couple stressed by their bills
Timothy R
By: timothy-ronaldson
Read in 35 minutes

The 12 Best Emergency Loans: Finance Unexpected Expenses

If you are in need of emergency loans, you’ll be happy to know that there are many options out there. But while some of them are good alternatives, some are very expensive, and you should be wary of them.

If you don’t have the cash on hand to cover unpredictable expenses, this article will help you understand more about emergency personal loans and where to get them.

Let’s take an in-depth look at your options if you need cash for an emergency.

Get Approved For A Loan Today


man offering an emergency loan

What Are Emergency Loans?

Emergency loans can help you pay for unforeseen expenses. This financial product can offer you money fast, usually in a matter of hours or days.

Certain situations require capital that you simply can’t wait for at all. Emergency cash loans can be a great way to quickly get the cash you need to help you out of your jam.

Pros And Cons Of Emergency Loans


On the positive side, emergency loans get you the money you need fast. 

These specialized lenders understand life’s unforeseen financial challenges. That’s why they have created specific products that get you the money you need quickly. 

Often, these lenders will offer emergency loans with no credit checks. Or, at least, they won’t have stringent qualification requirements like some traditional lenders

The emergency cash loans market is also quite expansive now, so there is a lot of choice for borrowers.


On the flip side, this type of loan can come with a significant downside. 

Sometimes, these loans can border on predatory. They can have high-interest rates, steep fees, and quick repayment times.

In other words, you could get yourself in financial trouble by taking emergency loans, whether you’re able to pay them back.

Before applying for a loan, make sure to review how you can use the loan proceeds.

Types Of Emergency Cash Loans

When you’re searching for how to get an emergency loan, you’ll quickly find that there is a ton of choices in the marketplace today. Some of the main types of emergency cash loans include:

Personal Loans

These are your run-of-the-mill personal loans. Some originate online, while others you can still apply for at a brick-and-mortar financial institution. 

The loans will have a set repayment period and interest rate that is either fixed or variable.

The advantage of personal loans is that you can use the loan proceeds for almost anything, including emergencies.

If you need a loan for an emergency, make sure to check how much time the personal lenders take to process your application and deposit the funds.

Take into consideration that, unlike some of these other alternatives, you’ll need to have a bank account so that the lender can deposit the personal loan.

Apply For A Personal Loan!

Payday Loans

Payday loans are short-term in nature and come with high costs. However, they are typically for less than $500. 

The lender will advance you the money you need but charge you a very high-interest rate (or fees) for it. You’ll also have to repay the money on the next payday you have (which is where the name “payday loans” comes from).

The problem is that payday loans are very costly.

You’ll likely have to repay the loan in full by that time.

Title Loans

Title loans require you to put down an asset as collateral. The most common types are car title loans.

If you have paid for your car outright or own your home, you can use its title as the collateral for these loans. The borrower will sign the car title over to the lender, giving the borrower a loan for roughly 25% of the asset’s value. 

The loans are short-term (15-30 days) and charge high fees. If you don’t pay it back, the lender can repossess the asset and keep it.

Credit Card Advances

If you already have a credit card, you might have the option of taking an advance off your available balance. However, there are typically limits of around $500 at most on credit card advances. 

If you have the available credit limit, you can use your credit card with a PIN at an ATM to withdraw cash or go into a bank to get money out

The lender will charge a high variable interest with this loan and add it to your outstanding balance.

By themselves, credit cards could also help you finance your emergency needs. But, of course, they’d only work in situations where they accept credit cards.

Pawn Loans

This type of loan is similar to a title loan. The difference is that the lender, in this case, is a pawn shop. 

This store will accept various items as collateral, not just cars. 

The pawn shop will take the item from you, then lend you a percentage of its value. If you don’t pay it back in time, they will keep the asset you pawned. You get the item back when you pay back the money you borrowed, the interest, and the fees.

The CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) has aggressive consumer protection laws regarding payday loans because they’re usually considered predatory and unfair types of high-cost installment loans.

man searching for emergency loans online

Top 12 Emergency Loans Online

Life can be unpredictable. Things can happen at a moment’s notice that put you in a precarious position, needing money to fix or solve a problem. Luckily, you can get fast loans

Here are some of the best emergency personal loans, title loans, and credit card cash advances:

1. Camino Financial

camino financial logo

Camino Financial is an online lender that is always looking for ways to help people just like you. 

We streamline our application process so that it’s not cumbersome or hard to complete. 

Our qualification requirements are lower than other lenders, too. For example, we accept applicants with no credit history and a Social Security number or an ITIN.

