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When unexpected expenses pop up and you don’t have the cash to pay for them, taking out an emergency loan can be a good option. This allows you to quickly access cash you need to cover unforeseen bills.
However, just because some emergency loans are the easiest loans to get approved for doesn’t mean they’re the best option for you. Some come with sky-high interest rates and fees.
Easiest loans and their risks
If you’re searching for loans to cover an unexpected expense, you might consider taking out an emergency loan, a payday loan or a bad-credit or no-credit-check loan. While these types of loans are usually easy to get, each has risks.
An emergency loan is a personal loan used to cover unexpected expenses, such as medical bills or car repair bills. Lenders typically let you borrow $1,000 or more; some lenders even deposit the funds into your account the same day you sign the loan agreement. The interest rate you get on an emergency loan depends on several factors, such as your credit score, income and debt-to-income ratio.
Risks: If you don’t have a good to excellent credit score (at least 670) and a solid income, your loan may come with high interest rates and fees.
Payday loans are short-term loans designed to be paid back by your next pay period. Because most payday lenders don’t check your credit, these are easy loans to get. However, they come with serious drawbacks in the form of steep interest rates and fees. For example, some have annual percentage rates (APRs) as high as 400 percent.
Risks: Since these loans come with excessive fees, they’re best used as a last resort. If you can’t afford to repay the loan by the next pay period, you risk digging yourself into a deeper hole financially.
Bad-credit or no-credit-check loans
A bad-credit loan is a personal loan for borrowers who have less-than-stellar credit or minimal credit history. Although minimum credit score requirements vary by lender, you’ll typically need at least a 580 credit score to qualify. If you don’t meet the lender’s minimum credit score requirement, an alternative is getting a no-credit-check loan. The downside to a no-credit-check loan is similar to a payday loan – it comes with high APRs and fees.
Risks: If you have a really low credit score, you risk being charged a high interest rate and fees – some personal loan lenders have maximum interest rates as high as percent.