While the process of applying for an emergency loan will vary from lender to lender, you’ll follow the same general process:
Check your credit score
Your credit score can play a big role in determining whether you’ll qualify for a loan. Generally, you’ll want a credit score of at least 640, though every lender will have different requirements.
If you have a low credit score, you may want to work on improving your credit score. This can help you to not only qualify with more personal loan lenders, but it may help you access better interest rates, loan amounts and terms.
See if you prequalify
Prequalifying for a loan allows you to see the rates, amounts and terms you may be eligible for without any impact to your credit score. While many lenders offer this as an option, some lenders will require you to submit to a hard credit inquiry, which can cause your credit score to decrease by several points.
Prequalification allows consumers to easily compare multiple personal loan lenders to find the lowest rates and terms that align with their financial goals.
Submit an application
Once you choose a lender, next you’ll submit a formal application. As part of the application process, you’ll need to verify your income, your identity, your residency and other personal or financial details. For instance, you may have to provide the lender with pay stubs, W-2s, a government-issued form of ID and your mortgage/rental agreement.
During this process, the lender will conduct a hard credit inquiry, which can cause your credit score to temporarily go down by a few points.
Where to find emergency loans
Loans are available from credit unions, banks and online lenders. While traditional banks and credit unions may offer some unique perks, online lenders typically offer faster application and funding timelines.
You can also find them with payday lenders. While these lenders offer fast access to cash and typically don’t do credit checks, their lending practices are often predatory and the loans can come with APRs as high as 400%. Many borrowers struggle to repay their payday loans and get trapped in a cycle of debt. As a general rule, it’s best to avoid payday lenders.