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Nearly 40% of Americans don’t have enough cash on hand to cover a $400 emergency, a 2019 Federal Reserve report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households found. So, if you dig into your savings to cover a $1,000 unexpected expense but come up empty-handed, you may need a small loan.
Although it can be challenging to find a loan for such a small amount, online lenders, banks, and credit unions might be able to help.
Here’s where to find a $1,000 loan, how to qualify for a small personal loan, and how long it could take to get your money:
Where to find a $1,000 loan
It can be challenging to find a personal loan for such a small amount. But the demand for smaller loans has grown in recent years, and more lenders are offering small loans — including online lenders, as well as banks and credit unions.
Online lenders, like those found through Credible, let you take out smaller loan amounts from the convenience of your home. You can use the funds from these unsecured personal loans for things like medical bills, a small home improvement project, or a car repair.
Many online lenders offer loan prequalification with just a soft inquiry, which won’t affect your credit score. And you might see funds in your bank account in as little as one to three business days.
Applying for a personal loan from an online lender is quick and easy, and many online lenders look at factors other than your credit score in determining approval for a small loan.
Credible makes it easy to see your rates from multiple lenders — all in one place — to find the best interest rate and repayment terms for your budget. Six of our partner lenders offer personal loans for around $1,000. You can request rates from all of these partner lenders by filling out just one form (instead of one form for each) and without affecting your credit score.
|Lender||Loan amounts||Time to fund|
|$1,000 to $40,000||Usually takes about 2 days†|
|$1,500 to $20,000||As soon as the same day, but usually requires a visit to a branch office|
|$600 to $50,000 (depending on the loan term||2 to 4 business days after verification|
|$1,000 to $50,000||Within one day, once approved9|
|$1,000 to $50,000 ($3,005 minimum in GA; $6,005 minimum in MA)||Within a day of clearing necessary verifications|
|$1,000 to $50,000||As fast as 1 business day6|
Check out: How to Get a Personal Loan
Banks and credit unions
Banks and credit unions also offer personal loans, but typically for larger amounts. Many credit unions provide smaller loan amounts and often lower rates, but you’ll have to become a member to take out a loan.
- Banks: If you have less-than-great credit, it helps your chances of approval for your small loan if you already have an account at the bank. Most banks prefer you to have good to excellent credit when applying for a loan. You may need to apply in person, especially if you’re a new customer. But call first because not all banks offer small loans.
- Credit unions: Credit unions are best if you need a small loan or have poor credit because they typically have softer requirements. APRs are capped at 18% for federally chartered credit unions, and your history as a member carries a lot of weight during the approval process, sometimes more than your credit score.
Time to fund a $1,000 personal loan
Although loan funding times vary by lender, you might have your $1,000 loan deposited into your bank account within one business day. Some lenders even offer same-day loans, though they aren’t as common.
Just make sure you have your financial information on hand, and be ready to answer any questions the lender may have to keep the application process moving along.
Qualifying for a small loan amount
Most lenders look at two main factors when determining whether or not to issue a loan:
- Credit score: Most lenders require a minimum credit score, which can vary from one lender to another. Credit scores range from 300 to 850, with higher numbers corresponding to better scores. Generally, the higher your credit score, the better your chances to qualify. You’ll also typically be eligible for the lowest interest rates, pay fewer fees, and get better repayment terms with a high credit score. That said, some lenders do offer loans to people with bad credit. That’s why it pays to shop around.
- Debt-to-income ratio: Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is all your monthly debt obligations divided by your gross monthly income. Your DTI helps lenders determine how much you can comfortably borrow. Ideally, you want your DTI as low as possible, regardless of the lender you choose. Although some lenders might require lower ratios, most lenders prefer a DTI of no higher than 40%.
If you’re ready to apply for your small personal loan, take these steps:
- Check your credit score. You can request free copies of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com so you know where you stand. A higher credit score will get you the best rates and repayment terms. If your credit is poor, take steps to improve it by paying down high-interest debt, disputing any errors on your report with the credit bureau, and keeping your credit utilization low.
- Shop around and compare lenders. Comparing rates and terms online will help you find the best interest rate on your small loan, and it won’t ding your credit score.
- Check your prequalified rates. When you apply for prequalification you’ll need to provide general information, like your contact information, date of birth, address, income, and desired loan amount.
- Select the best offer and complete the application. Once you’ve chosen a lender, complete your application. You’ll need to provide some basic information, such as a driver’s license, passport, or Social Security number, lease agreement or utility bills to verify your address, and proof of income, such as pay stubs or recent tax returns.
- Receive your funds if approved. If approved, you’ll sign your loan agreement. You may have the funds deposited in your account as soon as the same or next business day, though it could take longer, depending on the lender.
Check out: How Long It Takes to Get Approved and Get a Personal Loan
Credit score requirements
It’s not surprising that you’ll get the lowest rates and best terms if you have good to excellent credit. But getting a small loan and making your payments on time can also help build your credit.
Here’s how FICO breaks down credit score ranges:
|Excellent||800 to 850||Access to best rates and terms, and few to no fees|
|Very good||740 to 799||Access to many lenders, good rates and repayment terms|
|Good||670 to 739||Lenders see you pay your bills on time and you’ll likely qualify for competitive rates and terms|
|Fair||580 to 669||Some lenders may work with you if you have a stable job and good income|
|Poor||579 and below||Your ability to qualify for a loan will be limited, and you may need a cosigner to qualify for good rates|
Check out: Best Personal Loans for Borrowers with Good Credit
How much will a $1,000 personal loan cost?
The total cost of your $1,000 loan will depend on the interest rate and the repayment term you select.
The shorter your term, the less you pay in interest, but your monthly payment will be higher. If you choose a longer term, your monthly payment will be lower, but you’ll pay more interest over the repayment period.
You can use our personal loan calculator below to see how much your monthly payment might be on a $1,000 loan.
Enter your loan information to calculate how much you could pay
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Is a $1,000 loan right for you?
A $1,000 loan can help in a pinch. But not all lenders offer small loan amounts.
Whether or not a $1,000 loan is right for you depends on your unique financial situation.
It’s always best to shop around to find a lender that provides the amount, interest rate, and repayment terms to meet your specific needs.
Learn more: How to Get a Personal Loan with a 600 Credit Score