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8 Best Emergency Loans for Bad Credit

by Rosalia
14 minutes read
Fintech Warrior - 8 Best Emergency Loans for Bad Credit

The best emergency loans for bad credit can be a safe net. Most of us have been caught off-guard by a sudden financial need—a car breakdown, an unexpected medical bill, or a home repair that just can’t wait. If your credit score isn’t exactly sparkling, securing the funds to cover such emergencies can feel like an uphill battle.

But here’s the kicker: emergency loans designed for individuals with not-so-stellar credit might just be the lifeline you need. These loans are often more accessible than traditional ones, and while they may come with higher interest rates, they can provide quick cash when you need it most. Discover more about the 8 best emergency loans for bad credit.

What Are The Best 8 Emergency Loans for Bad Credit?

Loan Provider
Key Features
Upgrade Competitive rates, credit-building tools
Avant Quick approvals, flexible terms
Lightstream Unsecured personal loans, competitive rates
Rocket Loans Wide availability, quick funding
LendingClub Best for smaller loans, accepts moderate credit
Marcus by Goldman Sachs No fees, flexible repayment
OneMain Financial Flexible terms, variety of loan amounts
Personal Loans Multiple offers, large network of lenders

Upgrade: Best Overall

Upgrade has clinched its place among the 8 best emergency loans for bad credit. It boasts a flexible range of loans, extending from $1,000 to a swanky $50,000, coupled with competitive interest pockets that don’t leave you feelin’ fleeced. And here’s the cherry on top: they’ll even shave off a bit from your rate if you opt for autopay—talk about a sweet deal!

These loans are as versatile as a Swiss Army knife, cutting through a variety of financial thickets, whether it’s bundling up old debts into a tidy package, sprucing up your homestead, or dealing with those pesky medical expenses that popped up out of the blue. Upgrade doesn’t stop there; it dishes out joint loan options for when two heads (or wallets) are better than one, and a unique hardship program for when the going gets tough.

If you’re antsy for that dough, they’ve got your back with quick-fire funding often within 24 hours post-approval. And the perks just keep rolling—no fees for early loan payoffs, crystal-clear loan details, a smooth sailing user experience, stout customer support, and even a treasure chest of financial knowledge resources to boot. Sure, you might bump into origination and late fees, but considering Upgrade’s well-rounded terms and hefty feature set, it stands as a worthy contender for those scrounging for emergency funds without the glamour of good credit.

Why Choose Upgrade for Emergency Loans?
Loan amounts ranging from $1,000 – $50,000 suitable for various financial conundrums.
Competitive rates with discounts for autopay, keeping more change in your pockets.
Diverse offerings including joint loans and a hardship program for the financial stormy weathers.
Lightning-fast funding, aiming to bolster your wallet within a day of approval.
No penalties for early loan repayment, transparent loan details, and robust customer support system.

Avant: Best for Quick Approvals

Avant stands tall among the prime choices as one of the best emergency loans for bad credit. Why is Avant making waves? It’s user-friendly, it’s as quick on the draw as a Wild West gunslinger with funding, and it doesn’t set the credit score bar too high—just 580, making it a port in a storm for a wide swath of borrowers who might get the cold shoulder elsewhere.

This lender rolls out the red carpet with loan amounts that range from $2,000 to $35,000 and repayment terms that play the long game—from 12 to 60 months—so you can find a rhythm that doesn’t leave you gasping for air. And when it comes to speed, Avant zips funds to your account as quickly as next business day after approval—a lifesaver when time isn’t on your side.

Dipping your toes to check the waters? Avant’s soft credit inquiry for prequalification lets you do just that sans any dings to your credit score. Plus, with digital and mobile platforms, managing your loan is as easy as flipping through your favorite playlist.

But hold your horses; it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Avant’s APR can climb as high as 35.99%, spelling steeper costs for those already skating on thin credit ice. And with an admin fee that can rise up to 4.75%, and additional costs for late payments or insufficient funds, you’ll want to be sure your budget can take the heat. On the bright side, there’s zero cost if you decide to settle the loan early.

Wrapping this up: Avant is a beacon for individuals with fair to low credit who are in the hot pursuit of quick funds, especially for those pesky emergencies. It’s all about a nifty blend of convenience, flexible amounts and terms, and snappy funding. Still, it pays to be sharp-eyed about the APRs and fees before you sign on the dotted line.

