Where Can I Borrow Money Immediately?

November 25, 2023 Personal Loans

Key Takeaways

Here are the top methods for obtaining money immediately during emergencies.

  • Bank or credit union loan
  • Personal loan from an online lender
  • Credit card cash advance
  • Government assistance program
  • Friends and family loan

Remember to consider all your options and watch out for scams when borrowing money on a tight schedule. Consider the interest rates and repayment periods so you can manage the debt afterward.

Where Can I Borrow Money Immediately?

When unexpected financial challenges arise, immediate money becomes an urgent and stressful priority. Popular solutions include obtaining personal loans, payday loans, cash advances, and bank loans. It’s important to know which options are trustworthy and which are predatory.

In this guide, we’ll go over where you can borrow money immediately, the pros and cons of each option, and what red flags to avoid.

Quick cash options

Personal loans

Personal loans are unsecured installment loans that grant you fast funds in the form of a lump sum deposit to your bank account. The average interest rate of a personal loan varies between 6 and 36 percent depending on your creditworthiness and financial stability. The most common way to repay a personal loan is to make fixed monthly installments.

Personal loans are commonly used for:

  • Debt consolidation
  • Urgent vehicle repairs
  • Expensive projects (e.g. home renovation)
  • Medical bills

Pros: Personal loans have relatively fast funding times. Many loan providers even offer same-day approval loans, making them a great choice for those who need money urgently. With personal loan funds, you can cover the high upfront costs of whatever you can’t usually afford.

Cons: If you don’t have good credit, personal loan rates can be high and your loan amounts limited. Failing to repay a personal loan can result in serious credit damage and interest accumulation, hurting your chances of receiving loans and credit in the future.

Banks loans

Banks offer personal loans that are often purpose-specific, such as mortgages and auto loans. Average interest rates range between 10 and 32 percent depending on your credit score.

Pros: Banks are well-established financial institutions, with advanced technology and high accessibility. Some banks offer worldwide branches. By working with the same bank over time, you can foster a strong relationship and enjoy the bank’s loyalty rewards.

Cons: The eligibility requirements for a bank loan are fairly strict. You need to have solid credit and go through a lengthy approval process. If you want to borrow money immediately, a bank loan might not fit your needs.

Credit union loans

Credit union loans are offered by member-owned, non-profit financial organizations. If you qualify to join a credit union, you can receive numerous member benefits and take out personal loans.

Pros: Credit union loans typically come with more lenient repayment terms and lower interest rates. Credit unions also tend to offer a more personalized experience to borrowers.

Cons: To qualify for a credit union loan, you will need to join the credit union by meeting the eligibility requirements. Credit unions may have technological limitations and smaller branch networks due to being smaller than banks.


Online lenders

Many online lenders do not have brick-and-mortar locations. Instead, these lenders operate using online platforms and websites.

Pros of online lenders

Online personal loans are highly convenient with 24/7 accessibility. Being able to borrow money remotely and at any time during the day gives online loans a massive advantage over other financing options. If you need funds for emergency expenses, it may be best to use the services of an online loan provider.

It is also easier to compare loan rates and terms when shopping for a loan online instead of at an in-person branch. You can use rate comparison sites to quickly determine whether you’re receiving a competitive interest rate.

Cons of online lenders

Cybersecurity risk is a real concern. Scams run rampant online with scammers posing as legitimate lenders. By applying for loans online, you risk being the victim of a data breach or predatory lending practices.

Another potential drawback to online loans is there is a lack of in-person interaction. Some borrowers prefer to interact face-to-face with a loan provider representative to receive more individualized customer support. This can also limit the amount of trust you feel comfortable putting in your lender.

Alternative financial services

Credit card cash advance

A credit card cash advance lets you withdraw cash using your credit card for a fee. This fee is typically charged upfront as a percentage of the amount you withdraw. Many credit card issuers allow cardholders to advance cash at ATMs or over the counter at a bank. The amount you withdraw in a cash advance is deducted from your available credit limit.

Pros: Cash advances offer convenient access to cash during emergencies. Individuals with poor credit can benefit from the ease of obtaining a cash advance without a credit check or loan application.

Cons: Interest immediately starts accumulating once you obtain a cash advance as there is no grace period. You can expect this interest rate to be even higher than the usual credit card interest rate.

Peer-to-peer lending

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is a form of financial technology enabling you to borrow money from other individuals instead of financial institutions.

Pros: If you’re struggling to obtain financing from traditional lending options, peer-to-peer lending can be a valuable alternative.

Cons: Consumer protection regulations are limited in the P2P lending world, which means you’re opening yourself up to various financial and security risks. You may discover P2P loan amounts to be low as well, making it difficult to cover all your necessary expenses.

On-demand pay

More companies have begun offering on-demand payment programs, which allow employees to access their wages before they receive their paychecks.

Pros: You can access your earned wages earlier, letting you cover urgent expenses without worrying about seeking out a loan.

Cons: On-demand payment apps will charge a fee if you want to acquire your wages without delay. In addition, you can only access money that you have already earned, so you might not obtain enough money to cover your expenses.


Microfinance institutions

Microfinance (AKA microcredit) involves offering financial assistance and options to those who can’t gain access to conventional financial services, such as low-income or unemployed individuals. The social mission of microfinance is to empower people and help them lift themselves out of poverty through various financial services, especially those in underserved communities.