Our personal loan is an excellent alternative if you need money fast: we can deposit the cash in as quickly as 2 days. In other words, you can use our loans for an emergency.

With us, you can receive as little as $1,500 and up to $7,500, which are the perfect amounts for most emergencies. 

Then, you can make 12 to 36 fixed monthly payments with an APR ranging from 33% to 35%.

The best thing is that we don’t have a minimum credit history requirement, and we don’t charge any prepayment penalties.

Apply For A 2-Day Loan!

2. Lightstream

lightstream logo

Lightstream is a lender that offers unsecured personal loans that can act as quick emergency loans. You can receive the money in a day or so after you’re approved.

Their loan amounts start at $5,000, though, so they might be a little much for emergency loan purposes. For people who need that much money, though, it could be a decent option. 

Their APR ranges up to 19.99%, and they offer an interest rate discount if you set up autopay on your monthly payment plan.

APRs already include the loan’s origination fees.

They do require minimum credit scores of at least 660 to qualify, though, and they might limit how you can use the loan proceeds. 

You also won’t have any flexibility regarding the loan’s due date.

3. Avant

avant logo

Avant is an online lender that offers unsecured and secured personal loans to customers who need money quickly. 

Their loan amounts range between $2,000 and $35,000, making them a bit more targeted for emergency loan purposes. In addition, their interest rates range up to 35.99%.

You can get your money fast, as soon as the next business day if you’re approved, and your monthly payment period can be as long as 60 months. However, you’ll also have to pay an upfront administration fee, which adds to the total cost of the loan. 

They require a fair credit score of 580.

4. Upstart

upstart logo

Upstart is a newer online lender with fast funding times, which can be suitable for emergencies. They also allow people to borrow as little as $1,000 and up to $50,000, giving more flexibility.

Their interest rates can be as much as 35.99% in some cases, and they have a very high origination fee of 8% of the loan amount. You also can only select a loan term period of three or five years.

The minimum credit score to get an Avant personal loan is 600. 

5. Max Cash Title Loans

max cash title loans logo

Max Cash Title Loans is one of the most well-known title loan companies. They offer title loans in just about every state in the U.S. 

Their loans range up to $25,000, with repayment terms between 12 and 36 months. They don’t assess any penalty if you pay the loan off early, either.

This company offers same-day emergency loans, although, in some cases, you might receive them the next business day. You can get your money via check or direct deposit, or even at a location for MoneyGram.

They have an easy application process that you can complete online as well. But, unfortunately, their interest rates are high, between 30% and 200%. 

6. Loan Center

loan center logo

This is another title loan company that offers loans throughout the country. However, they don’t operate in all states, so check first to see if you can even qualify for a loan with them based on where you live.

These emergency loans online start at $2,000 and go all the way up to $30,000. Their fees and APR begin at 35.5% and go as high as 199.99%.

There is also an origination fee of 5% on the total amount of the loan. 

The entire application and loan approval process are online, including submitting your car title to them. 

7. TitleMax

titlemax logo

TitleMax is a title loan company that offers quick emergency loans in 15 different states. 

Their online application is easy to complete and makes it simple for people to determine whether they qualify. You could even have the emergency loan funds available to you as soon as 30 minutes after you apply.

How much you can borrow from this company depends a lot on the car you own and your current income. However, the maximum amount they offer is $10,000, which is lower than some other title loan companies. 

One of the big downfalls of TitleMax is they don’t disclose what their interest rates and fees are before you apply. Unfortunately, this means you won’t even have a general idea of how much you might be paying back until you apply for the loan. 

Because they use the title as collateral, they won’t focus much on your credit score.

8. Discover it Cash Back

Discover logo

Discover is one of the most trusted credit card companies around. Many of their cards have some decent introductory offers for new cardholders. Plus, most of their cards also offer the ability to take cash advances.

This particular card offers an intro APR of 0% on all purchases for the 14 first months and 0% on all balance transfers for that same period. The regular APR after that is variable between 11.99% and 22.99%.

There is no annual fee on the card, and you can earn up to 5% cashback on many of your purchases. 

The card offers cash advances at a variable interest rate of 24.99% APR based on the current Prime Rate.

You’ll have to have a good to excellent credit score to qualify for this Discover card.

9. Chase Freedom Unlimited

chase logo

The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card also offers cash advances. They offer an introductory APR of 0% on all purchases within the first 15 months after you have the card. The regular APR after that is 14.99% to 24.74%.

There is no annual fee to hold the card, and you’ll get a lot of cashback opportunities, too. Depending on the purchase categories, you can get 5%, 3%, and 1.5% cashback. 

