Cover emergency expenses with an affordable Short-term loan

Short term loans are generally used for unexpected emergency expenses such as medical bills, overdue household bills and essential vehicle or home repairs.

Running low on cash happens to the best of us, but when you're in a rush to get your hands on some cash you generally tend to accept the first loan which you find.

To avoid this you should understand some crucial aspects of these loans, the different deals you have available as well as some alternative ways to get extra cash.

As with any financial decision you should always be certain that you actually need the money and that you’ve explored alternative ways of getting cash fast. Whether by borrowing from a family member or simply selling some things you no longer use, there is a range of fairly decent ways to find a loan quickly.

If you’ve worked through these and still find that you need a loan then you should ensure that you budget for it. This is to ensure that you can afford to make the repayments.

Falling into a vicious loan cycle will be highly detrimental to your finances, so remember that a short-term loan must be considered only for financial emergencies that require quick cash.

Before you take out any type of loan

Understand the conditions of the loan. This includes exactly how much you have to pay back and by when, as well as what will happen if you do not manage to repay the loan by the set date.

Short-term vs long-term loans

Short term loans come in a variety of different forms, one of the most well-known being that of a payday loan. A payday loan is a short-term loan taken out with the understanding that the entire sum borrowed, plus interest, will be repaid using your next paycheck. We’ll discuss short term loans in a little more detail below.

Short-term loans

Loans referred to as short term loans can have a loan term of anything from a few days to a year and, in some cases longer. The primary difference between a short and long term loan is obviously the time period within which the loan must be repaid.

Higher interest rates

The difference between short and long term loans that will have the biggest effect on the borrower is that of the higher interest rate. Short-term loans carry significantly higher interests rates than long term loans like car and property finance.

The reason that the interest will be higher on a short term loan is that micro lenders generally don't run credit checks or require any collateral for the loan – so they assume a greater risk of not having their money repaid.

Easier to get with less stringent borrowing requirements

Another difference is that a short term loan is easier to get since the requirements are not as stringent as with long term loans. You can get a short-term loan with both good and bad credit scores and there are hundreds of traditional and alternative providers.

Most short term loans, particularly those where the collateral is needed, no credit check will be required and if it is, chances are providers will do a “soft search”.

A soft search is simply a credit search that will not show up on your credit report. A hard search is the same credit search as that is conducted for a home or car loan.

No long waiting periods

There is no long waiting period to get approved or receive the money – it all happens really fast. Most short-term lenders that can offer you a loan in a few minutes or less are alternative online providers what specialise in this form of quick credit.

What is the difference between a Short-term loan and a Credit card?

The first and most affordable way to get finance when you need it is by using a credit card. Using a credit card instead of getting a loan can work out to be a lot more cost-effective.

If you have a good credit score this should be no problem for you however you may, have a credit limit that is below the amount you need. If you’re looking to make new purchase than using a 0% interest spending credit card is the best way to do it.

The important thing here is that you repay the amount within the specified time or at least arrange a balance transfer to another credit card to give you some additional time to pay without incurring fees.

Money transfer cards

If you can’t pay what you need to pay on a credit card, for instance, if the retailer doesn’t accept them, there is one other way to still use a card and minimise the cost by using a money transfer card.

A money transfer card will allow you to move money from your spending credit card to your regular account at a minimal fee – you can simply speak to your bank about this option and the attached fees.

Since most credit cards will limit you to £5,000 if you need more than it may be best to look elsewhere.

How do I get a Short-term loan from a Credit union?

Apart from banks and credit cards anyone looking for a short term loan should consider is a Credit Union.

By law credit unions cannot charge more than 3% per month on any loan, and that's great news for your pocket.

This works out to a decent APR of just over 40% but rates are usually well below this. Note that some credit unions will require you to be a member to qualify you for a loan. To find one simply search for your nearest credit union and inquire about the requirements to become a member.

Benefits that go beyond low-rate borrowing

Supporting your local credit union can help them support other needy families and individuals and, considering the good rates they offer, using a credit union is a good idea.

If you're on benefits then you should consider applying for an interest-free loan budgeting option. This is done through the social fund and is definitely the best option available to those who have been claiming some form of benefits for 26 weeks or more. The loan will usually be deducted from your regular benefits as agreed with the social fund.

Alternatively, if you have good credit you can simply take out a personal loan at a bank and, don't be afraid to negotiate the rate, if they agree you'll save and if they don't, no harm would've been done. Just keep in mind that the smaller the loan the higher the interest will be.