Avant’s Key Points for Emergency Loans
Minimum credit score of 580—easier access for a variety of credit histories.
Loan amounts from $2,000 to $35,000 with repayment periods between 1 and 5 years.
Next business day funding—an ace in the hole for those who need funds, pronto.
Soft credit check prequalification—scout out your options without any credit bruises.
Digital and mobile platforms that make loan management as simple as a Sunday stroll.
No charge for paying off your loan early.

Lightstream: Best for Unsecured Personal Loans

LightStream shines a bright ray of hope in the emergency loan arena. It’s a heavyweight champion in the loan game, flexing its muscles with loans that swing between $5,000 and a hefty $100,000, all while keeping their rates competitive enough to make your wallet breathe a sigh of relief.

Flexible is the name of LightStream’s game when it comes to repayment, laying out terms from 24 to a marathon 144 months, tailored to fit the kind of loan you’re eyeing. One of the sweetest parts of the deal? It’s light on the fees, sidestepping the typical ones that gnaw at your finances like origination, late, or prepayment penalties.

If you need cash faster than a greased lightning bolt, LightStream can blaze the money to your account on the same day, provided you hit all the green lights on their checklist.

Why LightStream’s Emergency Loan Offer Glows
Loan amounts that can cover both minor hiccups and major financial leaps: $5,000 to $100,000.
Terms spread over a vast horizon, from a 2-year sprint to a 12-year marathon.
No fees to worry about, leaving more coins jingling in your pocket.

Rocket Loans: Best for Availability

Rocket Loans zooms into the emergency loan scene with a bang, tailor-made for speed demons looking for a fast cash infusion. Whether you’re facing a minor setback or a major fiscal challenge, Rocket Loans offers a spectrum of options, with amounts ranging from $2,000 all the way up to $45,000.

The real jet fuel behind Rocket Loans’ appeal is its lightning-fast funding capability – that’s why we chose it as one of the best emergency loans for bad credit. Picture this: you sign your loan agreement and, whoosh, the funds could land in your bank account the very same day—a lifeline when the clock’s ticking and you’re in a financial fix.

As for the numbers game, Rocket Loans’ Annual Percentage Rates (APR) are as varied as a box of chocolates, running from approximately 9.116% to a high-end of 29.99%, with two unwavering loan durations to choose from—either 36 or 60 months. This may box some folks in, but for those hitting the lower-end of the APR spectrum, it’s a sweet deal.

But wait, there’s more: Rocket Loans doesn’t just shoot for the stars when it comes to speed; they’re also about making a soft landing on your credit report. That’s right, they let you peek at your potential rates with a soft credit inquiry that doesn’t ding your credit score—not one bit. Keep in mind though, with a minimum credit score requirement of 640, they’re eyeing borrowers in the fair to good credit score galaxy.

Sure, it’s not all sunshine and roses. With potential origination fees that could scoot up to 9.00% and a fixed choice of loan terms, Rocket Loans might ask you to crunch some numbers. These are the dips in the road you’ll want to navigate wisely to make sure the loan doesn’t throw your finances off balance.

Overall, Rocket Loans rockets ahead with its breakneck funding speed and attainable credit benchmarks. It’s a robust contender for anyone seeking an emergency cash lifeline.

Key Insights into Rocket Loans for Emergencies
Loan amounts that soar from $2,000 to $45,000, making it versatile for any financial hurdle.
Same-day funding post-approval that flies at the speed of sound.
APR that ranges from 9.116% to 29.99%, with a straightforward choice of 36 or 60 months term.
Potential origination fee of up to 9.00%, a factor for careful consideration.
Prequalification with a soft credit check, keeping your credit score snug and safe.
A minimum credit score of 640 makes Rocket Loans a star candidate for fair to good credit holders.

LendingClub: Best for Smaller Loans

LendingClub marks its territory in the jungle of emergency loans, waving a flag for those with credit scores that aren’t quite blemish-free but are far from worn-out. Their unsecured personal loans dart through a gamut of financial needs—$1,000 for that pesky unexpected expense all the way to $40,000 for the more Herculean financial feats. Whether it’s to tie up disparate debts into a neat bow or to patch up your abode, LendingClub extends a hand with a minimum credit score threshold of 600, drawing in a spectrum of borrowers.

But what’s really turning heads? It’s LendingClub’s swift-as-a-hare funding process, which can propel the cash into your hands as swiftly as a day after you’ve dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s on your approval—now that’s a game-changer when the pressure’s on.

