Short-Term Loans

Get a Short-Term Loan from a Direct Lender

If you're struggling to cover an emergency expense this month and need additional money, you can apply for a short-term loan from a direct online lender with the help of LendUp . Short-term loans are designed to help average people secure quick financing without going through a traditional bank or credit union. As long as you can repay the amount by the end of the month, you could qualify for funding.

Short-term loan services help applicants secure financing to cover a wide range of emergency expenses. From title loans to merchant cash advances and online payday loans, there are a handful of ways to quickly access funds when you're in need.

Although there are many types of short-term financing, some options are more advisable than others. With, an online loan-matching service, you can quickly access cash when you need it most.

Short Summary

  • Short-term loans are personal loans with terms ranging from one to three years, typically used for a variety of purposes.

  • Compare loan offers and assess financial situation before applying. Consider benefits and drawbacks carefully.

  • Borrowers with bad credit can increase their chances by following credit management strategies, exploring alternative options, improving their score & avoiding predatory lenders.

What are Short-Term Loans?

A short-term loan is a type of financing that allows borrowers to access quick funding, usually in the form of a cash advance. These loans are designed to help cover emergency expenses and are typically repaid within a month or two. There are many different types of short-term loans, each with its own terms and conditions.

Some common examples of short-term loans that you can get online include:

Payday Loans

A payday loan is a type of unsecured personal loan that typically must be repaid within two weeks to a month. These loans are for small amounts, ranging from $100 to $255, and are often used to cover unexpected expenses like car repairs or medical bills. They do not require collateral and are guaranteed by the applicant's proof of income.

Title Loans

A title loan is a type of secured loan that uses your vehicle title as collateral. These loans are for larger amounts, up to $10,000, and must be repaid within 30 to 90 days. If borrowers fail to repay their loans, the lender can repossess the vehicle and sell it to recoup their losses.

Merchant Cash Advances

A merchant cash advance is a type of unsecured loan that's based on your future sales. These loans are typically for larger amounts, up to $250,000, and must be repaid within 6 to 12 months. Merchant cash advances are only applicable for business owners, though, and have strict requirements.

For most emergency expenses, a payday loan is usually the best option. Compared to title loans and merchant cash advances, they don't require collateral and are more flexible.

Top Short-Term Loan Direct Lenders

In this section, we present a compilation of the top short-term loan providers in 2023, which includes online lenders, credit unions, and banks. An assessment of the top short-term personal loans was conducted by reviewing 29 prominent lenders based on 16 data points in the categories of loan details, loan costs, including origination fees and lender charges, eligibility and accessibility, customer experience, and the whole loan application process. By comparing these factors, we have identified the best short-term loan lenders for different needs and financial situations, from those who need a loan quickly to individuals with excellent credit.

Some of the top short-term loan providers include LendUp, Oportun, Upgrade, Upstart, and 24CashToday, among other popular lenders. Each of these lenders offers different personal loan amounts, repayment terms, and eligibility requirements, including options for a short-term personal loan to be paid back by your next payday. Therefore, it is crucial to compare your options and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Online Direct Lenders

Online lenders are leading providers of short-term loans, offering competitive annual percentage rates and flexible repayment terms. These direct payday lenders provide loan amounts and terms that vary depending on the borrower’s financial situation and credit history, sometimes offering the loan as a lump sum to be paid back in monthly payments.

Eligibility criteria for online lenders may vary depending on the lender. For instance, a minimum credit score requirement of 600 is necessary to pre-qualify for LendingPoint personal loans, while Upstart requires a minimum credit score of 600 and a minimum annual income of $12,000.

To find the best online lender for your needs, be sure to compare interest rates, origination fees, other fees, loan terms, and eligibility requirements.

Credit Unions

Credit unions provide short-term loans with competitive interest rates and favorable terms for borrowers. They often have lower interest rate caps and more borrower-friendly terms compared to banks and other financial institutions. For example, the maximum annual percentage rate for credit union personal loans is 18% per annum.

Some credit unions offer payday alternative loans, which are small loans ranging from $200 to $2,000 with interest rates capped by many lenders at 28%. These loans can be a more affordable option for borrowers with bad credit who may not qualify for traditional personal loans or face high interest rates from other lenders.