This card does offer the option of taking a cash advance. It comes with a variable APR of 24.99%. 

Again, one of the restrictions of this card is that you have to have a good or excellent credit score to qualify.

10. Capital One Venture Rewards

capital one logo

This Capital One credit card comes with an annual fee of $95 and no introductory APR for purchases or balance transfers. The regular APR is between 15.99% and 23.99%. 

They do offer cash advances, with a variable APR of 23.99%.

It also has amazing rewards:

You’ll earn 60,000 miles once you spend at least $3,000 in purchases in the first three months of opening your account. That’s the equivalent of $600 in travel.

You’ll earn 2x miles on all purchases you make on this card every day and can earn 5x miles on some specific purchases. They also offer reimbursement insurance for travel and some other travel perks.

Once again, you’ll need to have a good to excellent credit score to qualify.

11. Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards

bank of america logo

Bank of America, one of the largest financial institutions, has some good credit cards that could work as emergency loans for you.

This card offers an introductory 0% APR on purchases. After that, the regular APR is a variable between 13.99% and 23.99%. There is no annual fee for this credit card. You also have balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles.

You’ll get a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. Then, you’ll earn 3% cashback on some categories of purchases, 2% on others, and 1% on everything else.

Their cash advance APR is lower than most. While it’s a variable rate, it starts as low as 13.99% and goes up to 23.99%.

You’ll need to have a good to excellent credit score to qualify for this Bank of America credit card.

12. Capital One QuicksilverOne Rewards

capital one logo

This Capital One card is suitable for people who have only average credit. This is great to know, as all of the other cards on this list that offer Cash Advances require much higher credit scores.

The card has some downsides, though. First, you have to pay an annual fee of $39. It also doesn’t offer an introductory 0% APR on purchases or balance transfers.

The regular APR is variable and starts at 26.99%, which is on the higher end. But, since it is for people with average credit, it’s understandable that it is a little higher.

The cash advance APR is the same as the regular purchase APR. 

This card’s cash advance fee is only 3% of the total or $10, whichever is higher. That’s a lot lower than other cards, which is great because that means you aren’t paying more for the same amount of money.

Once you have the card, you’ll earn unlimited 1.5% cashback on all of the purchases you make on it.

100 dollar bills scattered on the floor

How To Choose The Best Emergency Loan

There are many different emergency loans and lenders, which can complicate selecting the one that best fits your needs.

There are a few key things that you should keep in mind. The first thing is you want to focus on a loan type first. We recommend you get a personal loan.

If you need loans for an emergency, steer clear of the ones that are too expensive.

The average interest rate on payday loans, for example, is a whopping 391%. Some lenders will even charge 600% interest. So if you borrow $1,000, that would mean you would owe payday lenders, on average, $3,910! 

You may need capital quickly, but try to avoid paying that much of a premium. 

Credit cards and personal loans have much more reasonable interest rates, usually ranging from 15% to 35%. 

Try to apply with a lender with no prepayment penalties and a low loan-closing fee.

You should also analyze the repayment options (if you have any options) and the specific terms of the agreement. 

Some lenders will try to bury a lot of fees and specific terms in the fine print. These are lenders and loan types you want to stay away from.

You need to pick a type of emergency loan that will fit your financial needs and timeline. Then, choose a lender that doesn’t charge too much for you to borrow money.

Only apply with lenders that have a minimum credit score requirement you can meet. Also, make sure that you choose a reputable financial institution with good reviews.

Ultimately, the best recommendation is to apply for an amount you can repay. 

Take some time to research the companies that offer the loan type you decided on, and it can go a long way to saving you money and hassle in the long run.

How To Get Emergency Loans

Once you have decided which lender is the best fit for your needs, you’ll have to apply. Here’s how to:

  1. Complete an application. Most lenders offer online loan applications
  2. After applying, you might get prequalified. Then, the lender might ask for some documents or further information before approving you.
  3. Provide information about your bank account. For example, the lender might want to check your cash flow to ensure you can repay the loan. 
  4. Once you complete these steps, just wait to receive the loan decision. Then, you’ll receive the money into your bank account or in cash if it’s positive.

Camino Financial is a reputable lender that can offer you capital in as fast as 2 days, with friendly terms and competitive interest rates. Apply today!

Apply For An Emergency Loan!

person receiving an emergency loan

Where Can I Get An Emergency Loan?

Luckily, nowadays, many different lenders offer some type of emergency loan. This provides you with many choices should you need to access capital quickly to pay for an unexpected financial expense.