Let’s not waltz around the elephant in the room though: LendingClub has its hurdles, like the origination fee, which will set you back anywhere from 3% to 6% of the loan total. It’s a slice off the top, something not uncommon in the personal loan world, but it does tip the scales when you figure out the final sum you’ll fork over. Then there’s the APR, which can stretch its legs up to a lofty 35.99%.

Joint applications are on the table, a nod to those pairing up to fortify their financial armor. But savvy borrowers will want to ponder over that maxed-out APR and how the origination fee might weigh down their wallet’s wings.

So here’s the rundown: LendingClub deals a hand with quick approvals, loan amount versatility, and the ace of joint loans, especially for the fair-to-good credit crowd. Nonetheless, before you leap, give a good, hard squint at those higher APRs and origination fees—making sure the juice is worth the squeeze.

What Makes LendingClub Shine in Emergency Situations
Unsecured personal loans that run the gamut from $1,000 to a hefty $40,000.
Inclusive minimum credit score requirement of 600, widening the borrower pool.
Loan repayment terms spanning 36 to 60 months for paced-out repayment planning.
Fast funding, often within 24 hours post-approval, to ease your financial urgencies.
Origination fee that ranges from 3% to 6%—a consideration for the overall loan cost.
A potential APR as high as 35.99%, along with joint loan application options.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs: Best for Credit Score Protection

Marcus by Goldman Sachs casts a golden ray on the personal loan landscape. Here’s the deal: they’re dealing out loans from $3,500 to a cool $40,000, with APRs that are nothing to scoff at—6.99% to a modest 19.99%, friends, which packs a punch in catering to different financial stretches.


Chumming the waters with a fee structure that’s clean as a whistle, Marcus waves goodbye to those pesky origination fees, late fees, and prepayment penalties, making them a sweet melody to your budgeting blues. They’re like that friend who never makes you pay for gas on a road trip.

Repayment Terms

Now, here’s the kicker: their repayment terms flex from 36 all the way up to 84 months. That’s a boatload of wiggle room to find your financial happy place. Keep it shipshape with 12 months of on-time payments and Marcus throws you a lifeline—you can skip a payment with no interest piling up. Plus, if you’re riding the AutoPay wave, they’ll trim your APR by 0.25%, and that’s a deal that can stack up to real cheddar over the long haul.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs has clientele clapping for satisfaction. They’re known to torpedo funds on the same day you get the green light, a godsend when you’re in a financial crunch. Consolidating your debts? They’re firing your funds directly to creditors. Talk about a bullseye for convenience.

Summing up, Marcus is a top-shelf contender for the no-fee, flexible term, and dependability hunter. They’re a snug harbor for those eager for some solid rates and perks that feel like a bonus round.

Spotlight on Marcus by Goldman Sachs Loan Features
Loan offerings from a cozy $3,500 up to a generous $40,000, suited for varying fiscal quests.
APRs that won’t rock your ship—starting at 6.99% and capping at 19.99%.
Zero fees in sight—origination, late payment, and prepayment fees are tossed overboard.
Repayment terms with room to stretch: choose between 36 to 84 months for your payback voyage.
Cruise with timely payments for a year and earn a payment deferral, sans the extra interest.
0.25% off your APR with AutoPay—keeping extra clams in your pocket over time.

OneMain Financial: Best for Flexible Loan Terms

OneMain Financial serves up personal loans with the welcome mat out for borrowers sporting fair to poor credit ratings—no credit snobbery here. Dive into what the reviewers are saying, and you’ll find a mixed bag of nuts, but mostly, it’s all good news for folks who’ve had some bumps and scrapes on their credit journey.

For starters, OneMain carves out both secured and unsecured personal loans. Got some assets like your ride to put up as collateral? You’re looking at secured loan territory. If not, unsecured loans are still in play, making this lender a solid sidekick for those qualities on the unsecured front due to credit tales of woe.


The loans themselves sit pretty in a bracket from $1,500 to a solid $20,000, and terms that stretch from a couple of years to a solid five-year plan are up for grabs.

Interest rates

Interest-wise, tighten your belt because we’re talking 18% to 35.99% APR. Yep, it’s steep, but that’s the trade-off for OneMain’s willingness to tango with lower credit scores.

Here comes the small print: origination fees that hit anywhere between 1% to 10% depending on where you hang your hat, and late fees if you slack on the payments.