Leading banks also provide short-term loans with different starting amounts and eligibility requirements. For instance, U.S. Bank’s Simple Loan, Bank of America’s Balance Assist, Truist’s Ready Now Loan, and Wells Fargo’s Flex Loan are all examples of small-dollar loans offered by banks.

The minimum loan amount for banks’ short-term loans is $500, while the maximum loan amount can go up to $100,000. It is important to carefully review the bank loan terms, fees, and eligibility requirements before applying for a short-term loan from a bank to ensure that you are getting the best possible deal.

How to Apply for a Short-Term Loan

Applying for a short-term loan online involves several steps, starting with assessing your financial situation to ensure that you can afford the loan and meet the lender’s eligibility requirements. Once you have determined that a short-term loan is right for you, the next step is to compare loan offers from different lenders to find the best deal.

After selecting the best loan offer, you can submit your application either online through the lender’s website or by phone. You may be required to provide evidence of employment or other credit information, such as pay stubs, W-2s, and your Social Security number. Upon submission of your application, the lender will review it and, if approved, offer you a loan.

Upon approval, you will receive the loan and can begin making payments.

Assessing Your Financial Situation

Before applying for a short-term payday loan, it is crucial to evaluate your financial situation, including factors such as income, expenses, and credit score. Additionally, any other existing debts should be assessed to determine if taking on a short-term loan is feasible. To help you make an informed decision, consider creating a budget to assess your current financial situation and determine how much you can realistically afford to borrow and repay.

When evaluating your credit score, be sure to review your credit report for any errors or discrepancies that may be negatively impacting your score. If you find any errors, be sure to dispute them with the credit bureaus to improve your credit score and increase your chances of securing a favorable short-term loan.

Comparing Loan Offers

When evaluating loan offers, it is important to consider factors such as interest rates, fees, loan terms, loan amount, eligibility requirements, and customer reviews. By comparing these factors, you can identify the best short-term loan for your needs and financial situation.

To make the comparison process easier, consider using online comparison tools or consulting with a financial advisor to help you weigh the pros and cons of each loan offer. Additionally, be sure to read the fine print and understand the terms and conditions of each loan offer before making a decision.

Submitting Your Application

Once you have selected the best short-term loan for your needs, gather the necessary documents for your application, such as your Social Security number, W-2s, and pay stubs. Submit your application either online through the lender’s website or by phone, providing the required information and documentation.

Upon submission of your application, the lender will review it and, if approved, offer you a loan. The time it takes to receive funding after being approved for a short-term loan can vary, but generally with most lenders, funding can be expected within one to seven days.

Be prepared to begin making payments on your loan as soon as you receive the loan funds.

Pros and Cons of Short-Term Loans

Short-term loans have their advantages and disadvantages, making them suitable for some borrowers but not others. Understanding the pros and cons of short-term loans can help you determine whether this type of loan is the right choice for your financial needs.

Some of the primary benefits of short-term loans include quicker debt repayment and lower interest rates. However, these loans can also come with higher monthly payments and stricter eligibility requirements, which may be a barrier for borrowers with bad credit or limited income.

It is important to carefully weigh the pros and cons of short-term loans before deciding to apply for one.

Benefits of Short-Term Loans

Short-term loans offer a number of benefits, including:

Quick and easy access to cash: Short-term loans can be a quick and easy way to access cash when you need it. In most cases, you can apply online and receive funding in as little as 24 hours.

Collateral-free financing: Most short-term loans don't require collateral, so you don't have to risk losing your home or car if you miss a payment.

Credit-inclusive support: Most online short-term loans don't require a hard credit check. Even if you have bad credit, you could still qualify for financing.

At LendUp we understand that most people seeking short-term financing need money as soon as possible. Therefore, we've streamlined our loan-matching process to make our support as inclusive as it can be.

Downsides of Short-Term Loans

As with any financial product, short-term loans do have their downsides. This is why it's important to only take out a loan for as much as you can pay back. Some common risks include:

High interest rates: Short-term loans have higher interest rates than traditional loans, so you'll end up paying more in the long run.

