5 Best Cash Advance Loans for Bad Credit


Financial emergencies happen to the best of us, which is why it’s always a good idea to set aside an emergency fund. But if you don’t have an emergency fund, it’s also possible to take out a cash advance loan to cover the expense.

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However, this can be challenging for individuals with bad credit. You may have a hard time getting approved for a personal loan, and if you are approved, you may get stuck with terrible interest rates. This is why many people turn to cash advance loans.

A cash advance loan is a short-term loan that is meant to provide temporary relief from financial problems. This includes things like payday loans or cash advances from a credit card. This article will go over some of the best options available to you.

5 Short-Term Cash Advance Loans to Consider

Short-term loans are given in smaller amounts, and the loan term won’t be longer than a few months. These loans are easy to qualify for, even if you have bad credit.

You’ll apply either online or in-person, and the application process is usually pretty quick. Once you’re approved, the lender will give you the cash, minus any fees. The fees for short-term loans are based on the amount you’re borrowing.

If you’re in a true emergency, need access to cash, and don’t want to take out a payday loan, it could make sense to get a cash advance loan. But you’ll want to make sure you compare lenders and understand the loan terms and conditions.

Short-term lenders tend to charge incredibly high fees that can trap you in a cycle of debt. There being said, if you need to take out a short-term loan, here are five options you can consider.


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MoneyMutual stands out for its fast processing, promising access to funds up to $2,500 within 24 hours of approval. The platform serves as a bridge connecting borrowers with lenders, simplifying the search for a suitable cash advance loan.

Despite welcoming consumers with bad credit, applicants must show a monthly income of at least $800. Note that services are not available in New York, and interest rates may vary, highlighting the importance of reviewing your loan offer thoroughly before acceptance.

Read our full review of MoneyMutual


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CashUSA offers a wide range of loan amounts, from $500 to $10,000, catering to various emergency financial needs. With APRs ranging from 5.99% to 35.99% and repayment terms extending up to 72 months, this platform provides flexibility uncommon in the cash advance market.

The straightforward application process ensures a quick response, depositing funds directly into your bank account as soon as the next business day. However, the interest rate you receive will depend heavily on your credit profile.

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For those seeking smaller loan amounts, CashAdvance provides a convenient solution with loans up to $1,000. The platform excels in connecting borrowers with a network of lenders, making the application process efficient and user-friendly.

Eligibility criteria include a minimum age of 18 and a monthly income of $1,000 after taxes, with repayment directly deducted from your checking account. While the process is fast, always consider the loan’s terms and the potential for high fees associated with short-term loans.

Read our full review of CashAdvance

Bad Credit Loans

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Since 1998, BadCreditLoans has been aiding borrowers with poor credit histories in finding suitable lenders. Offering loans between $500 and $5,000, the platform ensures quick fund disbursement, potentially by the next business day.

Interest rates range from 5.99% to 35.99%, depending on creditworthiness. The commitment to accommodating applicants with low credit scores makes this an appealing option, but evaluating the loan terms carefully is advisable to ensure they align with your repayment capacity.

Read our full review of BadCreditLoans.com


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PersonalLoans.com differentiates itself by offering loan amounts up to $35,000, a significant cap that caters to those in need of more substantial financial assistance. Available across the U.S., this platform provides loans with APRs from 5.99% to 35.99%, based on creditworthiness.

The application and approval process is streamlined for efficiency, though securing a larger loan may require additional time. As with any loan, understanding the rate, terms, and potential fees before proceeding is key to a positive borrowing experience.

Read our full review of PersonalLoans.com

Selecting the right cash advance loan provider involves careful consideration of your financial needs and circumstances. By comparing the terms, fees, and user experiences of different lenders, you can identify the option that best suits your situation. Always approach with caution, read the fine print, and consider the long-term impact of any loan on your financial health.

Credit Card Cash Advances: Costs, Risks, and When to Consider Them

If you’re seeking an alternative to the installment loans mentioned above, a credit card cash advance emerges as a viable option. Credit card cash advances are convenient during a financial pinch, allowing you to withdraw funds directly from your credit card. However, this convenience also comes at a high cost, so make sure you weigh the costs and risks before proceeding.

The High Cost of Convenience

Credit card cash advances typically incur both a one-time fee and high interest rates from the moment of withdrawal, making them one of the more expensive borrowing options. Unlike purchases, there’s no grace period for interest accrual, which means interest starts building up immediately. It’s common for cash advance APRs to exceed 20%, significantly higher than the rates for regular purchases.

Comparing Cash Advance Options

Let’s examine three different credit card options to illustrate the diversity in terms and conditions for cash advances:

PenFed Promise Visa Card

Issued by PenFed Credit Union, this card is accessible to borrowers with fair credit scores, featuring an APR range of 11.24% to 17.99%. Uniquely, PenFed does not charge any cash advance fees, setting it apart from the majority of credit cards that typically impose fees between 3% and 5%. However, interest on the withdrawal amount begins to accrue immediately.

