. 

However, if you need to get a particular emergency loan amount, but your credit score and debt-to-income ratio don't make the cut, you can apply with a co-signer.

Applying with a co-signer helps you access funds you don't qualify for alone. Such a person has to be a creditworthy family or friend who consents to the loan and agrees to be held responsible in case you default. 

You could also get a loan with a co-borrower. The difference between a co-signer and a co-borrower is that the former has no access to the loan, while the latter does. Once you co-sign or co-borrow a loan, the history reflects on both your score and the second party.

If you default and your co-signer or co-borrower cannot pay, the debt will worsen your bad credit and negatively affect the other person's history. Therefore, it is best to repay your loan.

How to choose the best lenders for bad credit urgent loans

Despite having bad credit, you can still get loans from some lenders willing to take the risk. However, they all have terms and conditions peculiar to their business. So, when choosing a lender for bad credit urgent loans, it is best to weigh the costs and criteria before accepting their offer. 

Here are the factors you should consider to make an informed decision when choosing a lender for bad credit urgent loans:

1. The cost of the emergency loan

It is recommended to compare the total charges, from interest rate to other fees. You should consider the urgent loan with the lowest APR as that is the least costly one.

Before accepting the urgent loan offer, check the lender's monthly repayment amount. Sometimes, when you add the fractions payable every month, they are well over the initial loan amount. So, even if the company offers an extended repayment plan, add it up to prevent paying ridiculous interest fees. 

2. The speed of the loan funded

Always ask about the funding speed of the loan companies under consideration. For example, some lenders can approve and deposit the cash into your account within 24 hours, while some can take up to one week to finish the processing.

You are taking the emergency loan primarily to take care of an unplanned urgent expense, meaning you require quick intervention. Therefore, only loans that meet that timely need should be considered.

3. Payment Terms

Each lender you come across has conditions attached to their services. The terms usually include how and where to repay your loan, their interest rate, additional fees, the timeline for the advance repayment, and other clauses.  

Ensure you read the terms thoroughly to avoid traps and unwise financial decisions. Then, only choose the loan that offers convenient plans for repayment and favorable conditions.

4. Online Services

Nobody wants to experience the back and forth of using offline loan services. You may have to sit through the whole process, and there is no telling how long that would take. That is why it is advisable to choose lenders that operate online. 

Online loans offer a fast and convenient option for borrowing money. Collateralsare not required, and you will only need minimal identification documents. While most personal loan lenders operate online, some offer simple application interfaces that make the borrowing process much easier. 

5. Eligibility requirements 

Some lenders specialize in giving loans to people with bad credit, and an average US citizen can usually fulfill their eligibility criteria. It is advisable to target platforms like that if you have bad credit and want an emergency loan. With such loan companies, you can qualify if you meet the following criteria;

  • You are at least 18
  • You have a verifiable income source
  • You are a US citizen with credible means of identification
  • You have a registered SSN 
  • Your bank account is active
  • Your employment status is credible

Now, you know how to choose the best lenders for urgent bad credit loans. See where to find suitable lenders in the next section.

Get a fast urgent loan at a lower interest rate for bad credit with CreditYelp.

Finding a suitable urgent loan provider for bad credit with a reasonable interest rate can take time and effort. However, with the help of CreditYelp, you can access emergency loans faster and easier with no outrageous fees attached. 

CreditYelp is an online broker that helps you discover the ideal lenders for your financial situation. We connect you with credible loan lenders in our over ten affiliate network.

At CreditYelp, we provide a comprehensive and detailed evaluation of each lender under review so you can make an informed decision. 

Get an Urgent Loan Now!

If your credit falls into the bad credit range, most lenders and banks will likely see you as a credit risk. This is where CreditYelp comes to the rescue.

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CreditYelp offers loan scouting services in three simple steps:

  1. You fill out our form, and we share it with credible online lenders.
  2. We get back to you with offers from willing lenders and our evaluation of their loan services.
  3. Select the best one, sign the deal, and expect a cash deposit into your account as soon as the next business day.