Short repayment periods: Short-term loans have shorter repayment periods than traditional personal loans, so you'll need to be sure you can repay the loan on time.

Potential for late fees: If you miss a payment or are late on your payments, you may be charged late fees, which can add to the cost of the loan.

We recommend paying back short-term loans as soon as possible. Missing a due date can cause the owed amount to increase by up to 30%.

Strategies for Borrowers with Bad Credit

If you have bad credit, securing a short-term loan can be challenging. However, there are strategies to improve your credit score and explore alternative bad credit loan options, making it possible to obtain the financial assistance you need. By following these tips and being proactive about managing your credit, you can increase your chances of securing a short-term loan with favorable terms and rates, even if you have bad credit.

Improving Your Credit Score

To improve your credit score, start by paying your bills on time and reducing your credit card debt. Additionally, dispute any errors on your credit reports to ensure that your score accurately reflects your creditworthiness.

Another strategy to maintain a healthy credit score is to limit new credit applications and only apply for credit cards or loans when absolutely necessary. By being diligent about managing your credit and following these strategies, you can gradually improve your credit score and increase your chances of securing a favorable short-term loan.

Exploring Alternative Options

For borrowers with bad credit, there are alternative loan options to consider, such as secured loans, co-signed loans, payday loans, and peer-to-peer loans. Secured loans require collateral, such as a vehicle or property, which the lender can take possession of in the event of non-repayment. Co-signed loans involve having someone with a higher credit score or income co-sign the loan agreement, making them responsible for repayment if the borrower defaults.

By exploring these alternative options, borrowers with bad credit can still obtain the financial assistance they need, albeit with potentially higher interest rates and less favorable terms. However, it is important to thoroughly research and compare these options to ensure that you are making the best decision for your financial situation.

Avoiding Predatory Lending Practices

When seeking a short-term loan, it is crucial to be aware of predatory lending practices that can lead to financial distress. These practices may include high interest rates, hidden fees, and loan flipping.

To avoid falling victim to predatory lending practices, be sure to thoroughly research the lender and read the fine print of the loan agreement before signing. Additionally, consider consulting with a financial advisor or seeking recommendations from trusted friends and family members to ensure that you are making the best decision for your financial needs.


In summary, finding the best short-term loans of 2023 involves understanding the different types of loans available, comparing loan offers from various lenders, and ensuring that you meet the eligibility requirements. By following the tips and strategies provided in this blog post, you can make an informed decision about which short-term personal online loan is right for you and successfully navigate the application process. Remember to always be cautious of predatory lending practices and prioritize improving your credit score to secure the most favorable loan terms.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I borrow money ASAP?

If you need to borrow money quickly, consider taking out a personal cash loan from an online lender, using a credit card advance, accessing your home equity line of credit, a cash advance, borrowing from a friend or family member, withdrawing from your retirement account, or applying for a loan app or pawn shop loan.

These options can provide you with the funds you need in a timely manner, but it is important to understand the terms and conditions of each option before you commit to any of them. Be sure to compare the interest rates, repayment terms, and fees associated with each option to ensure you are getting the best deal.

What is the shortest term loan?

The shortest term loan available from a reputable lender is six months, allowing you to save money on interest by quickly paying off your debt. With no prepayment penalty, you can also pay off your loan ahead of schedule.

Loan terms may vary based on credit profile and collateral.

What are the typical repayment terms for short-term loans?

Typically, repayment terms for short-term loans range from one to three years.

What types of short-term loans are available for borrowers with bad credit?

Borrowers with bad credit have access to secured loans, co-signed loans, payday loans, and peer-to-peer loans as alternative short-term financing options.

These loans can provide a way to access funds when traditional lenders are not an option. They may come with higher interest rates and fees, but they can be a viable option for those with bad credit.

Secured loans require collateral, such as a mortgage.

What is is a socially responsible direct lender alternative dedicated to helping our customers meet their short term needs.

Learn more about LendUp »

Apply in as few as 5 Minutes

Instant Decision

Bad Credit is Considered

Direct Lender Alternative