Bad Credit? No Problem! Get an Emergency Loan from NerdWallet!

How to get an emergency loan for bad credit when you have an urgent need for cash, such as car repairs, an unpaid payment, or a trip to the emergency room, you might not have time to consider your borrowing choices.


However, taking careful consideration into account before borrowing could help you save money and keep your debt under control. If you know how emergency loans operate and how they stack up against other options, getting one from a trustworthy lender can be a quick method to receive cash. And NerdWallet is one of the best emergency loan for bad credit options.

What is an emergency loan?

A personal loan taken out for an emergency expense is referred to as an emergency loan. Emergency loans are frequently unsecured, meaning the lender will decide whether to grant you a loan and at what interest rate based on your personal details, including your credit, income, and other debts.


Emergency loan for bad credit range in size from $1,000 to $100,000 with annual percentage rates ranging from 6% to 36%. For this kind of loan, lenders often have minimum credit score and maximum debt-to-income ratio criteria. Some lenders provide loans that are secured, co-signed, or joint and may be simpler to qualify for.

Even in an emergency, taking the time to examine personal loans and potentially less expensive solutions can help you avoid risky lenders that destroy your credit and finances while also saving you money.

How do emergency loans operate?

An installment loan is one that you take out for a personal need; you get the money all at once, and you pay it back in equal monthly payments. The range of repayment terms is two to seven years. Due to the fixed interest rates on these loans, your monthly payment will remain constant throughout the term of the loan.

The three main credit agencies receive loan payment reports from the majority of trustworthy lenders, thus your payments affect your credit score. Your credit score is impacted by both timely payments and missed ones.

Why should I get an emergency loan for bad credit from NerdWallet?

How can I trust NerdWallet?

The editorial staff at NerdWallet evaluated and compared more than 35 personal loan servicers to identify the top emergency loans. The criteria NerdWallet used to choose these lenders were minimum credit score requirements, APR ranges, loan amounts, financing times, and their capacity to assist clients in establishing credit.

How to get an Emergency Loan for bad credit

Emergency loan for bad credit consumers can strengthen their personal loan application by following these measures.

1. Investigate your credit report. Is a mistake in your credit record causing a poor credit score? You can check your credit record for any inaccurately reported late payments or unauthorized accounts. Your chances of being accepted can increase if you take care of these kinds of problems before applying.


2. Add a co-borrower or co-signer. Since the lender will take into account both applicants’ credit and income when making a decision, adding someone with superior credit could increase your chances of being approved. Anyone you add to a joint or co-signed personal emergency loan for bad credit is responsible for the debt if you are unable to make payments.

3. Add security. With a secured loan, you can get approved more quickly or at a lower rate. While credit unions and some banks provide loans secured with savings or CD accounts, online lenders like OneMain and Upgrade allow consumers to secure a loan with collateral—typically a vehicle. But the lender has the right to seize the security if you are unable to repay the debt.

Where to get an emergency loan for bad credit

Online lenders: Online lenders typically provide a quick application process and let you examine your rate before applying. But unscrupulous lenders will attempt to take advantage of your situation. Find a trustworthy lender that caps rates at 36% – the highest APR that is considered to be affordable for loans, by most consumer advocates — and check your credit and income to be sure you can afford the loan.

Banks: Although there are rare exceptions, most banks favor borrowers with strong or exceptional credit (690 or better). Small loans from a few big banks, including U.S. Bank and Bank of America, are available to address emergencies. This form of loan requires that you already be a customer, but the fees are significantly lower than those charged by payday lenders.

Credit unions: The most cheap alternative for emergency loan for bad credit may be available to credit union members. Federal credit unions have an 18% personal loan APR cap, which is lower than many lenders online. When making a loan decision, a credit union may take into account a borrower’s membership history in addition to their credit and income. Small-dollar loans with low interest rates that are repaid over six to twelve months are available from some credit unions as alternatives to payday loans.

How to create an emergency fund

Establishing an emergency fund can help you avoid borrowing in the future, even if it won’t help you with your immediate needs. Here are some pointers for creating an emergency fund.

Determine how much you require. The majority of financial professionals advise setting aside three to six months’ worth of living costs. To calculate how much money you’d need to live comfortably for a few months without working, use an emergency fund calculator.

Begin modestly. Starting from scratch, three to six months’ worth of spending may seem excessive. It could be simpler to start modest with a $500 target, which can cover smaller situations, and increase it later. You can achieve this by setting a more modest monthly savings target.

Automate the way you save. Remove any opportunity for human mistake after you know how much to save from each paycheck. You may set up recurring transfers from your checking account to a savings account with many banks. Ask your company to direct deposit a portion of your paycheck into a different account if they do so.


More than 35 financial institutions’ emergency loan for bad credit products are evaluated and rated as part of NerdWallet’s review process. They interview company representatives, gather over 45 data points from each lender, and compare each lender to others who target the same clientele or provide a comparable personal loan product. Every year, the authors and editors of NerdWallet perform a thorough fact check and update. They also make any required revisions during the year.

The maximum interest rate that the majority of financial professionals and consumer groups agree is the acceptable cap for a loan to be affordable is 36%, hence this methodology only applies to lenders who cap their interest rates at that level.

Read more: The Best Ways to Get a Student Loan for Education

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