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Short-terms Loans Online

Lorien Strydom

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Lorien Strydom
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Short-term loans are a type of loan that offers financial support for a brief period, usually less than a year. When you take out a short-term loan, you commit to repaying it, with interest, within a set time.

The repayment plan generally occurs on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis

These loans ‌can be highly convenient for addressing immediate financial needs. However, ‌ convenience comes at a cost. High interest rates and additional fees make these loans expensive, so they should only be used for short-term financial emergencies.

Types Of Short-Term Loans

Payday Loans

Short-term payday loans are a form of advance on your upcoming paycheck. They are easy to obtain, with most lenders only requiring proof of income and a bank account. Unlike traditional loans, payday loans do not require a credit check. However, these loans come with high fees and strict repayment deadlines that can make it difficult to pay off the debt on time.

When taking out short-term payday loans, be aware that lenders may charge high interest rates, often around 400% for a two-week loan. This is because they typically charge a flat fee of $10 to $30 for every $100 borrowed, depending on your state’s laws.

In addition to the interest rate, lenders may also charge late fees or add on extra fees. You may also be required to pay a fee to access your loan funds through a prepaid debit card, such as for checking your balance or for a monthly service.

Keep in mind that these loans usually only allow you to borrow small amounts of cash, with a common limit of $500 (but this varies by state). The loan must be repaid in a single payment, usually within two to four weeks.

Credit Card Cash Advances

If you find yourself in need of cash urgently, you may be able to obtain a short-term loan using your current credit card account. As you have already been approved for the card and a particular borrowing amount, no credit check is required.

You can use your credit card to withdraw funds at an ATM. The amount you can access is usually determined by your credit limit, although some lenders may have a distinct limit for cash withdrawals, which may be less than your overall credit limit.

When you take out a cash advance on your credit card, the issuing bank typically charges a fee of 3% to 5% of the borrowed amount. This fee is added to the total amount you wish to borrow, which will then start accruing interest at a higher rate than your normal purchases.

Interest rates for these short-term loans can range from 17% to 29% APR and the typical interest rate is 24.76%, and interest will begin accruing immediately. If you’re looking to save money on interest and fees, consider using a low-interest credit card.

Pawnshop Loans

If you need a short-term loan, you can use valuable items like electronics or jewelry to secure one from a pawnshop. Instead of selling your item, you use it as collateral for the loan. However, if you can’t repay the money on time, you will likely lose the item.

It’s important to note that pawnshops will only offer a loan for a percentage of the item’s value, typically ranging from 25% to 60%.

The National Pawnbrokers Association reports that the typical loan amount given by pawnshops is $150, with a repayment window of 30 days. Instead of charging interest rates, pawnbrokers typically charge fees to lend money, which may easily translate to triple-digit APR rates.

While this type of short-term loan does not require a credit check, defaulting on the payment does not affect your credit score.

Paycheck Advances

With a paycheck advance, your employer agrees to give you some of the money you will earn, in advance. In other words, you’re borrowing money from your next paycheck.

One great thing about paycheck advances is that often there’s no interest involved, although this may depend on whether your employer provides this option. If not, there are several mobile apps available that can be incredibly useful.

These apps may enable you to borrow money without going through a credit check and when you receive your paycheck, the amount you borrowed is automatically deducted from your account, without any additional fees or interest charges.

Keep in mind that some apps limit the amount you can borrow each pay period to small sums, at least in the beginning. For instance, Earnin starts with a limit of $100 but this can increase over time to $500.

Car Title Loans

When applying for a car title loan, you will need to use a valuable item as collateral, such as the title to your truck, car, or motorcycle. This will allow you to access larger loan amounts than other short-term loan options, ranging anywhere from a few hundred dollars upwards to $5,000 and more.

Unlike personal loans, which have strict approval requirements and credit checks, title loans do not require these. However, if you fail to make payments, your vehicle may be repossessed.

How to Find the Best Short-Term Loans Near Me?

If you’re in need of a short-term loan, it’s important to take into account the interest rate, loan term, and loan amount. It’s crucial to take note of any extra fees, such as application fees or late payment charges.

It’s a good idea to read customer reviews and choose a lender who is transparent about all costs and terms, as this indicates they are trustworthy. It’s best to avoid lenders who don’t disclose fees upfront or promise approval without a credit check, as these could be warning signs for potential scams.

How Much Can I Borrow With a Short-Term Loan?

The amount you can borrow varies significantly depending on the lender and your financial situation. Generally, short-term loans range from $100 to $2,500. Some lenders may offer more, especially if you have good credit and a stable income.

Only borrow as much as you can afford to repay in the agreed time frame. Excessive borrowing can lead to a debt spiral, where you end up borrowing more to repay existing loans.