Credit score requirements

Credit score requirements get a big tick for inclusivity—there’s no minimum score to pass the gate. They’ll eyeball your credit history, but it’s not a hard stop. A regular paycheck needs to show up in your bank statements, but they’re not putting a price tag on it.

Now, if you’re in a sprint for cash, OneMain might not take home the gold with a typical five-business-day wait on the funds. The application process, though, is a breeze with a prequalification check online that doesn’t ding your score.


With about 1,400 branches countrywide, OneMain Financial is high-fiving customers with in-person service, and they’re all about co-signers, giving a boost to those with shy credit scores.

Steer clear if you’re looking to fund your next entrepreneurial quest, your brain training at college, or anything the law would raise an eyebrow at.

OneMain Financial is like that sturdy bridge over troubled credit waters. Sure, you’ll pay for the passage with higher APRs and origination fees, but when credit woes slam other doors shut, OneMain’s door might just be wide open.

Key Points on OneMain Financial Personal Loans
Loan flavors include both secured and unsecured—collateral or not, you’ve got options.
Flex those financial muscles with loan amounts from $1,500 to $20,000.
Repay on your terms, with 24 to 60 months to spread out those payments.
APRs from 18% to 35.99%—a bit on the steep side, but they’re playing ball with lower credit scores.
Origination fees that could take a 1% to 10% slice, plus late fees if you hit a snag.
No credit score minimum, but they’ll take a gander at your credit story.
You’ll need proof of income, but they’re not sticking a minimum figure on it.
Fund delivery typically in five business days—not the fastest horse in the race.
Straight-up application, with a soft credit check prequalification that spares your score.
With around 1,400 branches, customer satisfaction, and the thumbs up for co-signers.
Loans for personal use only—business, education, or no-no activities are out.

Personal Loans: Best for Comparing Multiple Offers

Personal Loans throws a party for the wide credit spectrum, handing out invites for up to $40,000 in loans. What’s the scoop? They’re not picky about where your dough comes from—be it alimony checks or your golden years’ fund, you’re welcome at their table. And they keep the guest list exciting with both secured and co-signed loan options, so you can bring a buddy or some collateral to back up your bid.

But wait, there’s a plot twist: they send payments straight to your creditors if you’re consolidating debt, making your financial clean-up as tidy as a freshly made bed.

The catch? Origination fees step onto the scene, and flexibility takes a minor hit—you can’t pick your payment date. It’s like getting a sundae but not being able to choose the sprinkles.

Personal Loans is a jack-of-all-trades for folks with credit histories that read like a roller coaster and those with various financial targets in their sights. Before you sign, weigh in on the origination fee and the set payment date to make sure it jives with your wallet’s rhythm.

Dishing Out the Details on Personal Loans
Lending up to a cool $40,000, catering to a delightful array of credit personalities.
Income sources? A motley crew’s welcome—alimony, retirement, you name it.
Secured and joint loan choices for those who like a bit of company or have assets to put forth.
Direct payments to creditors? Absolutely, making debt consolidation a breeze.
Origination fees in the mix, with no wiggle room to pick your payment fireworks.

Best Emergency Loans for Bad Credit and Financial Technology: Fintech Innovations Light the Way for Accessible Emergency Financing

Take a gander at the fintech universe, and you’ll catch a whiff of something fresh, especially if your credit’s been through the wringer. Here in the year 2023, mavericks like SoFi, Upstart, and LendingClub are shredding the old-school bureaucratic tape like there’s no tomorrow. They’re shooting out loan decisions at warp speeds, making traditional financial houses look like they’re stuck in the mud.

But wait, there’s more. Other cool cats on the block, Prosper and Avant, are also bringing the heat. They train algorithms and machine learning to peek beyond the cold, hard digits of your credit score. They’re all about the big picture—your paycheck stubs and whether you’re a regular Joe or Jane at the workplace.

What’s this all boil down to? A fat chance at the approval stamp, even if your credit score’s been in the dumps. Then you’ve got the likes of Earnin and Brigit, who roll out short-term loans without the crazy fees, eyeing folks whose credit is less than brag-worthy.

And let’s talk ease of use. Thanks to the fintech surge, there’s a smorgasbord of apps and online gateways so you can snag that emergency loan whether you’re lounging at home, sipping a latte, or squeezing in some work on the train. Plus, genie-in-a-bottle tools like Credit Karma are popping up to dish out advice and picks that are tailor-made for your wallet situation.