Capital One Platinum Credit Card

This card caters to individuals with bad credit, offering an easier approval process. The regular APR stands at 26.96%, which is relatively high. For cash advances, Capital One imposes a 3% fee, which, while not the lowest, is more favorable than many other options. The straightforward access to cash advances makes this card a viable option, despite its costs.

First Access Solid Black Visa Credit Card

Designed for those with poor credit histories, the First Access Solid Black Visa card comes with a steep APR of 34.99%. While this rate is higher than many other credit cards, it does not charge specific cash advance fees beyond the interest. This feature might appeal to those who have limited options due to their credit background, but still require access to quick funds.

Weighing the Decision

Before opting for a cash advance, consider alternative sources of funds. Personal loans, borrowing from friends or family, or even negotiating payment plans may offer more financially sound solutions. If a cash advance is your only option, carefully review the terms and choose the card with the lowest overall cost.

Tips for Avoiding High-Interest Loans with Bad Credit

When faced with bad credit, high-interest loans might seem like the only option available for immediate financial needs. However, these loans can lead to a cycle of debt that’s hard to escape. Here are practical steps to improve your credit score and avoid costly loans, including guidance on doing it yourself or seeking professional help.

Improving Your Credit Score

A better credit score opens doors to more favorable loan terms. To start improving yours, consider the following:

  • Timely payments: Keeping up with your debt payments is crucial for a positive credit history.
  • Manage your credit utilization: Aim to use a small portion of your available credit. Lower utilization rates can help improve your score.
  • Regular credit report checks: Errors on your credit report can affect your score negatively. You’re entitled to a free annual credit report from the three major bureaus, which you can obtain through AnnualCreditReport.com. Reviewing your report regularly allows you to spot and dispute any inaccuracies.
  • Thoughtful credit applications: Each credit application can result in a hard inquiry, which may lower your score. Apply for new credit sparingly.

For those who prefer a guided approach to repairing credit, exploring our free Do-It-Yourself Credit Repair Guide can provide valuable insights and actionable steps. Alternatively, if you’re considering professional assistance, our compilation of top credit repair companies can help you find a reputable service to work with.

Steering Clear of Expensive Loans

To avoid the high costs associated with bad credit loans, consider these alternatives:

  • Build an emergency fund: Having savings to cover unexpected expenses can reduce the need for emergency loans.
  • Explore alternative financing options: Look into other lending options that may offer lower interest rates. Credit unions and small personal loans from banks can be more affordable than high-interest loans.
  • Understand loan agreements: Before agreeing to any loan, ensure you understand all the terms, including interest rates, fees, and the repayment schedule. Knowledge is power when it comes to avoiding unfavorable loan terms.

Utilizing Non-Profit Credit Counseling

For individuals needing further assistance with managing debt or improving financial habits, non-profit credit counseling agencies offer a range of services. These services include budget counseling, debt management plans, and financial education, all aimed at helping you take control of your financial situation. Non-profit credit counselors provide impartial advice to help you make informed decisions about debt repayment and financial planning.

By taking proactive steps to improve your credit and exploring all available options before resorting to high-interest loans, you can protect your financial health and work towards a more stable financial future. Whether through self-guided credit repair efforts or professional assistance, the goal is to make informed choices that support your long-term financial well-being.

Things to Keep in Mind with Bad Credit Loans

Sometimes, financial emergencies are unavoidable, and you’ll have to find a way to get through them. A short-term loan or cash advance can be a way to close the temporary gap in funds.

Make sure you read the loan agreement carefully and repay the loan promptly. Then, begin working on building up your savings and emergency fund. This will help you avoid getting into this situation again in the future. And here are a few things you should consider before borrowing money from anyone:

  • Have a plan for how you’ll repay the money.
  • See how the Better Business Bureau rates the company you’re considering.
  • Read the loan agreement and terms and conditions before agreeing to anything.
  • Make sure you know exactly what fees you’ll end up paying on a cash advance.

General Warnings and Considerations

When considering a loan, especially one with high interest, it’s critical to grasp not only the immediate financial implications but also the long-term effects on your overall financial health and well-being. Understanding the terms and conditions in full detail cannot be overstated, as this knowledge directly impacts your ability to manage and repay the debt responsibly.

Beyond the numbers, it’s important to recognize the psychological and emotional toll that debt can take, and to arm yourself with strategies for maintaining financial wellness through challenging times.