These are some of the top places where you can apply for an emergency loan:

Online Lenders

Online lenders have become extremely popular in recent years. Using the power of technology and the internet, they can reach more people, offer more and better products, and cut costs. 

Top online lenders, like Camino Financial, genuinely care about their customers. As a result, we customize our products much more to each borrower than traditional financial institutions.

Credit Unions

Credit unions have long been a financial outlet for people looking for alternative financing options. They offer credit cards, emergency loans, and checking and savings accounts. 

Most credit unions charge a fee to be a “member.”

Once you are a member, you’ll be able to apply for any of the products that they offer. They typically provide decent fees and interest rates compared to larger financial institutions.

Traditional Banks

Big traditional banks do offer some types of emergency loans. However, they typically have high qualification standards and might require collateral.

These institutions are much more careful about what money they lend, how they lend it, and who they lend it to. As a result, you can end up with limited options through traditional banks.

Also, consider that, in most cases, you’ll need a bank account with that institution to apply.

Credit Card Companies

As mentioned before, credit card companies offer cash advances, a form of emergency loans. 

You can get this cash fast, but you need to have the credit card already in your possession if you want to use this option. 

Today, it’s easy to get approved for a credit card that offers a cash advance. However, it may take up to a week or more for you to get the credit card, and consequently, take a cash advance.

Payday Lenders

In most cases, these lenders offer only one specific product, so you won’t have a lot of choices if you decide to go with them.

Some of these lenders are available online. Others have physical storefronts set up in strip malls and local towns and cities. 

The Most Common Emergency Loan Uses

Most people face unexpected financial obstacles in their lives caused by various incidents. That is when they might need a fast influx of cash.

Here are some of the most common reasons why people need an emergency loan:

If you face health issues that force you to go to a hospital or need surgery, you may need quick emergency loans to help pay your medical bills. The same case could happen for members of your immediate family. 

Maybe a loved one passed away, and you need to travel or help pay for the funeral or other unexpected expenses. 

You might also need funds right away if you can’t use your home insurance to fix an urgent home improvement. This can be a busted pipe, a leaking roof, or even a rotting deck. 

Also, you could face an unforeseen bill that you won’t be able to cover before your next paycheck. 

These are unfortunate circumstances, but they happen to all of us. Sometimes, emergency loans are the only way for you to get those needed funds since you’ll have to have them so quickly.

If you need emergency capital, apply for a Camino Financial loan. 

Get an emergency loan

dollar sign

Alternatives To Emergency Loans

Emergency loans aren’t the only option if you need to borrow money quickly. 

Some other potential emergency loan alternatives could be available to you. It all depends on your situation, the types of unexpected expenses, and when you need the money.

Here are some of the potential alternatives:

Zero-Interest Credit Card

Credit cards could be a great alternative to an emergency loan if you can qualify for it. 

Credit card companies will often offer zero-interest cards as an enticement for people to apply for their products. These cards will offer no interest on all purchases within a specific limited timeframe. 

For example, they might charge no interest on all purchases made in the first six months you have the card, as long as you pay it off by the end of that period. 

You’ll need to have pretty good credit to qualify for these zero-interest credit cards, and there will also be a waiting period of roughly a week to get it in your hand.

Home Equity Line Of Credit (HELOC)

If you own your home and have equity in it, another option could be to take a home equity line of credit, more commonly known as a HELOC. 

Lenders will allow you to tap into a percentage of the equity you have in your home, charging you interest on the amount you borrow. 

It’s a great option, as the interest rate can be low, and your home itself will serve as the collateral. 

The downsides are you need to have equity in your home, and the process to apply and get approved can be arduous. 

If you already have a HELOC set up, it’s a great option. But if you are applying anew, it might not be the best alternative.

Medical Repayment Plans

If the unexpected financial challenges you face are medical bills, you could go on a medical repayment plan with the hospital. 

Nowadays, many medical providers will allow patients to spread out the amount they owe in even monthly payments over six or twelve months. The great part about this is they don’t charge interest, and it often just takes a phone call to ask to set it up. 

If your medical provider doesn’t provide this option, though, you would have to seek out other sources for your funds.


There are government grants that help people by providing them free money to pay for bills. 

States, private foundations, the federal government, and other charities provide various grants for various purposes. This can be a great way to help you if you require funds, especially since you won’t have to repay the money

Keep in mind, though, that there are strict requirements for what you can use the money for, and the application process can take quite some time. 

Grants aren’t the best alternative for many people who need money fast.

Non-Profit Or Charity

Charities and non-profit organizations help people get through hardships in their life. 