Microloans range from $50 up to $50,000. If you need quick funding, you might be able to obtain a loan from a microfinance institution (MFI) even if you don’t have sufficient collateral or credit score. The financing process of a microloan is typically faster and easier than a bank loan. Microloans can be helpful for:

  • Emergency situations
  • Entrepreneurial ventures
  • Skill training and development
  • Financial inclusion

Microfinance risks and considerations

A downside to taking out microloans is that their interest rates are often higher than other personal loans. This raises the overall cost of borrowing, which can hurt your financial stability in the long run.

Limited regulatory oversight also means you may be exposed to predatory lenders and a lack of transparency when seeking out a microloan. Microfinance has been criticized for taking advantage of underserved communities and not producing good long-term results.

Because of these risks, it’s a good idea to carefully weigh the pros and cons of microloans before committing to one. Make sure you research lenders to ensure your chosen loan provider has a solid reputation.


Unconventional sources

While it’s generally recommended to opt for tried and true borrowing options instead of riskier options, here are some unconventional sources of funding to explore.

Borrowing from friends and family

If you’re experiencing an emergency, it might be a good idea to borrow money through personal connections. It’s a practical and quick solution to your financial challenges. However, it is important to be careful with introducing a new financial dynamic to your existing relationships.

Here are some tips to maintain healthy relationships when borrowing money from family and friends.

  • Be honest about your financial needs
  • Make sure you’re on the same page regarding repayment
  • Create a realistic repayment plan
  • Consider offering interest
  • Respect their ultimate decision
  • Draft a formal agreement to avoid miscommunication


Crowdfunding involves sharing your story with the public and requesting donations. Popular crowdfunding platforms include Kickstarter, GoFundMe, SeedInvest, and Indiegogo. While crowdfunding can be a valuable way to raise money for your goals and harness collective support, there are more reliable methods of obtaining money quickly.

The success of a crowdfunding campaign depends on numerous factors, such as:

  • Your ability to convey your story in a way that resonates
  • Frequent updates
  • Expressions of gratitude for donors and supporters
  • Whether your story catches the public’s attention
  • Choosing the right platform for your purpose

Cryptocurrency loans

A crypto loan lets you borrow money using your crypto holdings as collateral. This may be a useful way to obtain liquidity when you have insufficient cash. With crypto loans, you typically don’t need to have good credit. You just need to have enough crypto holdings to obtain the loan amount.

However, cryptocurrency is notoriously volatile and lacking in regulation. The global accessibility and lower interest rates of a crypto loan may not be worth the risk.

Pawn shop loans

Many pawn shops advertise to individuals who need cash fast. By pawning an item for a short-term pawn shop loan, you can obtain a cash amount depending on how much your collateral asset is worth. Paying the loan back within the designated time period will let you get the item back. Otherwise, the pawn shop will keep it.

An advantage to pawn shop loans is that there is no credit check necessary and the loan will not affect your credit score.

However, pawn loans come with high interest rates, limited loan amounts, and high risk. If you do decide to take out a pawn shop loan, be sure to keep your pawn receipt safe and borrow from a reputable pawn shop.

Payday loans

Payday loans are not advisable even though they can provide quick cash. These are very short-term loans with extremely high interest rates. Since payday loans only give you two to four weeks to gather funds for repayment, they are a high-risk option.

Government assistance programs

Federal and state governments often offer assistance to those in need. Government programs may help you with housing, utilities, healthcare, and other essential needs. Eligibility requirements can vary greatly depending on the program, so it’s a good idea to reach out to your local services agency or the government website to find up-to-date information.

Here are some initiatives that may benefit you.

  • Low-income energy assistance programs
  • Veterans assistance programs
  • Child care assistance
  • Emergency food assistance
  • Legal aid programs
  • Disaster relief fund

Tips for quick approval

When applying for a loan, here are some steps that can increase your chances of loan approval.

  • Improve your credit score
  • Prequalify for a loan
  • Settle your credit card debt
  • Address issues on your credit report
  • Provide accurate information

Collateral options

Secured loans (AKA collateral loans) require you to offer an asset to back the loan. This makes it easier to qualify for loans even if you have insufficient credit.

Common collateral types

  • Jewelry and watches
  • Art and collectibles
  • Vehicles
  • Commercial and residential property
  • Business assets
  • Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds
  • Life insurance cash value
  • Cash savings

Risks and considerations for fast loans

Borrowers facing deadlines and stressful situations often feel like they need to take on the quickest financing method regardless of the risk. Here are some key points to consider.

Interest rates and repayment term

The interest rate and repayment term directly affect your ability to repay the loan. Use an online calculator to determine your expected monthly installment amount and total interest paid. This can help you evaluate whether you have the repayment capacity.

Penalties and hidden fees

Your loan agreement may contain hidden fees and penalties that affect your borrowing experience and finances. Some charges to be aware of include:

  • Prepayment penalty for early repayment
  • Origination fee for loan application
  • Credit report fees
  • Late payment fees

Scam awareness and red flags

It’s a good idea to know what red flags to watch out for when borrowing money for urgent expenses. Be careful when:

  • The interest rate is too good to be true
  • The lender pressures you to act quickly
  • Unusual payment methods (e.g. wire transfers or gift cards)
  • No clear terms and conditions
  • Guaranteed loan approval
  • No verifiable customer reviews
  • Poor lender reputation

About The Author

Author Avatar

Ru Chen

Content Writer

Ru Chen is a content writer with several years of experience in creating engaging and well-researched articles. She mostly writes about business, digital marketing, and law. In her free time, she can be found watching horror movies and playing board games with her partner in Brooklyn.

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