In addition to loan services, we offer our clients economical credit card evaluation services. We conduct extensive research to help you select the ideal credit card company for your needs. 

How does CreditYelp compare

Why Choose Us?
How much am I allowed to borrow?
Up to $35,000
No hidden fees or charges
How long is the loan repayment period?
Up to 36 months
Various repayment options
Do lenders check my credit?
Soft Check Only
Do lenders Accept bad credit?
Friendly to Bad Credit Borrowers
Chances of approval
High Approval Rate
How to apply?
Apply online
No paperwork needed
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Here's what to expect when you join CreditYelp:

  • You will get emergency funds despite having bad credit.
  • We currently have over ten reliable lenders with NMLS ID that receive your form when you fill one with us.
  • Our lender partners offer high loan limits and reasonable interest fees.
  • Our lenders offer favorable repayment terms and plans and do not introduce extra fees.

Tips to improve your chance of applying for an urgent loan with bad credit

Add a co-signer or co-borrower

Getting a loan with a co-signer or co-borrower can help increase your chance of getting good emergency loan deals. Such a person has a good credit score that enables you to qualify for deals you may not get on an own with bad credit. The person is also like a guarantor and is responsible when you default on repayment.

Add collateral

Although it is not rampant, some emergency lenders accept collateral, especially when your credit score and debt-to-income ratio are not up to standard.

Such items usually have a value almost equal to the loan amount and can increase your chance of getting urgent loan offers. The collateral serves as security; If you default, the loan company can claim ownership of that asset. 

Add up income streams.

To qualify for better loans, you can add up income sources, like alimony, social security dues, child support, and other settlement forms. Then, simply tender proof of different income streams to show lenders that you can repay the loan.

Most loan companies check your debt-to-income ratio to ascertain that you can settle the loan, cater for necessities, and have little money left for other things. 

How to apply for an emergency loan if you have bad credit

If you are planning to request an emergency loan, here's how to go about it generally.

  1. Gather All the Necessary Documents
  2. Lenders require specific information to verify your identity and other claims. So, before you apply for an emergency loan, gather all the necessary documents and means of identification, like your SSN, ID card, proof of income, and others.

  3. Submit a Preliminary Application
  4. Most personal loan lenders let you run a pre-qualify application that shows whether you are eligible for the loan. The process allows you to check the loan amount available, the interest rate, and the conditions for repayment.

    It is almost like you have already accepted the advance, but the process is just a simulation. It takes a few minutes and will never affect your credit score.

  5. Compare all offers, select the best one and apply
  6. Ensure you do apply for the pre-qualification with as many lenders as possible. Then, compare all the offers after that, choose the one with the most favorable conditions and repayment plans, and apply for such a loan. 

7 Types of Emergency Loans

#1 Personal loans

Personal loans are the most common type of emergency loans you will come across. Banks, private loan companies, credit unions, and other online financial institutions offer them.

Personal loan lenders usually give a lump sum that you are expected to pay back in monthly installments. Such loans come with an interest rate and minimal fees, which you must pay with the amount borrowed.

Personal emergency loans have several perks for borrowers. Most online lenders process your application quickly and deposit the fund within 24 hours. Another benefit is that you can repay the personal loan over an extended period. 

Personal loans are your best option if you want an emergency loan with low interest and no collateral requirements. You will still find willing personal loan lenders online, even with a bad credit score.

#2 Credit Card Cash Advances

Credit card cash advances are another popular type of emergency loan that you can access quickly to meet your needs. Most credit card companies offer their users the opportunity to borrow conveniently using an ATM or bank teller.

Of course, such a convenient feature comes with charges and an interest rate. The credit card cash advance usually has a higher APR and interest rate than when used for purchases. 

The Cash advance you can borrow is also limited to a percentage of your credit card's limit. Therefore, you cannot borrow as much as you can get from personal loan lenders. This option is suitable if your emergency needs require a minimal amount. 

One advantage of the credit card cash advance is that you don't need to go through any process to get the cash. Once your active credit card is in good standing, you will most likely have access to an advance immediately when you swipe your card.