The highly controversial Payday loan

The next and most well-known short-term loan option would be that of a payday loan;highly controversial due to the high APR but fast and effective. An APR or, Annual Percentage Rate is a term that you should become familiar with as it will show you how much a loan will cost over a period of a year.

It is a key metric when comparing different loan options. In addition to the interest charged, the APR will include any additional fees. The role of a payday loan is self-explanatory; to give you the money you need till your next payday comes around.

Basic Requirements to Apply

You obviously need to be employed to be able to get a payday loan and this type of short term loan is best for people that need to borrow a small amount of money really quickly.

Complete a short-term loan application online

The whole process can be done online and within less than an hour you'll have the money in your account. As you can now complete the entire process online, no faxing required, this is certainly the easiest way to get a loan – which is certainly the reason for its overwhelming popularity.

How will my Short-term loan be repaid?

The money you’ve lent will be taken out of your account, plus interest when you receive your pay check; usually monthly. Make sure that you fully understand the Continuous Payment Authority or CPA, which is when you provide your card details to a micro lender thereby authorising them to take out regular payments from your account.

They are difficult to cancel but note that loan providers may not make more than two attempts to take money from your account and they may also not take out partial payments.

If you don't make the payment on the agreed date, you will be penalised, this is why payday loans can at times spiral out of control. People find themselves unable to manage the growing debt.

Be aware of the rollover trap

When you accept a deferral or rollover your accepting additional interest and fees as well – so don't go for a payday loan unless you are 100% certain that you can repay it at the end of the month.

Also, avoid a payday loan if your intention is to use it to pay off other debts or if you already have an outstanding payday loan. You should note that new regulations prohibit loan providers to make borrowers pay more than double the loan amount.

Will a payday loan affect your credit?

Many people believe that getting a payday loan will reflect negatively on your credit review but this is only true if you fail to make the repayments on time or if you take out multiple payday loans.

This will indicate that you have serious financial pressures and cannot manage your money. If you are responsible with payday loans and do not overuse them, it should have absolutely no effect on your credit rating.

Cheque-based payday loans

Another similar option to the regular payday loan which may be cheaper and viable to those with bad credit is the cheque-based payday loan. With this type of loan, you are required to send a few blank cheques and a cheque guarantee card to the provider.

It is cheaper because APR’s are usually lower and great for people with bad credit because providers don't always conduct a credit check. Since you have to post the cheques to the provider, you will have to wait at least a day or two before you will receive the loan. so if you need the money urgently, this isn’t the best option.

Overdraft facilities can be cheaper

A good alternative to such short term loans would be to arrange an authorised overdraft with your bank because it will work out to be cheaper than a payday loan, provided that you stay within the set limit.

Secured loans for those with Bad credit

If you own a vehicle you can use it to secure this type of loan where you will be able to loan more than you can with the other options mentioned above.

Since you're using your vehicle as collateral, if you don't keep up with payments you will have your vehicle seized, so it’s a very risky option if you're not 100% confident that you can repay the loan.

The benefit with this type of loan is that you are not subject to a credit check – since the loan is secured against your vehicle, so people with bad credit can apply.

The repayment terms are quite flexible and can range from short term to long term (up to 48 months) but, be aware that the APR is higher than with almost all other types of loans. Most importantly, if you fail to repay the loan and your car is seized, you lose the entire car regardless of the amount your borrowed.

This means that you could lose your entire vehicle even if you just borrowed £2,000; find out the policies regarding this before agreeing to anything.

Short-term loans from pawn brokers

Essentially you exchange goods of value for a loan – if you don't repay the loan as agreed your valuables will be sold to recover the money. The pawnbroker will decide on the value of your goods, so you may get a low valuation on the item or items and this is simply one of the downsides you'll have to accept.

APR’s are generally not bad – in some cases much lower than any other type of short term loan. This is another ideal option for anyone with bad credit since pawnbrokers don't run credit checks.

Summary of your Short-term loan options

  • Use your credit card for retail purchases, more specifically, a 0% interest spending card.
  • For the lowest possible interest rates – visit your local credit union.
  • If you have a vehicle and need a large loan then you can go for a logbook loan.
  • Similarly, if you have any items of value you can visit a pawnbroker for a loan with a relatively low-interest rate.
  • A payday loan is definitely the fastest and easiest way to get a loan
  • You could request an authorised overdraft with your bank which will save you money.

Regardless of your financial circumstances, credit history and current credit needs, a short-term loan is one of the most flexible and affordable forms of credit in the UK.

Once you've decided on which short term loan option is ideal for you, compare options and then proceed to complete a quick loan application online. It has never been easier to get a reliable short-term loan!