How to get an emergency loan with bad credit


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If you have a low credit score and need to borrow money for an unexpected expense, it is possible to find an emergency bad credit loan. (Shutterstock)

Once in a while, you may face an urgent or unexpected expense, such as a car repair or a medical procedure. With an emergency loan, you can get the money you need to cover expenses quickly, even if you have bad credit.

Here’s what you need to know about emergency loans with bad credit, what you can use the loan funds for, and some types of emergency loans you should avoid.

Where to get an emergency loan

You can get an emergency loan from multiple places, including online lenders, banks, and credit unions.

Online lenders

You can apply for an emergency loan and receive the funds online through an online lender without ever setting foot in a physical location. Depending on the lender, you may be able to prequalify and verify your loan offers online without affecting your credit.

If you find a loan offer that meets your needs, you can complete a formal application in minutes. Once you’re approved, you can receive your funds by direct deposit the same day, within 24 hours, or within a few business days.

Credible, it’s easy to compare personal loan rates from various lenders, and it will not affect your credit score.


Many types of banks – including large national banks and smaller community banks – offer emergency loans to their customers. You may be able to apply online or in person at a local branch. If you are approved, you will likely receive your funds within a few business days or a week, although funding may take longer in some cases.

Although banks sometimes offer larger emergency loans than other lenders, they also tend to have stricter requirements to qualify. You may also need to be an existing customer or meet certain income and credit criteria.

credit unions

Credit unions are non-profit organizations that generally have a local presence. Compared to banks, credit unions tend to offer lower rates on all types of products, including emergency loans. They are also known for their more personalized service. The caveat, however, is that you must meet certain membership requirements and join a credit union if you want to take advantage of any of its offers.

How to get an emergency loan with bad credit

You generally need good to excellent credit to qualify for a personal loan, so if your credit is weak, it may be more difficult to qualify. But some lenders specialize in loans for bad creditso it is still possible to get an emergency loan even if you have bad credit or no credit history.

You can also apply for an emergency loan from a co-signer to increase your chances of approval or get a lower interest rate. Remember that a co-signer will be legally responsible for the loan if you cannot make your payments.

Follow these steps to apply for an emergency loan:

  1. Shop around and compare lenders. Do research and compare several emergency lenders. Consider their interest rates, repayment terms, fees, and eligibility requirements.
  2. Choose your emergency loan. Once you have compared lenders, choose the loan option that best suits your particular situation.
  3. Fill out an application. Complete the official application online or in person. Be prepared to share basic financial information and submit documents, such as your government-issued ID, tax returns, and pay stubs.
  4. Get your funds. If you are approved, the lender will distribute your money, usually by direct deposit. Funding time can be same day or next business day after approval, depending on the lender.

Head to Credible for quick and easy compare personal loan rates from various lenders, all in one place.

What can emergency loans be used for?

An emergency loan is flexible, meaning you can use the funds for almost any type of emergency expense, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • dental costs
  • Unscheduled car repairs
  • Urgent home renovations or repairs
  • Emergency veterinary care
  • Unforeseen moving costs
  • Rent or mortgage payments to avoid foreclosure
  • Funeral and burial expenses

As is the case with traditional personal loans, you cannot use emergency loan funds for tuition, a down payment on a home, gambling, or illegal activities.

How to compare emergency lenders

Here are several important factors to keep in mind when evaluating your lender’s options for emergency loans:

  • Eligibility criteria – Most lenders require good credit, verifiable income, and a low debt-to-income ratio. But some may consider factors other than your credit score.
  • Loan amounts — In most cases, you can borrow as little as $600 up to $100,000 with a Personal loan. Make sure you only borrow what you need.
  • Interest rate – Loans for bad credit tend to have higher interest rates to offset the lender’s risk of lending you money.
  • Repayment Terms – Repayment terms generally range from one to seven years, depending on the lender. Although choosing a longer term may result in a lower monthly payment, a shorter term will keep your interest charges as low as possible.
  • It’s time to finance — If you are approved, you can expect to receive your funds anywhere from the same or next business day after your approval, up to a week (and sometimes longer).

Even if you have bad credit, it is possible to get approved for a personal loan. Credible, it’s easy to view your prequalified personal loan rates so you can find a loan that best suits your needs.

Types of emergency loans to avoid

If you’re facing an emergency, you might be tempted to take out other types of risky loans that can do more harm than good. You should avoid these types of emergency loans whenever possible:

  • Payday loans These are small, short-term loans designed to hold you over until your next payday. You pay them back when you get your paycheck, usually within two to four weeks. Although payday loans do not require a credit check, they come with fees equivalent to exorbitant interest rates that can significantly increase the overall cost of your emergency.
  • Securities lending — Title loans are secured loans that give you fast cash in exchange for title to your car. If you don’t repay your loan as agreed, the lender can repossess your vehicle.
  • Pawnbrokers — With pawnbrokers, you secure a valuable item, such as a diamond ring or a guitar, in exchange for cash. Like payday loans, pawnbrokers are notorious for their extremely high fees and interest rates. And if you don’t repay your loan as agreed, the pawnbroker can sell your item.

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