Depending on your situation, there might be a local charity that could give you money, household supplies, or food to lighten your financial load.

You could then use the money you were going to spend on food, for example, and pay whatever the emergency financial need is. 

Friends And family

This option might seem like a last resort for some people, but you can always ask friends and family members to help you out if you’re in a challenging financial situation. 

The good part about this is these people can sympathize with your situation and would be willing to help you out. 

The downside is that you’ll borrow money from your loved ones, which could cause some division if you are having trouble paying them back at any point.

emergency fund jar with money

Prepare For The Unexpected With An Emergency Fund

It’s impossible to predict life’s unexpected situations. 

Of course, it would be wonderful if we could always know when we would need to have extra money on hand, but that’s just not realistic.

What you can do, though, is preparing for future emergencies so that you don’t have to stress out about finding an emergency loan for funds that you need immediately.

The best way to do this is to set aside money. This is a separate financial account that you’ll create to set aside money if an emergency arises. 

Some people will call this a “rainy day fund.”

How Much Money Should You Have In An Emergency Fund? 

Many financial and budgeting experts will tell you to put aside roughly three to six months’ worth of expenses. 

This will help you get through any short-term disruption in your income (such as a temporary loss of job or injury), as well as help you pay for emergency costs that arise in your life.

To figure out how much you need, add up all your monthly expenses and then multiply that number by 3 or 6. 

For instance, if your monthly expenses are $2,000, you would want to have $6,000 in your fund to cover three months and $12,000 to cover six months of expenses.

That might seem like a lot of money, even like an unreachable sum. But, if you plan correctly and budget in a plan for savings, you’ll be able to accomplish this in time.

How To Build An Emergency Fund

The easiest way to build your rainy day fund is to add a line item to your monthly budget for it. Start small by putting even $50 per month in there.

Then, because it’s on your budget, it’s something that’ll just happen every month, like paying your mortgage or rent. 

Then, as your income increases—or if you have extra money that month—start increasing the amount of money you send to your rainy day fund each month. 

Before you know it, you’ll reach your goal.

man smiling because he can pay his bills

Emergencies Don’t Seem As Dire When You Have Capital At Hand

Just about everybody faces an unexpected financial situation in their lifetime. Whether it be a death in the family, an illness or injury, or a repair needed to a home, there are times when you’ll need money fast.

If you don’t have extra money stashed away in a rainy day fund, you may need to turn to other alternatives such as emergency loans. Many different emergency loan types can help you get the money you need fast.

You should always be careful about quick emergency loans, as some of them can be pretty expensive and quickly detrimental to you over the long term. With Camino Financial, though, this isn’t the case.

We’ve streamlined our application and loan approval processes for all of our loans so that you can get the money you need quickly. 

Our personal loan can offer you from $1,500 to $7,500.

Our qualification requirements are lower than some other lenders, too, as we don’t require an extensive credit history or even a Social Security number to apply (an ITIN will do).

Apply for a loan with Camino Financial today if you need money fast. We’ll work hard for you to help you in your time of need. 

Apply now!



Where can I get an emergency loan with bad credit?

If you have bad credit, there are still emergency loan options.

Some online lenders, such as Camino Financial, will lend to borrowers like you, with no credit history, or, depending on your situation, who have bad credit.

Other options may be a payday loan, a bank, or a local credit union.

How to get an emergency loan with bad credit?

Ig you have bad credit, first, find a lender who would be willing to work with you (check their minimum credit score requirements). You can even find emergency loans with no credit check.

Some lenders might charge higher interest rates or fees because of your bad credit, but that might not be an issue if you need money for an emergency.

Once you find the best lender, apply as you would to any other loan to get approved.

Will an emergency loan impact my credit score?

Almost all loans will impact applicants’ credit scores (either improving or decreasing them).

If you pay it back promptly, it’ll help you improve your credit score and establish a solid credit history. The opposite will happen if you don’t pay it.

However, keep in mind that, most often than not, payday loans won’t impact your FICO score (neither positively nor negatively).

Are there emergency loans for unemployed applicants?

There are emergency loans available for unemployed people.

If you can get an employed co-signer, you could increase your chances of getting the money you need fast. You could also turn to grants or private charities to help you if you’re in need.

How fast can I get an emergency loan?

Emergency loans can get money into your hands quickly. They can take from several hours to a couple of days, depending on the type of loan.

Many emergency-loan lenders will streamline the application and approval processes to reduce the time between applying and getting your money.

For example, with Camino Financial, the whole process can take only two days.


Check if you
qualify for a loan