The Fintech Revolution: Boosting Bad Credit Borrowers
Pioneers SoFi, Upstart, LendingClub cutting through complexity at an electrifying pace.
Prosper and Avant with brainy tech weighing your stability in income and employment, not just credit numbers.
Earnin and Brigit serving up short-term loans with minimal fees for the credit-score challenged.
Fintech’s treasure trove of user-friendly apps and insights from pals like Credit Karma.

Choosing The Best Emergency Loan for You – A Guided Expedition

Think of choosing an emergency loan like setting out on a treasure hunt. You want to nab that chest filled with glittering coins, but without the map leading you to hidden traps, riddled with fees or sky-high APRs (Annual Percentage Rates). What’s the secret, you ask? Compare, compare, compare.

Lift the lid on those APRs—those numbers can make a huge difference in how much you’re paying back overall. Keep your eyes peeled for origination fees and penalties for paying off your loan early, or a late payment that might sneak up on you like a highwayman in the night. Lastly, gauge the loan terms carefully—the timeframe for paying back the loan should align with your ability to pay without having you scrambling come payment day.

Emergency Loan Application SOS – Navigating the Process with Less-Than-Perfect Credit

Now, let’s chat about getting the best emergency loan for bad credit. The application process can seem daunting, like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube blindfolded. But here’s your blindfold remover: the more you know about what lenders are looking for, the better.

Lenders might be keen on your debt-to-income ratio—that’s the chunk of your monthly income that goes towards paying off debts. They may also want to know how steady your income is. So pull together your pay stubs and prepare to provide a clear picture of your financial situation. Now, here’s an ace up your sleeve: if you have a buddy with a stellar credit score, enlisting them as a co-signer could seriously bump up your chances of approval.

Other Avenues: Beyond Traditional Emergency Loans for Bad Credit

While loans are a go-to for quick cash in a pinch, they’re not your only option, especially if your credit score is flickering like a candle in the wind. Have you ever considered a side hustle or maybe you’re savvy enough to sell some of those vintage comic books you’ve hoed?

Crowdfunding platforms are also on the rise—people around the world might just throw a few coins your way if your cause resonates with them. And let’s not forget the local community organizations—some offer short-term assistance or small loans at no interest. These alternatives might not be as quick as a loan, but they could keep you from diving deeper into debt.

Build Your Own Financial Fort: Saving for Emergencies

What if I told you that having an emergency fund is like having your own financial fort, protecting you from unwelcome surprises? Starting to save might seem as tough as climbing Everest in flip-flops, but even a small stash can become your financial safety net.

Pocket a tad of your paycheck each month—it may be just a few bucks to start, but it’ll grow. Look at trimming the fat off your expenses, maybe wave goodbye to that daily designer coffee. And consider banking any windfalls—tax returns, work bonuses, or that twenty you found in your old jacket—it all adds up. Before you know it, you’ll have a pile of cash ready to cushion the blow when life throws a curveball your way.

Final Thoughts: Securing Your Financial Lifeline

As we wind down this chat, remember the quest for the best emergency loans for bad credit isn’t a sprint—it’s more like a strategic game of chess. With the right moves, even a player with a few missing pawns can checkmate those unforeseen expenses.

Fintech innovations have ushered in a brave new world of lending, so there’s hope even for those clutching a credit report that’s seen some battles. Whether you choose a loan or an alternative route, the key is to be informed, compare your options, and always think about the long game—building an emergency fund that can shield you from future storms.


Can I actually get an emergency loan with bad credit?

Absolutely. While a bad credit score might close some doors, emergency loans are like the friend who has a spare key. Lenders specializing in bad credit loans or fintech platforms using alternative data for credit evaluation are your best bet.

Will an emergency loan impact my credit score?

It could. If you pay on time, it’s like a hearty meal for your credit score. But if you miss payments, it’ll definitely lose a few pounds. So, manage your loan with care to nurse your credit score back to health.

How fast can I get an emergency loan for bad credit?

Some lenders move faster than a hiccup—often the same day or the day after you apply. Fintech companies, in particular, tend to be quick off the mark, thanks to their smooth online processes.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and should not be viewed as financial advice. Consult with a qualified professional for financial guidance. FintechWarrior is not responsible for any financial decisions made based on this information.

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