Although you can get an emergency loan from your credit card issuer or a payday lender, we recommend getting a traditional unsecured personal loan from a bank, co-op credit or an online lender.
If you have a traditional bank account at a physical institution, you may also be lucky to get a personal loan from there.
Banks have different processing methods compared to other lenders. For example, many banks have higher credit scores or income requirements before you can qualify for a personal loan. And you may not get the money as quickly as you need it, so check how long it takes for the funds to be deposited in your account before applying.
If you have a cash account instead of a bank account, you can get an emergency loan from a credit union. Credit unions are community-based and friendlier to borrowers with fair and poor credit.
Credit union emergency loans vary in amount, but many offer alternative payday loans between $200 and $1,000. Keep in mind, however, that some credit unions only lend to their members or to people who have been members for a while. If you don’t meet these conditions or need to borrow more, you may want to explore other options.
Online lenders offer a wide variety of emergency loans, and most don’t require you to be a member or have a checking account. Plus, many offer prequalification options so you can see if you’re qualified to borrow an emergency loan before you apply. This can help you avoid a rigorous credit check which can negatively impact your credit.
While you may not feel comfortable taking out a personal loan from an online lender, keep in mind that many traditional banks also offer online applications and processing. Just make sure it’s a reputable online lender with a secure website and a solid offer.