#3 Payday loans

Payday loans are instant loans with short-term repayment plans, usually between one to two weeks. Because of the quick repayment deadline, the amount offered to borrowers is generally small to enable them to repay within the stipulated time. 

Now, while this option promises convenience, lenders usually collect outrageous interest on their loans. Some Payday loan companies can add up to 400% of the loan amount as the interest rate. So when choosing payday loans for emergency needs, you will get instant deposits at a very high cost.

#4 Pawn shop loans

Pawn shop loans are short-term loans that involve the use of collateral. Unlike traditional and online loans, pawn shop lenders do not prioritize your credit score.

Instead, the item you tender in exchange for the loan serves as security if you default. The lender appraises such an item, and a loan equal in value is given to you. The repayment date for pawn shop loans is usually between 30-60 days.

When you don't repay the loan within the stipulated time, the pawn shop sells the collateral to recoup the bad debt. Like other emergency loans, pawn shop loans charge a fee on each advance. For instance, you could be asked to pay a $20 fee for a $150 loan (over 150% APR). 

One perk of taking pawn shop loans is the swift cash receipt. However, the fees charged on pawn shop loans can be extreme. Consider other options with subtle conditions before taking a pawn shop loan.

#5 Title loans

A title loan is a secured loan that enables you to tender your vehicle as collateral. This option does not consider your credit score, payment history, or income source because your vehicle is secure. Title loans usually come with high interest and a short repayment time, usually 30 days.

Unlike personal loans, title loan repayments are not made in monthly installments. Instead, at the end of the loan period, you are expected to pay a lump sum which includes the original loan amount, interest rate, and other fees. If you default on payment, the title loan lenders can claim your vehicle and sell it to get their money back.

It is only advisable to take title loans when you know how to pay them back. The high-interest rate can also make repayment uncomfortable for you. 

#6 Payday alternative loans (PALs)

Payday alternative loans (PALs) are loans offered by the National Credit Union Administration to its members. This loan option is a better emergency loan than most other available means.

The APR is reasonable and does not require a credit score check. Most credit unions that offer PALs prioritize the borrower's income when determining their eligibility.

There are two versions of the PALs: PALs and PALs II. Both have similar rules, but PALs II has some exceptions.

Before accessing the PALs, you must have been with the federal union for at least one month. They usually give minimal loans between $200 to $1000 at a maximum APR of 28%, making PALs more affordable than most emergency loan options.

However, PALs are expected to be paid back fully in one to six monthly installments with no rollovers allowed. Therefore, as a rule of thumb, members can get only three PALs within six months. 

As stated earlier, the PALs II has some special rules; Borrowers don't need to be with the credit union for a month before getting access and can borrow up to $2000, unlike in the PALs. Due to the higher loan amount, repayment for PALs II is spread across 1-12 months. 

If you are a credit union member, it is more advisable to get loans from them than from other sources. That is because the unions are not profit-driven but keen on helping members achieve financial stability. That explains the low-interest rates and minimal processing fees charged.

#7 Home Equity Loans

If you want a heavy emergency loan, you might secure one if you have a home. Home Equity Loans are another type of secured loan that allows you to use your house as collateral.

The amount you get is based on the difference between the market value of your home and the due mortgage balance. Due to the high loan amount offered by the Home Equity Loans, repayment is spread across years. 

Home Equity Loans usually have fixed rates, but it has a variety (HELOCs) that offers variable rates. Fixed-rate home equity loans provide a lump sum that is meant to be repaid in installments within 5-15 years. The interest rate and loan amount don't change during the loan period. 

On the other end, HELOC is a line of credit that enables you to draw funds anytime you need them. Unlike the fixed-rate home equity loan, the interest rate for HELOC changes as you borrow. 

A perk of the home equity loan is that it charges a lower interest than most other emergency loans. However, the rate you get may depend on your credit score, debt-to-income, and other home equity offers. 

Alternatives to Emergency loans 

There are a couple of alternatives to emergency loans in case you cannot get a suitable option. See them below.