Pros and Cons of Short-Term Loans


  • Quick access to funds: Short-term loans are often approved quickly, providing fast access to cash.
  • Less strict requirements: These loans usually have easier qualification criteria compared to long-term loans.
  • No long-term commitment: Being short-term, these loans don’t tie you down for a lengthy period.


  • High interest rates: One of the most significant drawbacks is the high interest rates attached to these loans.
  • Additional fees: Late payments can result in extra charges, making the loan even more expensive.
  • Potential ‌debt trap: Failing to repay the loan on time could lead to a cycle of debt.

While the pros offer immediate relief and convenience, the cons pose a serious risk to your financial health. Therefore, use short-term loans cautiously and only for urgent needs.

Requirements for Getting an Online Short-Term Loan

To qualify for an online short-term loan, you’ll generally need:

  • Proof of income: This can be a paycheck stub or bank statement.
  • Government-issued ID: A valid ID to confirm your identity and age.
  • Active bank account: This is often required for depositing the loan amount and setting up repayment.

Despite these lenient requirements, you should not take out a short-term loan without understanding the costs and repayment terms. Failing to do so could lead to financial difficulties.

How to Get a Short-Term Loan?

  • Research lenders: Start by researching different lenders, both online and offline, to compare terms and conditions.
  • Check eligibility: Make sure you meet the lender’s requirements to avoid wasting time or affecting your credit score.
  • Apply: Submit the required documentation, which will usually include proof of income, a government-issued ID, and bank account details.
  • Review and accept terms: Once approved, read all terms carefully before accepting the loan.
  • Receive funds: Upon acceptance, the loan amount will be transferred to your bank account, often within a single business day.

Alternatives To Short-Term Loans

Credit Card

When you have an emergency expense, it might be more cost-effective to pay with a credit card instead of taking out a short-term loan.

Personal Loan

Personal loans can be a better option than short-term loans. The terms and rates depend on your credit, but they are usually more favorable than short-term loans. Also, personal loans have longer terms and higher loan limits.

Borrowing From Friends and Family

If you borrow money from friends or family, it’s important to establish clear repayment terms to avoid damaging your relationship.

Personal Line Of Credit

If you need to cover unforeseen expenses or have a shortage of cash, a personal line of credit can be a useful option. This type of loan is unsecured and has a variable interest rate. It is like a credit card, as it allows you to borrow funds when necessary and repay them with interest.

Salary Advance

Some employers offer salary advances, which give you your paycheck ahead of time. This means that you’ll receive less money in the future to make up for the advance. However, not all employers offer this option, and those that do may have restrictions on how much you can borrow or when you can do so.

Borrowing From Your Home’s Equity

In case of a major emergency or a non-urgent situation and if you are a homeowner, you can utilize your home equity by applying for a home equity loan or line of credit. However, keep in mind that these options typically take a few weeks to process.

Can You Get a Short-Term Loan With Bad Credit?

It is possible to get a short-term loan with bad credit, but it comes with caveats. Lenders who specialize in bad credit loans often have higher interest rates and additional fees compared to standard loans.

The rationale behind this is that lenders perceive individuals with low credit scores as high-risk borrowers. Therefore, the cost of borrowing is increased to compensate for that perceived risk.

While these loans can be a lifeline for those in immediate need of funds, they should be carefully considered. The elevated costs can lead to expensive debt, making it even harder to improve your credit in the long run.

What To Look Out For

Avoid Payday Loans

If you have a poor credit history and need fast cash, you may be tempted to turn to payday loans. However, these loans are usually for small amounts, typically $500 or less, and must be repaid on your next payday.

The high fees and interest rates associated with these loans can result in an annual percentage rate (APR) of around 400%, which is significantly higher than other funding options like credit cards. Instead, you should consider a payday alternative loan (PAL) offered by some federal credit unions.

There is typically no application fee of more than $20 for a PAL, and the interest rates are capped at a maximum of 28%.

Compare Lenders

When you need a short-term loan, it’s smart to shop around. This will help you avoid unnecessary expenses and stress down the line. Take some time to compare different options before making a decision. You may also want to consider using a credit card you already have, especially if it has a lower APR than the loan you’re considering.

If you need to consolidate debt or pay for a big expense, a personal loan could be a good choice. Just make sure you only borrow the minimum amount you need, and that you’re confident you can pay it back on time. If you do choose a short-term loan, be sure to review the contract carefully.

Look out for things like origination fees, late fees, and prepayment fees.


How do I get a short-term loan?

The best way to get a short-term loan is to compare lenders and apply online. Online lenders typically have a fast approval process and can offer competitive rates, depending on your credit score.

Can short-term loans build credit?

One way to improve your credit score is by taking out short-term loans, provided that your lender reports your payments to the major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

What is the shortest loan I can get?

The duration of a personal loan term varies based on the lender or loan type you select. For instance, payday loans typically have shorter terms that last only a few weeks, whereas conventional lenders may offer longer terms that last for several months.