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Quick access to cash - options for borrowing at short notice

There are not many loan companies that will give you instant decisions – the ones that do will often leave you saddled with an extremely high rate of interest.

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businessman pressing pound button on virtual screens

In the few cases where you can get quick cash from a loan company, you will likely need a very good credit score, otherwise you could be looking at going down the route of taking out a payday loan, which should always be avoided.

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Payday loans offer quick cash, usually paying you the money the same day, but they come with aggressive repayment plans, combining high interest rates and high penalty fees with harsh deadlines. But if you need quick cash to help you until payday, there are other options to consider.

Is it possible to get a quick loan?

Yes, some loan companies offer instant decisions and same day transfer of funds, but this is usually reserved for customers with a very good credit score.

The way instant decision loans work, is that you apply for the loan and the computer quickly checks your credit report to see if there are any issues, such as a low rating and any records of missed payments, or any other flags.

However, in many cases it isn't always possible to get an instant decision, even though this is advertised. In such cases you will receive a message saying something along the lines of, "we will be in touch with a decision about your application within the next week".

This might be because the computer alone was not able to determine if you should be approved or rejected.

What to watch out for when applying for a quick cash loan

Watch out for payday loans. They usually advertise themselves as quick cash loans to help you until your next payday. They usually say it's instant and easy and that you don't need a good credit rating.

However, payday loans should be avoided and getting entangled in one can be far more costly than any other type of borrowing. They are so easy to obtain because they are so expensive, so the risk for the payday lender is reduced.

Even if you can't pay, they will be able to charge you much more and find a way to reclaim the money owed with interest – and a lot of it too.

If you want a quick loan, then look on reputable comparison websites like Uswitch. Each loan has a short description explaining key information to help with making a comparison, including whether or not an instant decision is possible, and if you can get the money on the same day.

These loans are usually better as long term cash borrowing options, and repayments usually take one year or longer – and the interest is usually much lower (roughly 3-5% depending on the amount you borrow and your credit score).

Flexible borrowing options for a quick money loan

To avoid having to ever use payday loans, it is important to have some flexible borrowing options available at short notice. If you ever need a quick loan or some quick cash again in future, being prepared will make it much easier, and far less expensive.

Firstly, keeping your current debts in control is the priority.

Have Direct Debit set up on all of your credit cards to pay back the amount in full and on time. That way, if you ever need a quick loan, you can use your credit card's interest free period (which usually lasts around 50 days).

Secondly, ensure you have a good relationship with your bank. That means not having any of your Direct Debit or cheque payments bouncing, and keeping your balance in the black. If you ever get to a moment when you desperately need quick cash, you can ask your bank for an authorised overdraft.

Double check the terms of any authorised overdraft you have with your bank, as the penalty fees for going over your limit and the interest can be extremely high.

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How to be prepared if you need money in a hurry

Preparation is key to being able to access cash or borrowing quickly.

That means checking your credit report, which can reveal any issues you might have when trying to borrow money at short notice.

If you have a good credit rating it will be much less difficult trying to obtain an instant decision loan that pays you the cash the same day.

Also, if you have any credit cards you do not use, then it might be a good idea to cancel them. This is because the more credit you have to your name, the bigger your spending power is, and thus your risk. With any new application you make, the bank or credit provider will see how much money you have available to spend and will consider it a bigger risk to give you more.

The amount of risk you pose could be your biggest hindrance in obtaining cash at short notice – and although payday loans do not need you to have a good credit rating, there is still a huge risk in taking one out – so make sure your credit report is in good shape.

Tips to being prepared to borrow money at short notice:

  • Check your credit report and see what issues need to be resolved

  • Cancel credit cards you do not use anymore

  • Ensure your bills are already being paid via Direct Debit, especially your credit cards, to avoid paying interest

  • Make sure your bank balance is always above zero and that you have enough to cover your Direct Debit bills and any cheque payments

  • Cancel any bills and Direct Debits via your bank for services you don't need anymore

As an extra tip, try to put away £3 everyday into a 'rainy day fund' that you only dip into when you are desperate for cash at short notice.

You can set up a standing order from your bank account into a separate savings account so that you don't have to think about it. Before you know it, you should have a sizeable chunk of cash that can help you in desperate times.

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