Cash Advance

Many financial institutions and platforms offer cash advances to their users. For instance, you may use the Cash App borrow feature if you are a regular platform user. You can also download other cash advance apps and get small amounts to cover your emergency needs.

However, be wary of their interest rates as some collect outrageous fees.

Ask for a payment plan

Instead of applying for loans, you could pay off your expenses, like medical bills, in installments. Ask the service provider or goods vendor for a payment plan. That way, you won't have to borrow from lenders.

See if you can "buy now, pay later"

Some people or establishments allow their clients to purchase products or engage their services on credit. If you are low on cash and have an emergency need, ask whether you can get the products or services and pay for them later. This option allows you to split the bill into smaller bits, making payment more manageable.

Explore charitable financial assistance grants

Seek help from local groups, like churches and other religious organizations, non-profits, and charities. Such groups provide humanitarian aid and can help meet your emergency needs through small loans and assistance programs.

Plan for your next emergency now

Emergencies come with unplanned expenses that may jeopardize several of your plans. Because of that, you should prepare for them somehow. Here are a few tips to help you plan your next emergency.

  • Always stash some funds away for rainy days.
  • Curbing unnecessary spending can help you gather more savings than usual.
  • Save emergency funds separate from your regular bank account.
  • Be deliberate about adding cash to your emergency fund account. 
  • You can automate your emergency fund savings to remain consistent.


Will an urgent Loan Affect My Credit Score?

Urgent loans may or may not affect your credit score because not all lenders report your account to the credit bureaus. For example, payday lenders, pawn shops, and title loan companies usually will not contact the bureaus when you default.

To prevent any issues, simply repay your loans timely. That way, you will not have to worry whether your credit score is affected.

Are there other online brokers?

Yes, there are several other online brokers that offer loans, including: Urban BCL, Credible and LendingClub,etc.

How Fast Can I Get an Urgent Loan?

You can secure an urgent loan instantly, depending on where you apply. Online personal loan lenders, for instance, deposit the funds into your account within 24 hours of application. Secured loans, like title and pawn shops, also give you a loan once they get worthy collateral. 

Is it possible to get an urgent loan without a credit check?

Most online lenders perform a soft credit check before approving a loan request. A soft credit check is quick and will not affect your credit score. However, you can expect a high-interest rate on a loan if the lender does not perform a credit check before giving you the loan.

What is the difference between a secured and unsecured loan?

A secured loan allows you to tender collateral as a security in case you cannot repay your loan. The secured loan lenders simply claim and sell the item to recoup their losses. On the other end, unsecured loans don't warrant collateral.

Most unsecured loan companies prioritize your credit score and debt-to-income ratio to ascertain that you can repay your loans within the stipulated time. 

What is the easiest type of loan to get with bad credit?

Co-signed or co-borrowed and secured loans are the easiest to get with bad credit. Co-signed or co-borrowed loan is a joint loan that allows you to qualify for a loan, considering the second party's credit score. Secured loans, like pawn shop loans and title loans, require collateral, claimable by the lender if you default on payment. 

What Can These Urgent Loans Be Used For

  • Medical bills
  • Sudden vehicle repairs
  • Burial or funeral expenses
  • Urgent roof repairs
  • Sudden travels (either personal or work-related)
  • An emergency visit to a vet
  • High-interest credit card debt
  • Rent and mortgage payments
  • Utilities


It is ideal for dealing with your urgent expenses with saved emergency funds. However, if you don't have one, emergency loans or their alternatives are excellent options to cover urgent expenses, especially with bad credit. While emergency loans usually come with fast approval and funding, some of their interest rates can be overwhelming. 

So, before considering cash advances and emergency loans, check for alternative aids like help from your local groups, installments for expenses, buy now, pay later, and more. 

When you are out of options and need to secure emergency loans, contact us at CreditYelp to connect you to the ideal urgent loans for bad credit. 

Join CreditYelp now to get started!

author photo

Written by

Patrick Moore


Patrick Moore is an expert contributor and lead editor at CreditYelp, specializing in credit card news, personal finance advice, and entrepreneurship.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.
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