The True Cost of High-Interest Loans

High-interest loans can seem like a quick fix during financial emergencies, but often come at a steep price. Beyond the immediate financial strain, the long-term implications include prolonged debt repayment, increased total debt due to accruing interest, and potentially, a negative impact on your credit score if repayment becomes challenging. It’s vital to calculate the full cost of a loan—interest, fees, and the total repayment amount—before proceeding.

Psychological Impact of Debt

Debt can weigh heavily on your mental and emotional state, leading to stress, anxiety, and a sense of overwhelm. The pressure to meet repayment deadlines can strain relationships, diminish quality of life, and even impact your physical health. Recognizing these potential impacts is the first step toward managing them effectively.

Strategies for Financial Wellness

Maintaining financial wellness in the face of debt requires a proactive and informed approach. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Budgeting and expense tracking: Keep a detailed budget and track expenses. Awareness of your financial situation can help you make informed decisions and identify areas where you can cut back to allocate more funds toward debt repayment.
  • Emergency fund: Work towards building an emergency fund, even if it’s small at first. Having savings can prevent the need for high-interest loans in future emergencies.
  • Debt repayment plan: Prioritize your debts and consider strategies like the debt snowball or debt avalanche methods to tackle them efficiently.
  • Seek professional advice: If debt becomes unmanageable, don’t hesitate to seek advice from a financial advisor or credit counselor. They can offer personalized strategies and might suggest debt consolidation or restructuring plans to ease the burden.

Embracing Financial Education

Empowering yourself with financial education is a powerful tool in managing debt and achieving financial stability. Resources are widely available—from online courses and workshops to books and podcasts. Knowledge about personal finance, credit management, and investment can transform your approach to money, helping you make more informed decisions that support long-term financial health.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a cash advance loan?

A cash advance loan is a short-term loan that provides you with access to cash quickly and with relatively few requirements. Cash advance loans typically come with higher interest rates than other forms of credit and require repayment within a short period of time.

Cash advance loans are often used to cover emergency expenses or to bridge a temporary gap in your finances. They can be helpful in a pinch. However, they should be used with caution as they can be expensive and can lead to further financial difficulty if not managed properly.

Are instant cash advance loans the same as payday loans?

Payday loans and instant cash advance loans are basically the same thing, and the terms are used interchangeably. They are typically used to fulfill short-term cash needs and essentially serve as an advance on your upcoming wages. However, the cash advance loans we mentioned above, while they’re still high, have much better rates than typical payday loans.

Payday loans and title loans are notoriously expensive and should be avoided whenever possible. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) warns that the average 2-week APRs on payday loans is almost 400%.

Can you get an emergency loan with no credit check?

Some lenders do provide emergency loans without credit checks. However, most lenders will conduct a credit check to verify your financial history and creditworthiness before approving a loan.

Many lenders offer emergency loans with bad credit, so you may be able to qualify for a loan even with a poor credit score.

How do I apply for a cash advance loan?

You can apply for cash advance loans online or in-person. To apply online, you will need to provide personal information, proof of income, and bank account details. To apply in-person, you may need to provide additional documentation, such as proof of identity.

What are the requirements for cash advance loans?

The requirements for cash advance loans will vary depending on the lender. Generally, you must be at least 18 years old, have a regular source of income, and have a valid bank account.

How much can I borrow with a cash advance loan?

The amount you can borrow with cash advance loans will depend on your income and the lender’s policies. Typically, you can borrow up to $1,000 or 25% of your monthly income.

How long does it take to get a cash advance loan?

The loan application process for cash advance loans is typically quick and easy. In most cases, you can get the money you need within 24 hours.

Will an emergency loan impact my credit score?

Emergency loans can have an impact on your credit score. Whether the effect is positive or negative depends on whether the lender reports your payments to the credit bureaus. In most cases, lenders only report emergency loans if you default on the loan.

When taking out an emergency loan, it is important to make sure that you can afford the payments. If you cannot make the payments, it is best to look for other options. If you are late with payments or default on the loan, it can have a negative effect on your credit score.

What are the fees associated with cash advance loans?

The fees associated with cash advance loans will depend on the lender. Typically, you will be charged a one-time fee and an additional fee based on the amount you borrow.

How long do I have to repay a cash advance loan?

The repayment period for cash advance loans will vary depending on the lender. Generally, you will have up to two weeks to repay the loan.

What happens if I can’t repay my emergency loan?

If you are unable to repay your emergency loan, the lender may charge additional fees or higher interest rates. In some cases, they may even take legal action to collect the debt.

Are cash advance loans safe?

Yes, cash advance loans are typically safe. However, it is important to do your research and make sure you are dealing with a reputable lender.

Jamie Johnson
Meet the author

Jamie Johnson is a freelance writer who has been featured in publications like InvestorPlace and GOBankingRates. She writes about various personal finance topics including student loans, credit cards, investing, building credit, and more.