How to Get an Emergency Loan

Many people in the US search for emergency loans when they have sudden expenses because they don’t have enough money saved.

A Bankrate survey found that 57% of adults couldn’t pay $1,000 in emergency costs with their savings.

Emergency loans give you quick money for unexpected needs.

Learn about the good and bad of different lenders and compare options to find the right loan for you.

Discover how to get an emergency loan quickly.

Learn about the application process, requirements, and tips for obtaining the funds you need in urgent situations.

Emergency Loan
How to Get an Emergency Loan. Photo Source (Freepik)

What are Emergency Loans?

Emergency loans are loans you can get after a crisis, like medical bills or home repairs.

They’re usually small and you get the money fast.

How to Get an Emergency Loan in 5 Steps

Emergencies can make it hard to choose a loan.

Whether it’s medical bills, car repairs, or home issues, these steps can help you pick the right emergency loan.

1. Decide if you need a fast emergency loan

You might need fast emergency cash for things like major car repairs, urgent care deductibles, or upfront payments for roof repairs.

These are situations where you need cash right away.

But if you have time to plan for urgent surgery or dental work, or if your insurance covers a rental car while yours is being repaired after an accident, you can take your time to find other emergency loan options with lower rates or better terms.

2. Compare loan types and lenders

After you know which emergency loan type is best for you, compare rates and terms from at least three companies.

The right lender depends on your financial situation and how quickly you need the money.

There are different types of emergency loans, each with its own good and bad points.

Personal loans, payday loans, credit card cash advances, and title loans are fast ways to get money for urgent bills.

Home equity loans or HELOCs are also options if you don’t need the money right away.

3. Get prequalified

Most emergency lenders will prequalify you based on the information you give them. Getting the best loan depends on:

  • Your credit score: If it’s low, you may need loans for fair or poor credit. You might have to get payday or title loans if you need a loan without checking your credit.
  • Repayment terms: Choose a term you can afford so you don’t have debt for a long time. Payday loans have short terms, while home equity loans can be longer.
  • Interest rates: Rates vary. HELOC and home equity loans have lower rates. Pay attention to APR for the best rate.

4. Fill out the application

When you pick the best emergency loan lender, you’ll need to fill out an application and give any needed documents when you’re approved.

For a personal loan, you might need pay stubs, proof of address, and your driver’s license.

For a new HELOC or home equity loan, you might need the same documents you needed when you bought your home, like assets, tax returns, and maybe a home appraisal. Give documents quickly to get your cash faster.

5. Wait for a decision and funding

The time to get your decision and money depends on your loan type.

The money is usually deposited directly into your bank account, with automatic payments set up for future payments.

Where to Get an Emergency Loan

Different banks and lenders offer emergency loans.

The best one for you depends on when, where, and how your emergency happens.

Online lenders

Getting an emergency loan online is easy.

You can fill out personal information from home.

You can compare loans and access them when banks are closed.

Payday Lenders

Payday lenders can be found online or in local strip malls.

Their applications usually require proof of employment and how often you’re paid.

With high-interest rates and fees, they should only be used as a last resort.

Car Title Lenders

Car title loans, like payday loans, don’t check your credit.

You can get the money fast with basic info about your car.

But they have very high-interest rates and fees.


Your local bank might offer you a better emergency loan with lower rates and terms if you’ve been with them for a long time.

But if you have bad credit, banks may not lend to you because they have stricter credit rules.

Credit Unions

Credit unions, like banks, offer fair terms and rates on loans.

They may also process HELOCs and home equity loans quickly.

They’re a better choice than banks if you have less-than-perfect credit, as they have more flexible credit and income requirements.

What Can You Use an Emergency Loan For?

Emergency loan funds can be used for anything.

They’re like other personal loans but are meant for emergencies because you can get the money quickly.

They’re popular with people who don’t have emergency savings and are often used for unexpected car repairs, medical bills, or household expenses.


Many Americans rely on emergency loans for unexpected expenses when they don’t have enough savings.

A survey found that 57% of adults couldn’t pay $1,000 for emergencies from their savings.

Emergency loans provide quick money for unexpected needs, but it’s important to compare lenders and options.

Knowing how to get an emergency loan quickly is important.

These loans can be used for things like medical bills or car repairs, providing a helpful option for those without enough savings.

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