Instant cash loans compared
Learn how these loans work, the fees that apply and the eligibility requirements that applicants must meet to receive approval.
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
What's in this guide?
How to apply for an instant cash loan in 3 steps on Finder
- Compare options using the table above. Once you find a lender, click "More info" to review the loan's fees and terms or "Go to site" to submit an application.
- Wait for the lender's response, which usually takes around 60 seconds.
- If approved, you could receive the cash on the same or next business day.
How to compare instant cash loans
Comparing loan options could help you save and find the right option for you. If you're weighing up your options, consider the following fees and factors before applying:
- Loan amount. Maximum loan amounts are usually up to $2,000, but can be as high as $5,000 or $10,000. The amount that the applicant is approved for will depend on the requested amount, their income, credit history and ability to repay. Borrowers should only apply for a loan that they can repay within the agreed loan term.
- Loan term. The term of the loan can be as short as 16 weeks or as long as 24 months in some cases. It's important to note that while longer loan term will lower the periodical payments, it will increase the overall amount the customer pays in monthly fees.
- Repayments. Customers are required to pay a set amount at regular intervals that line up with their pay (for example, weekly or fortnightly). Before applying, calculate how much your repayments will cost and whether they align with your budget. Some lenders allow customers to repay loans early, so check if this is an option from the loan you're interested in. Repaying a loan early can save you substantial money in fees and charges.
- Rates and fees. With most instant cash loans, you'll be required to pay an establishment fee and monthly fee, both of which are a set percentage of the principal loan amount. The exact fees may vary between lenders, but the establishment fee is capped at 20% and the monthly fee is capped at 4% for a loan up to $2,000. Arrears fees also apply if a customer misses a repayment.
- Turnaround. While some lenders can issue funds within 30 minutes or an hour, others may deposit the cash within one business day.
Who can take out an instant cash loan?
While the eligibility criteria for an instant cash loan is reasonably flexible, not everyone can qualify. While this criteria will vary from lender to lender, generally the following will apply:
- Age. Absolutely all lenders, for any loan, will require that you are aged 18 or over to qualify for finance.
- Assets. Because they are generally unsecured, you do not usually have to be a homeowner, or have assets of value, to qualify for an instant cash loan.
- Income. You will usually have to have some form of income in order to qualify for an instant cash loan. Many lenders will have a minimum income requirement, such as $1,500 per month.
- Credit score. While most instant cash loan lenders do not require you to have good credit to qualify for a loan, most lenders will not approve your application if you have a current bankruptcy listed on your credit file. If you have a discharged bankruptcy, you might be approved, depending on the lender.
- Centrelink. If you are on Centrelink payments, you may qualify for a loan, as long as long as less than 50% of your income comes from Centrelink, and your repayments are not more than 20% of your gross income.
- Residency. Most lenders will require you to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident in order to qualify for a loan. However, there are some loans available to non-residents.
What are the risks of instant cash loans?
- Disreputable lenders. Check the lender has a credit licence and is not charging more than ASIC allows. Also ensure that the lender is easily contactable and displays the rates, fees and conditions of the loan transparently.
- Unaffordable repayments. Consider the size of the regular repayments and ensure that you can repay the loan during the loan term. If not, extra fees may apply to extend it. Be aware that repayment periods for instant cash loans are shorter than regular loans.
- Multiple applications. Every loan application shows up on credit reports. While lenders might not consider credit history, several applications within a short period can have a negative impact on your credit score moving forward.
- Check rates and fees. Be crystal clear on what will be charged for late payments or a default on the loan.
- Long-term repercussions and legal issues. Once the loan agreement is signed, the customer is bound to its conditions until the loan amount and any associated rates and fees have been paid. Typically instant cash loans are unsecured. This means that the lender can initiate legal proceedings against the customer if the borrower can't repay.
What can I use an instant cash loan for?
As they are unsecured loans whereby the cash is usually transferred straight to your bank account, you can use an instant cash loan for almost any legitimate purpose. However, because they are not a long-term financial solution, these loans should generally only be used as emergency funding. Common uses for instant cash loans include:
If you've been hit with an unforeseen bill, an instant cash loan could help you. However, if you're struggling to pay your regular bills, you may be able to qualify for help with financial hardship.
An illness or accident can sometimes set you back thousands, even with insurance. Whether you need money to cover the full cost, or just to make up the difference, an instant cash loan could help.
The pros and cons of instant cash loans
- Turnaround time. If approved, you can receive funds within 30 minutes or one business day.
- Online application. People can apply for these loans online, complete the application within a few minutes and receive a response within 60 seconds.
- Good credit history inessential. Having a less than perfect credit history doesn't disqualify you from applying for these loans.
- High fees. As these loans are a higher risk for the lender, it means that the fees are higher than some other loans.
- Not a long-term solution. Instant cash loans aren't designed to be a long-term financial solution. If you're experiencing financial hardship, contact a free financial advisor before applying for a loan.
- Potential debt trap. While getting a loan with "easy approval" may seem like an attractive prospect, instant cash loans can potentially lure people facing financial problems into worse debt trouble.
Alternatives to instant cash loans
If you are concerned that you may not be able to qualify for an instant cash loan, there are some alternatives that you can explore. Some of these include:
- Personal loans. Some banks provide same-day personal loans to existing customers.
- Overdraft. Some banks allow customers to apply for an overdraft facility, which is linked to the existing transaction account.
- Credit card cash advance. Credit cards can be used for cash withdrawals, but this is considered a cash advance. Cash advances immediately attract interest (which can be as high as 23% p.a.) and a cash advance fee.
- No interest loans. If you are struggling financially, you may qualify for a low or no interest loan.
More guides on Finder
Out of cycle: How your home loan rate could increase this year, even if the cash rate doesn’t
The last time the cash rate held for extended period of 34 months, banks changed their interest rates seven times - five of which were increases.
Finder’s RBA Cash Rate Survey: 60% of experts blame BNPL for drop in credit cards
Credit cards are being used less and experts say Buy Now Pay Later services such as Afterpay and Zip are to blame, according to new research from Finder. In this month's Finder RBA Cash Rate Survey™, 39 experts and economists weighed in on future cash rate moves and other issues related to the state of the Australian economy.
Non-conforming home loans guide
Imperfect credit? A non-conforming loan might help you become a home owner.
Show me the money: 1 in 4 Aussies would prefer a cashback loan
Low interest rates may not be enough to attract new mortgage customers, but cash could sweeten the deal, according to new research by Finder, Australia’s most visited comparison site.
UCapital Unsecured Business Loan
A UCapital unsecured business loan can provide up to $300,000 without security, with repayment terms between 3 and 12 months.
0% Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers
Pay no interest on your credit card debt and clear it faster with a 0% balance transfer credit card. Compare and apply here.
How to start an accounting business
Find out what you need to know before starting an accounting business.
How to start a home cooking business
Follow this ultimate recipe for how to start your cooking business.
How to start an electrical business
Here's how to get started if you want to turn your skills as an electrician into a business.
Ask an Expert